Brian Parrott, former Director of Adult Social Services, Chair and Non-Executive Director of NHS Trusts and Chair of Suffolk Family Carers, shares his thoughts on the comparisons between New Zealand's Social Care system and the UK's. 

Brian’s professional background is as a social worker. He has been Director of Social Services, Chair and Non-Executive Director of NHS Trusts and Chair of Suffolk Family Carers. He continues to be Independent Chair of a London borough Safeguarding Adults Board and is involved with national policy developments through the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. In this piece, following a recent trip to Canterbury, New Zealand, he offers his thoughts on the latest healthcare systems. 

Read a snippet of his thoughts below and his full article is available at the below link. 

"These thoughts are tentative, founded on impressions and interpretations of conversations with health services professionals in person, which I had pre-arranged in Christchurch on 7 March 2018. I am very grateful for the time people gave me. I may have misunderstood some features. I also had various other chance conversations about health care while travelling in New Zealand over three weeks during February and March 2018. My understanding of the CHS is backed by other awareness, particularly of Kings Fund publications (Nick Timmins & Chris Ham 2013; Anna Charles August 2017; Chris Ham, David Meates, Vince Barry blogs October 2017; and others).

"I may not be up to date with all current leadership thinking and plans in relation to Sustainability and Transformation Plans(STPs) and Accountable/Integrated Care systems (ICSs) nationally in England, locally, and more specifically in Suffolk (& North East Essex.) My thoughts are about all English health and social care systems but inevitably more about ones of roughly equivalent population to the Canterbury region – 600,000, and Suffolk most especially.

"It will be known to colleagues that my background is as social worker, social services manager (in Suffolk) and Director of Social Services (in several local authorities), and more recently in non-executive director and chair NHS and voluntary sector roles. My particular interests are health and social care integrated arrangements (organisational and practitioner perspectives); the actual experiences of and engagement with patients, service users and families/carers of all ages; and more especially older people, mental health & learning disability services. The impressions I describe are inevitably influenced by this background.  I know less about aspects of current best clinical practice and pathways within and between primary, acute and community health care services. Locally I know less about North East Essex given that it is outside the local social services and voluntary sector networks in Suffolk with which I am most familiar.

"Despite these cautionary notes I hope the thoughts I set out below in this paper may be helpful to colleagues in Suffolk and nationally."