Friday, May 14, 2010

Too many meetings

I have to do meetings or the 'powers that be' creep up behind you and say "..but we discussed that last month and you didn't object..." but sometimes it gets just a bit surreal.

Went to a Good Health Day with the NHS - supposedly all about the best way to deliver health services to people with a learning disability. Great chance to get the protocols and training for airway suction, gastrostomy changeing etc. sorted out ....except... the leader of our discussion group wanted to spend the time talking about whether they should put easy chairs and magazines in the Learning Disabilities Health Teams waiting room - if they decide to have one ..... I think bemused was the general atmosphere. We did manage to get some positive things agreed about hospital procedures and practices but it's a bit like pushing water uphill.

Also had to go to a Learning Disability Partnership Board - supposed to involve carers and service users in strategic decisions about services. As we've just had our local 'Board' merged in with two others, however, the whole meeting got restricted to discussing 'Terms of Reference' and every time someone (carer or client) raised a real issue such as "how much money was there for advocacy?" or "to what extent are you (Social Services) planning for the increased numbers of complex care cases?" it was stamped on by the temporary chair (Head of SS Commissioning!) as 'a possible theme for a future meeting' and ruled out of the discussion.

This sort of thing is fine for the paid officers but carers and service users have things to do and don't get paid to spend five hours at a time attending meetings like this.

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