Writing ( actually typing with one finger ) this on Thursday evening so will probably be Friday by the time it gets posted. Had a series of meetings in London today starting with a presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care, giving evidence on Greater Manchester's devolution deal. Since work got underway on this in 2015 public engagement and awareness has increased significantly, but given the Our Manchester ambition to involve service users in service design, we still have a way to go. ( I ought to perhaps caveat that a little as we are unlikely to be getting heart attack patients for example to design by-pass surgery ).
This follows Wednesday's meeting of our Health and Well-Being Board ( papers and catch up streaming available on the Councils website ) which largely consisted of a number of progress on the delivery of the three pillars of the Manchester locality plan, integrated commissioning, a single out of hospital service, a single hospital service. There was a specific report on North Manchester General Hospital, not about the current problems with Pennine Acute Trust, but the early stages of mapping out a really positive future for NMGH as a district general hospital in the planned single hospital service.
After leaving Parliament I travelled to the Local Government Association's (LGA's ) temporary offices in Farringdon for a number of meetings including the LGA's Executive Committee. On the agenda was the LGA's response to the government's provisional settlement and an item on what we would like to see in the budget. Not surprisingly social care and housing were the major items of discussion, with almost total agreement across all four political groupings.
Nobody thought that the temporary fix offered on social care was remotely adequate and that the government does have to come up with a long-term solution to the lack of social care funding for both adults and children. Everybody agreed that we weren't building enough houses anywhere and that Councils should be given greater freedom to build, particularly to meet the needs of low-income families. Let's see if political consensus amongst the people dealing with these issues every day has any effect on out-of-touch Westminster.