Saturday, July 23, 2011

Community Health Councils Landing In Birmingham?


Captured Using Telescopic LINk Fade-ar Plus Intuition

It was spotted orbiting over Birmingham UK . Neither man, nor aeroplane, nor bird - it was a Local Involvement Network (LINk) body (of health monitors) - slowly fragmenting and burning up suitlessly without enough resources and LINk oxygen as it entered into Birmingham Council bureaucracy and the political atmospheres of the new building of the HealthWatch giant rocket . Yes it is certainly rocketing LINk .

It will be all things to all citizens and will take a whole populations concerns on board . Or will it ? Will it lift off ? Will it be too heavy with its lead weighted ambitions ? Will it be mobile enough and will it be over-captained with far too many compartments? You ask good questions ...... !

Sources reveal to us that there was a Health Adult Overview Scrutiny Committee meeting at the Birmingham Council on 13th July 2011 . One Labour Councillor (from Birmingham South) there reportedly said of the Birmingham LINk :

"The LINK is dead in the water " - "HealthWatch should be moved on with " -

- and words to the effect that :

"Community Health Councils as a model are desireable so long as they are well run and professionally staffed ."

So now you know what is partly likely to happen because of the failure of the Birmingham Local Involvement Network and its poorly dis-unified un-strategic LINk Core Group (now virtually de-commissioned) i.e. it is likely that a set of institutions that were always predominantly white and middle class in Birmingham will resume in time. The CHC's - with a few sprinklings of politically correct Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups ?

Once again white middle class dominion rules ?

A council related document towards the shaping up of HealthWatch that is circulating, does show also predominantly white middle class (a South Birmingham bias ) Councilllors too will have the reins over the shape of HealthWatch . This is in a city with over 50% people who are BME.

Does anyone who is Black and Asian feel really confident about that ? Get in touch - we'll hear you out - leave a comment . We are not happy about this development of Birmingham white middle class white re-surgence of influence either . This is fair comment too on what we have seen so far .

In the HealthWatch Project Initiation document we have seen it says :

"Communications and Engagement plan (June-July)

1. Commissioners, councillors and other key decision makers engaged in discussions

2. Key decision makers include Cllrs Anderson, Tilsley, Rudge, D Alden and Bedser; Peter Hay (Strategic Director); Denise McLellan (Cluster Chief Executive) and the Public Health Transition Board. "

These are the people who will shape your Birmingham HealthWatch in the future. There's no doubt some of these folk have real ability, but are they representative of all Birmingham - really ? What happened to Asian and Black representation right at the top?

No-one is certain about the survival of proper monitoring methodology either that holds both Council and NHS to account . After all the Council are pretty much in control of the HeathWatch budget and its likely sponsored HealthWatch CHC model is still remote ..You might bet though it will be dominated by South Birmingham interests and mind sets .

We are probably looking at more years of post CHC, post PPI, and post LINks, tumbling group chaos, instead of a simple format for citizen training all lay people who want it, in their various local groups, into how to examine services delivery levels and failures and remain independent so they cannot be bought off by subtle favours from services with allegiances to mainly one professionalized class in Birmingham.

Is the CHC a social "analogue" model in a Birmingham society that is woven with many layers and in need of modernisation both socially/mentally ? The CHC model was in itself top down and corporate and frankly would it with a few tweaks somehow guarantee that a crisis like Mid Staffs would not happen ? What was the failure there ? Just poor systems of monitoring? Or was it "collusive" turnings of heads away from more obvious problems more outspoken people were trying to bring attention to ? Was it a situation where vision was locked out by all who wanted not to see it ?

Beware a mono-cultural approach .

HealthWatch Birmingham bottom up localism ?

Not a chance !

More to be a lord and ladies
Middle Class "made-ies " dance ?

Lets see if we are wrong ..


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