WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Monday, 4 August 2008


A few days ago Norfolk PCT (now calling itself NHS Norfolk) published its Draft PPI Strategy. We’re (Service Users) so used to having to point out the negative aspects of these things that this one took me by surprise. It isn’t perfect by any means but it is a meaningful advance on what we usually get.

And Norfolk PCT deserves an accolade for the strategy

I sent in a knee jerk response straight away and I have copied their PDF file to ppeyes You’ll find it at: www.ppeyes.org.uk/NordftPPI.pdf

This is my response:

I am a service user with disabilities living in an often forgotten part of rural Norfolk (the south eastern sector with Beccles, Suffolk as its best accessible shopping centre).

This is my (see my footnote statement) first response to your Draft PPI Strategy. I may make more comments in time, or join in a joint contribution.

First reaction is that we seem to be getting better at getting it together on PPI and there are elements in your document several of us (servicer users) have long been campaigning to be recognised. Applause for this.

And applause for the inclusion of a continuous learning paradigm coupled with outcomes measures. These have to be components of a dynamic whole and the challenge will be maintaining fully transparent and effective practice here.

The document throughout I find an excellent advance on similar strategies put forward in the recent past with one reservation: after years of national governance and a NHS in which warm empty words and 'happy clappy news management' have been endemic, I am very wary of just how much substance there is in any strategic promises.

However, being fair, I can only give your strategy the benefit of the doubt and welcome it as one which I would mainly support. So I'd like to offer some brief comments:

1. I think your aims are inclusive,  well written , clearly written and fairly stated but the one factor here which is now anathema to service users remains the 'top-down' style.

2. What you call 'inclusivity' and what I call access is hugely important here in Norfolk. It is a problem that serial rural public authorities have failed to even address (see my current complaint against Norfolk CC on PPlog ((below)) for example) let alone give any practical attention to. You are at least, on paper, making attempts.

2.1.  You will know, from your management training, the well worn but little used adage that "meetings can be processes rather than events." By the creative use of IT (i.e. video and tele conferencing) the whole culture of Norwichcentric meetings masquerading as 'local' Norfolk consultations could be overturned.

2.2. Meetings as events can be truly local to a fair degree. Have look at the Norfolk Police practice with 'Safer Neighbourhoods' and the district councils 'Neighbourhood Forums' for example. There is no reason why PPI should not have a slot at these kinds of meetings. In addition, for other community functions we have often held our small group meetings in each others' houses. I see no reason why this could not happen with PPI as a kind of 'core and cluster' arrangement with central collation happening as a process (using IT for instance).

2.3. A personal gripe is that because of a particular disability I cannot get to meetings beginning in the morning - meetings of this kind are usually arranged around the convenience of employed officials, professionals and clinicians but they discriminate against me!

2.4. Lastly, I have been saying this for years and years - ad exhaustiam, so to speak. There are many people who, for whatever reason, genuinely cannot get to you - emotionally, psychologically or physically - YOU HAVE TO GO TO THEM.

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The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
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