Community Voice Health

Our Meetings
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   See our Minutes of meetings for dates later than April 2017                                                               

                                                                     April 2017
In April, we were introduced to hospital Red Days and Green Days - days when the patient achieves nothing, or positive progress, towards going home. Hospitals must change their ways to maximise the latter. Our speaker, James Ross, noted that for a patient over 80 years old, a week in bed in hospital causes as much muscle wastage as a year  of normal life at home - so hospital instays should be as short as possible!   He suggests patients should never be afraid to ask four questions:
  • What is wrong with me?
  • What is happening next?
  • What else needs to happen before I go home?
  • When am I going home?   

He also urges patients to wear their own day clothes in hospital when possible - they will feel more in control, which aids recovery.

                                                           January February and March 2017

  • In January we had our traditional discussion meeting without a speaker, a chance for members to have their say about what they want from Community Voice. 

    In February we had expected Tenvir Ahmed to tell us about the work of Action on Hearing Loss  (the new name for the Royal Institute of the Deaf) but he was unable to come and we were grateful to Graham Hawkes, Chief Officer of Hillingdon HealthWatch for coming at short notice instead, to tell us about changes ahead in North West London.

    March brought us the opportunity to meet Katie Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of West Herts Hospitals Trust.  She has been in post since last July and this was her first visit to us.  She brought good news that the latest CQC report, published this week, shows dramatic improvement in its ratings of her Trust's services, with the overall assessment moving from "Inadequate"  to "Requires Improvement" but with individual services now rated "Good". 

    In that meeting we also took an important decision.  We agreed to widen our focus a little beyond our traditional monitoring of NHS services so that we can focus on encouraging community support for people who are hard of hearing.  A great deal could and should be done to help this large body of people, for whom loss of hearing can be the scourge of their old age -  10million people are believed to be afflicted in the UK, one in six of the whole population.  This project has enormous potential, but we will plan carefully and will start with simple pilot activities.

                                                                                October, November and December 2016

In October we met Caroline Morison, the new Chief Operating Officer of Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group who spoke aboout the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). 

In November we met an old friend, Dr Peter Ostler, who confirmed the details behind the withdrawal of funding from the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre for use of cyberknife for treating brain metastases.  We had already written to Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, deploring this highly controversial  development and it was very helpful to have Peter Ostler at our meeting to explain the details and to answer questions.

December brought another old friend, Dr Susan LaBrooy, formerly Medical Director at Hillingdon Hospital, but now Joint Medical Director NHS North West London.  She updated us about developments in "Shaping a Healthier Future" and then joined us in welcoming in the festive season with our traditional mince pies, shortbread and seasonal drinks.

A happy Christmas to all our friends and every good wish for the New Year!  Our January meeting is purely a discussion about the future of the Community Voice but we have a good programme of speakers for the other early months of 2017, when visitors will be welcome to join us as our guests.

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