Last update 15th. May 2004


Impressions of a Consultation Meeting "Choosing Health" Held at London Voluntary Service Council April 28th 2004

At registration I gave my affiliation(s) as UCLH Trust Forum, and Age Concern Camden. About 40 people attended. Several people were on CPPIH Forums (including someone who was on my first training day), and the Commission itself was represented by Harbinda Hanspal and Carl Bradley. The meeting was chaired very competently by Jane Belman of LVSC.

Paul Plant, Assistant Regional Director Public Health Group - London, gave a presentation: he stressed that this was the optimum time to influence Government thinking; they believe that they are aware of the major issues. He is concerned at inequalities in both health and health care; these he said, are broadly related to income, but also to "class", and being part of a racial or ethnic minority. At this time 80% of the issues addressed are national and 20% local; the target is for that ratio to be reversed in the next few years. Our input is sought in the process as individuals or organisations (described in Jane Belman's document circulated at the last UCLHT Forum meeting on April 15th). The deadline for responses is May 28th. The Wanless Report was frequently mentioned. Paul brought many of documents we have seen together coherently. I have asked if it would be possible to have a copy of the notes he used. There was a lively discussion after the talk.

The Participants were then split into four syndicates, each syndicate was given two or three issues to address, and asked to produce five suggestions for positive ways of dealing with them. A number of useful suggestions were made, and again a lively discussion followed. I noted that most people made a contribution to the discussions for everyone: certainly in my syndicate every one participated more or less equally.

Jane has promised to get a full report to us asap. Unfortunately she is leaving LVSC in a couple of week's time: apparently due to a withdrawal of funding. Fortunately she will not be leaving the field totally as she hopes to work in a role with some similarities in Cambridge.

In all, a useful and interesting way to spend a half-day.

Janet Albu

April 28th 2004