For most of my clinical career I worked with people with intellectual disabilities, and if you spend any time at all with people who find reading difficult, you soon realise how much literacy matters. Assessing decisional capacity, I listened as people accused of breaching contracts or tenancy agreements, stumbled through them word by word and sometimes syllable by syllable, arriving finally at the end with no idea of what it all meant. I also saw the blank faces at meetings where, despite supplementary documents being produced using EasyRead to maximise inclusivity, understanding was limited. People were distracted by the images … Continue reading Personal Readers – a new application for QR codes?
Snappy title, yes? No, and not so snappy writing, either. This is one of the questions on the so-called public consultation regarding the NHS. I say so-called because, not only was it barely publicised, as you ‘ll see from this example it’s also barely comprehensible. What views do you have on our overarching objective of improving outcomes and reducing health inequalities, including by using new measures of comparative quality for local CCG populations to complement the national outcomes measures in the NHS Outcomes Framework? Imagine the text you need to wade through to even place that in context. Then imagine your … Continue reading NHS spending review public consultation
This is an account of how, through multiple failures, misses, barren communications, and thoughtless expedience, one family’s parents seem to have died sooner than they should. The NHS was already struggling due to huge changes instituted by a government that I clearly remember promising us it would not make. The NHS, they said, has been through enough change and needs to settle. I don’t like to think what they really meant by change if this is consolidation. Then, and blame cannot be attributed to these immediate changes but perhaps to the impact of the constant tide of them, came the scandals … Continue reading When deaths ought not to be expected: the interdependency of couples & the inadequacies of health services
After 40-odd years in public health services I have Seen Some Stuff. Some of that stuff is here: So long and thanks for …, After the bedpan years, My dad’s gone to Mars, and So where was I …? Continue reading The NHS: a trilogy in four parts
Brighton is an extraordinary place. Described by the journalist Keith Waterhouse as ‘a town that always looks as though it’s helping the police with their enquiries’, I’ve imagined Eastbourne and Worthing either side folding their arms, tapping their feet in an irritated fashion and wishing it would just sit down and be quiet, for goodness sake. I blame the Prince Regent; if he hadn’t come waltzing down here with his entourage, partying like it was 1799 and building hallucinatory palaces, the sixties would never have got a look-in and we would not now have this noisy, unruly, flamboyant, drama-queen of a city. I can’t help thinking Hove is a reluctant bride in … Continue reading So, where was I …?
Well, you know the rest. October 12th is a watershed date: my last as a paid NHS employee, and my first as a pensioner/student with aspirations to hang out in cafes, writing and wearing odd-looking hats. I have projects to finish – an online training package for capacity interviewing, and a working virtual clinical area for researchers, clinicians, and service users – so I have honorary contracts in place to keep professional links with Sussex Partnership & Brighton university. About the same time, it’s back to school with a new satchel and pencil case, on the tail of an MA in … Continue reading So long, and thanks for …
This post was due up last week, then the news about Samantha Backler came through. She deserved her time in the spotlight. On March 17th, an extraordinary event took place at the Lighthouse in Brighton’s North Laines. The R&D department at Sussex Partnership has been developing ideas for projects – research and clinical practice – that seeks digital solutions to health care problems. Second Life is already a research environment for some of us, and more projects are either underway or at the work-up stage. We are also keen to capitalise on social media for communication with staff and service … Continue reading Wired for Health
Imperial College London | Treet TV. Imagine making a live TV show with a bunch of potentially maverick scientists and a studio audience. Nervous? Good. Now imagine that you’re going to do this in a virtual world with all your presenters and guests represented as avatars and communicating using text, in-world voice, and VOIP. Not to mention you need them to face front at the right time, have in-world voice turned on but not up so you get lip sync without echo, and nobody’s connection cracks up. That’s the challenge faced by the Treet TV team that followed Dave Taylor, … Continue reading Imperial College London | Treet TV
Tick all that apply It’s becoming pretty clear to anyone who isn’t living in a cupboard or a Jane Austen serial that there’s something of an information explosion underway and that finding what you want to know could be exasperating to say the least. Where do you start? Who do you ask? At one time, our main source was the newspaper held proprietorially by the man of the house while he puffed quietly on his pipe behind his printed screen. Then there was the TV and the Six o Clock News. We pretty much stood to attention for that, newscasters, … Continue reading You have a question, where do you look for answers?
∑ Until mid June at any rate! For some reason, all the calls for new research funding bids are open now and have to be submitted in the next few weeks, come Hull, Hell or Halifax! Along with that is the mandatory report on our virtual world study, delayed by Christmas, snow, and participants who would rather go line dancing (who can blame them?) than talk to us. We pleaded for an extension. Computer said no. Resoundingly. So today I went into free-fall over the data for the recent study, had an apoplectic moment over my mean squares while trying … Continue reading Goodbye friends and family!