Guardian Public Services Summit

Ergh. I shouldn't have drunk the wine last night. That and a too warm room has left me feeling rather grotty.

Never mind! I get to command the attention of a room full of people later today, maybe point out a few things. Who knows.

Yesterday I managed to speak to the Director General of the NHS workforce, the woman who is ultimately my boss. How could I let such an opportunity slip?

I told her that the reason that a lot of NHS staff are unhappy is because of having to chase targets, and that these targets are often clinically pointless. That because of resources being directed to hit these targets patient care is suffering and that, no matter how cynical we might be, ultimately we get annoyed when we can't give the care we would like to.

She appeared to pay attention and jotted a few things down in a notebook, although obviously I'm not hugely hopeful – she has her bosses to report to as well.

In about two hours I'll get to hear Nick Clegg talk about mental health. Perhaps I'll collar him and let him know the truth about the out of hours provision, or rather lack thereof…

Then I get my chance to present something which, contrary to tradition, starts with an insult rather than a joke. I'm not quite sure where to go after insulting everyone, but I've got two hours to work it out.

So far everyone I've met has been really nice and the Guardian are looking after me very well (as an aside, is it Guardian policy to only employ women who are lovely?) Last night during dinner I shared a table with someone who works in the cabinet office, a PR person, one of the bosses of the Guardian, someone who works with an advisory charity and Tim Campbell (and yes, I was the only person who didn't know who he was). Despite moving in these lofty circles I still found everyone to be very personable and had a nice chat with them over a very tasty dinner.

Right – time for me to get ready to hit some politicians and planners with the big stick of truth. That or stand up and make a prat of myself by not using words such as 'dynamic' or 'engage'.

13 thoughts on “Guardian Public Services Summit”

  1. All the best Tom, I'm sure you'll be fine. As a local authority bod, I saw this and wanted to go (even more so when I saw you were going to be there – I would have got my copy of BS&T signed!), but as you say, 600 is a lot of money, especially for a London borough that is facing budget restraints.Ah well… as an aside, I worked in the Cabinet Office under GO'D until last year and know the other speakers from there who are attending (though I was only a minion, so they probably definitely won't remember me… no point me asking you to pass on hellos!).

  2. Just before I went to bed, I realised that “I shouldn't have drunk the wine last night” is the ONLY thought most people have after meeting any kind of bar, and from my background (not in medicine) it is a common next day thought, and nothing unusual.Most people you will have met on that day will feel the same, too.

    Shutting up now, but really, any event where wine or other drink is free-flowing, the people you most worry about will usually have imbibed, at least twice as much.

  3. This is a completely random question but u know the kellogs square bars? Why are they called squares?????

    They are rectangle in shape and the rice cripspies are oval?

    Will sombody please tell me what is going on !!! 🙂

    Sorry that was really random but is really annoying me !!!

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