It is Sunday afternoon and I am driving north to Harrogate (Richard Webb is playing host) to meet ADASS Trustees with Richard Humphries and David Brindle for a review day and I am delighted both Alison Tombs (North Tyneside) and Brain Parrott (Associate), our two new co-opted Trustees, are able to join us as well.
For me, having had time off on leave, this is an excellent way of catching-up (though it wasn’t planned that way!). A number of us gather for dinner the night before and it is a real pleasure to be with colleagues again and beginning to understand what has been happening during the last few weeks.
Monday provides a very full agenda as we have items covering the forthcoming Government Green Paper, the NHS Plan, the Next Generation ADASS, a review of what we think we have done, achieved and where our challenges are plus housing, mental health, mental capacity, digital technology and workforce.
All of these are meaty items and on a number of occasions we ask 'what is our line', and/or look to find a colleague to lead and potentially any allies (other organisations) plus resources (always limited). By the end of the day we are all pretty weary though, with a strong sense of having had a good discussion with a plan for what to do next – a very busy run up to Christmas it would seem.
On Tuesday afternoon I find myself on a train to London – there is the CCN 'Green Paper' and the LGA 'Green Paper' to read en route along with a couple of presentations to work through for the NHS EXPO next month where I am on stage twice. Wednesday is a 'Smith Square' day where both the LGA and ADASS have their base.
First, a meeting with the ever-energetic Michael Tighe who handles our media, to get an early viewing of some animations to help describe what ADASS is about - Andriana in the ADASS team has done some great work by leading this project too.
When they come out I hope you like them (think Youtube clips) and please re-tweet. Directly after this is the second of the two 'Next Generation ADASS' meetings – the first was in Leeds with Julie acting as host. Richard (W) and Cathie do a great job in harnessing colleagues input for what I hope will be a meaty set of ideas to consider and I am very grateful to colleagues who took time out to contribute. I have to leave a little early to get to the inaugural forum for the LGA Green Paper.
A full room with about 20 people (very significant others) in our world including SCIE, TLAP, SOLACE, NHS Confed. A rather broad discussion followed and it is early days for analysis but so far there has been a lot of consultation responses which bodes well for the richness of input as the closing date isn't until the end of September: the timing for this document really has been fortuitous.
The next meeting is mid-September and I am intrigued to hear what the general emerging themes will be. With both the CCN and LGA generating Green Papers I wonder how they will contribute to government thinking. Then a telephone call with DH&SC Quality Matters colleagues and Hilary Paxton to discuss the first year of operation and what next to ensure this programme continues to thrive.
Some of Thursday morning is spent reading the MHCLG Green Paper – A new deal for social housing, and feeling a bit underwhelmed, then thinking maybe the Adult Care Green Paper might say more (hopefully). Then off for a 1-1 with Cathie before we both join the Public Health President Jeanelle DeGruchy and her colleague for a working lunch. This is one of what we hope will be a regular get-together to swap notes, find areas of common interest where we might develop a shared response and generally touch base – there is such a lot we have in common, most notably around funding, prevention and integration. Then to the train back to Lincolnshire and en route some e-mails dealing with our joint response to the Government's response to the CMA Home Care markets work (amongst other matters).
Before I sign off I wanted to mention one of the books I took (and read) on holiday:
Carol Craig's 'Hidden in Plain Sight' which was recommended to me whilst I was at the Scottish conference. It's all about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) for which the research is pretty good – mostly America and Scotland. I would recommend a read if you have not come across this topic previously and yes, it is equally as important to us as adults – a very basic summary would be bad childhood experiences predispose people as adults to ill health and an early death!
Enjoy your weekend. Glen