Change – why do we resist it?

There’s a feature on about an option the NHS are considering to recoup money they are losing in treating foreign nationals.


Chris Wormald, permanent Secretary of State responsible for the NHS said whilst requesting photo ID of patients before treatment was controversial it is something they are considering.  Figures shown for 2014-15 illustrated £674 million was charged to the UK government for the care of British citizens abroad, but the amount charged for the care of EEA nationals in British hospitals was only £49m.


Meg Hiller MP and chair of the committee Mr Wormald was presenting to raise concern on British nationals who had no photo ID as they had never travelled abroad nor learnt to drive.


In these times of global heightened terrorist threat, maybe photo ID’s issued by local boroughs of central Government might be an answer.  Maybe instead of photo ID a full birth certificate showing parents details etc would help.


We don’t think twice about showing insurance details and ID if we need treatment abroad.  Isn’t it a good thing for everyone in the UK to be issued with photo ID not only for the above but also in their search for jobs?  Everyone has to prove their right to work in the UK when looking for employment.


Wouldn’t the cost of producing ID cards for all citizens who don’t have photo ID be a good thing?  More people would be able to secure employment as well as the NHS secure more funds they are rightly due.


We all want to be treated by the NHS when we or our loved ones are sick.  We want research into new drugs and treatments.  All of this costs especially with a continually expanding population.  Surely, the NHS has to look at all options not just housekeeping of their facilities.


If we do a job we expect to get paid.  Is it right to accept the NHS don’t always get paid?  What is the alternative of doing nothing?




Equality 4 Mental Health – will it ever be so?

Founded by Norman Lamb MP, Alastair Mitchell & Andrew Mitchell MP to raise both awareness and resources of all experiencing mental ill health.


Just a year ago they brought together 250 leaders from business, trade unions, the arts, music, sport, education, health and politics, to demand equality for all who suffer particularly in receiving timely, appropriate help and support.


In her speech on the day she became Prime Minister, Theresa May said ‘if you suffer from mental health problems, there’s not enough help to hand’.  So there is clearly high level support to do the right thing.  But will change happen?


Equality 4 Mental Health are submitting a statement to the Chancellor to include in the Government’s Autumn Statement.  This coupled with the substantial support they have recruited and that of 9 former Secretaries of State for Health, Chair of the Health Select Committee, former CEO of NHS England as well as senior government officials.


Some of the points included in Equality 4 Mental Health’s statement include:


  • Cuts to budgets need to stop
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 – 3 times higher than women
  • People requiring support from Mental Health professionals are often shunted across the country – there needs to be more local support,
  • Support for children and young people is woefully inadequate and has infact gone backwards over recent years.  75% of this age bracket do not receive any help.  Children/young people’s mental health services receive just 0.7% of the total NHS budget.  In the first year of promised additional investment only £143m was allocated from an expected £250m!
  • Children & young people with eating disorders and mental illness are not receiving treatment early enough.
  • Research continues to lose out with just 5.5% of research funding.


There are other damning points in the statement.  I wonder if despite all the good intentions and support from establishment members if money will win out.  I.e. will budgets be slashed along with services and support?


Or, for once, when it’s really essential, will we do the right thing and invest?


I know which I am hoping for………. what about you?

Awards – do they honour the right people?

I’m attending the PFM Awards tonight at The Brewery as a guest of a client who is a finalist for two categories.  Well deserved in this case.  The client really does value all of their employees and engages with their own clients as though they were one organisation.


Reflecting on the day – and evening – ahead, I thought back to all the awards I’ve attended – prestigious ones at the Royal Albert Hall to smaller, more unique awards at the Law Society.  Having been the recipient of many awards over the years for employment and mental health, I’ve watched many companies receive awards where none of the people who do the work which has secured the award are present!  It’s Directors and CEOs who largely make up the delegation few of whom embraced the work but let it go ahead as a ‘tick in the box’ for CSR.


How do the employees who actually do the work get the recognition they deserve?  This work is often additional to their ‘day job’ and usually encroaches into their personal time.  They do it because they love it and know they make a difference.


Wouldn’t it be nice to have those that present the award entries to judges in the audience of a black tie event to feel special and recognised even for one evening?


Let’s hear it for those unsung heroes………………….