Even if you are the sweetest of all the strawberries, there are people who like melons. I’ve never been one to seek attention but the strongest emotion of acceptance, of love, makes most things fade to black. I’ve been to this room before, but it was darker then, now, the rays of light bounce around the corners.
Only I know how many times I’ve truly been in love. My brother hardly gets in relationships because really, he’s scared of having his heart broken. I tell him the heart is the strongest muscle in the body, London is a big city (there are loads of places you can go and have new experiences) and everybody is unique. Every first date is a first date. Every first kiss is its first kiss.
A bolt of lightning to the head. I’m often scared of my heart; of it’s self assurance and enlightened pursuit of happiness. I don’t have the money to do an MBA at a top business School? Fuck it, let’s do it. I don’t have the clout to change the NHS? Fuck it, let’s get it done. I don’t have the legs to run a marathon. How hard can it be, really? My heart stops and starts for little at all.
The first time i saw her? She looked like a black cold winter night if I’m being honest. I could sleep in the cold of her but I didn’t think about it then. Now. I think about it all the time. She could have mused to herself; “there’s no point in waiting for someone who hasn’t asked and no point in wishing for things you hadn’t thought about”. Yet she didn’t. I’ve romanticised my parent’s marriage enough so I check myself.
Her stature deceived. Not the corporate crow. And I thought I was a great judge of character. I went home tormented by the little devil who whispers into your ear the devastatingly charming responses we could have given. Fuck it. My heart reset, only to be sparked again a few weeks later.
Whenever I talk she has the habit of gazing at my now thinning hair with a curious half-mocking, almost daring provocation; that I’m in a dissociative state of my youth. She also darts her eyes to my lips, with an almost impertinent intentness, as if she’s waiting for me to pause so she can interject or point out the fallacy in my logic. Scratch that. Fallacies.
Diplomatic immunity. The rap album by Juelz Santana, Cam’ron et al. And Illmatic. And Newham Generalz and Wiley Tunnel Vision volume 1; eskiboy. On the train on way to a sixth form school outside of east London. If indeed it it all began at this point I have forgotten the specific context, I only remember the resolve in my heart to forget grievances at the drop of a hat and enjoy the one life I have.
Do they sense it, these urban legends, when their songs are played? Does a pinprick of light pierce their darkness in the night when I press play? Is their soul stirred by the gentle head nodding off their song? Doubt it.
She’s fallen in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, then all at once. I’ve fallen in love a different way this time. With my head and heart in tandem, all at once.
You can do anything, if you stop trying to do everything. Now that I think about it, I do feel sorry for her. Yes, her. It was an excuse that probably makes little sense at all. Not surprisingly, with the muscle memory of a body building strongman, but the knowledge of a child I turned to my best friend and the wisdom of council and moved on quickly. She lost out for a reason.
Self-awareness is the lubricant to all social friction. If I can see myself the way others truly see me, I’m well on my way to getting along with others. In seeing yourself for what you are, you can laugh at yourself.
If you cannot picture your life partner making you laugh 50 years from now, bail out. That’s my thought. Humor rekindles love and warmth. Humor brings you back to earth and humbles you. Humor depends on insights and timing, something hugely important in truly intimate relationships. Not just wit, but humor that depends on understanding you, your tastes, your psyche. Life can become very tough and your body will surely degenerate. Humor looks past all of that and heals with resilience. It always stops when the laughter does. Or gets very irritating when they can’t figure out when it should.
We are all bundles of biases that filter and skew all that comes to us. No opinion you shape, no decision you make will be free of those biases. Yet knowing this to be so will liberate you to make better decisions. Here’s hoping she really really likes strawberries. Else we’ll feel, I don’t know – meloncholy. LoL!
Originally published via Fabians Society http://www.fabians.org.uk/health-and-care-engaging-empowering-and-listening-to-patients/
Though it is important to offer specific positions, Labour’s policy on health could be used to shout about its principles on patient voice that show a future for the NHS. Patient voice and accountability should play the leading role in Labour health and care policy, but currently the party’s policy review consultation ‘Your Britain’ lacks focus in this area.
Operational and logistical rejigging services is important, but pivotal to everything is authentic patient participation. What use is investment in world-leading medicinal Research & Development if patients continue to take only 50% of their medicines,? What use is overhauling emergency care if the general public aren’t empowered to look after themselves more effectively? What use is suggesting the elderly can be treated at home if they cannot be meaningfully engaged in the design of local services? Purposeful patient accountability and ownership should be at the heart of Labour’s Health and Care policy.
The British electorate will vote for the party that elicits the right feelings about the future of their healthcare, not necessarily the party that presents the best arguments on service redesign, commissioning or market competition in the NHS. Labour’s view on personal control over care (P8 L2) needs a higher billing and should perhaps also include increasing patient choice since empowering patients means nothing if they cannot make different choices.
Given the tidal wave of abuse led by sections of the British press that has focussed on NHS failings, it appears that the case for a fundamentally flawed NHS is being set out. If Labour is to argue against this, they must recognise the public will respond to an ideologically driven agenda that signals hope and a better modern way of engaging with the NHS.
Policy around A&E services and primary care are important sections of Labour’s health policy, but if the NHS isn’t engaging, empowering and hearing patients and their carers throughout the whole system, then the case for a modern NHS becomes harder to make.
The Labour party (P7 L36) is right to suggest the Government adopted a pick and mix approach to the Francis Report’s recommendations, as the coalition government failed to go much beyond the usual ‘lessons must be learned, procedures should be tightened’ platitudes. Furthermore, Labour is right to suggest the redirection of £3 billion from frontline care risks causing more failures in the future (P7 L45). Whichever unfortunate hospital scandals one references (e.g. Winterbourne View, Mid Staffordshire) Labour must continue to press home the message that regardless the human failings, NHS staff have not gotten worse, the financial burden has.
65 years ago, Labour won the moral argument with the British electorate for a National Health Service that drove socialist ideals forward. Today, Labour’s policy around ensuring popular accountability and ownership needs to be just as innovative to modernise and progress the social ownership and co-operative management ideals of a public health service. For much of the debate surrounding the NHS for the past 10 years has centred on its capital structure and how its inadequate funding impacts on quality of service delivery. Notwithstanding these critical issues, I believe that the main challenges facing UK health policy over the next few years lie not on the finance and transactional side, but on the relational, with patients.
Empowering, engaging and communicating are all strategies that other industries such as retail, mobile technology and travel use to improve the services they provide. Whilst healthcare offers unique problems, there are lessons about transformational change The Labour party can learn about the ways we listen and involve our patients, their carers and the public.
Giving patients greater access to information about their care and enabling them to carry out tasks, such as managing prescriptions or booking appointments, would be both informing and empowering as well as reducing the burden on the NHS. In a time of financial constraint, policy ideas can lean more on ‘patient voice’, turning patients and their communities into active partners in planning and managing their own care. With smartphones and tablets becoming ubiquitous, and social networks connecting us more and more, health and technology security policy needs more attention.
Critics might worry that the proposed shifting of power could reduce governments’ responsibilities, but many experts argue that “we cannot afford not to self-empower”. Of course, there are also practical challenges to encouraging an increased patient voice, particularly as not all patients can, or want to be empowered. And though a more engaged patient can never substitute professional acute care, meaningful and innovative policies in this area can speak volumes to the British public.
So this is why I think more focus could be added here. In the long-run, the extrinsically-competitive, free-market notion that drives right-wing ideology advocates for individuals to provide their own healthcare. Against this, we must consider the huge amount of evidence that shows quality of healthcare and outcomes are better for patients if they take on greater responsibility,,. Against this, the future of the NHS can be made secure for all.
 The ‘cost’ of medication nonadherence: consequences we cannot afford to accept MA Chisholm-Burns, CA Spivey Journal of the American Pharmacists Association Nov-Dec 2012;52(6):823-826
 Langley, C., Bush, J., Harvey, J., Patel, A. and Marriott, J. 2012. Establishing the extent of patient nonadherence to prescribed medication in the Heart of Birmingham teaching Primary Care Trust (HoBtPCT): the Aston Medication Adherence Study (AMAS). Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust
 The Lancet, Volume 379, Issue 9827, Page 1677, 5 May 2012
 aujoulat a, d’hoore w. deccachea(2007) patient empowerment in theory and practice: polysemy or cacophony? patient education counselling 66(1)13-20
 wallerstein n (2006) what is the evidence on effectiveness of empowerment to improve health? who Regional office for europe’s health evidence network
 glyn e, laitner s, coulter a, walker e, watson p, thomson R (2010) implementing shared decision making in the nhs, british medical Journal, vol 341, 971-972.
Originally posted on the Microsoft UK Health Blog http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_uk_health_blog/archive/2014/03/03/get-involved-with-nhs-change-day.aspx
This guest post is by Adebusuyi Adeyemi of NHS Improving Quality.
NHS Change Day 2014 is going to be the biggest day of collective action for improvement in the history of the NHS. Are you ready? NHS Change Day 2013 was a countrywide grassroots initiative that provided an opportunity to transform anger or frustration into constructive action. This year, NHS Change Day is still a grassroots movement but is going global, to be a mass movement of NHS staff, social care providers and the public demonstrating the difference they can make by one simple act to make a change.
The NHS Change Day core leadership team have applied and adapted social movement theory, skills and practices associated with community organising and made use of social media to secure voluntary pledges from NHS staff and patients to take a specific improvement or innovation action on or around 03 March 2014.
The most significant thing we learnt from NHS Change Day last year is that change of this kind and scale is possible; the most significant impact is that tens of thousands of staff have now had the experience of taking part in collective action for change. There are rich lessons about ‘calls to action’, ‘shared values’ and ‘distributed leadership’ organisations can learn from this. Leading academics and firms have already recognised this, NHS Change Day 2013 winning the McKinsey and Havard Business Innovation prize.
NHS Change Day was an entirely voluntary effort that invited staff to take action on something that they were passionate about. It intentionally drew on shared values, and in doing so, it unlocked willing commitment to act rather than hierarchical compliance.
Putting shared values at the heart of the Change Day provides an authentic ‘call to action’ to which others with a similar outlook responded. It makes Change Day not only an opportunity to do something that would be of benefit to others, but also to express support for the NHS as an institution and the shared values that it represents.
NHS Change Day creates a sense of urgency by focusing on a single day of collective action. In many cases Change Day gives the necessary prompt to galvanise and amplify activity that may sometimes already be planned and promotes the idea of distributed leadership as it has a low threshold for participation.
The design of NHS Change Day is unique and offers interesting lessons for technology stakeholders in healthcare to take away. More often than not, technology and the internet democratizes information and can lower the threshold for participation in the management of healthcare. Technology has always been poised to solve the big healthcare issues but it can be incorporating the simple lessons of a social movement that can be enough. As healthcare becomes increasingly dependent on technology, let’s look to NHS Change Day to ensure improvement continues in the NHS. Check out changeday.nhs.uk to find out more.
The biggest healthcare social movement the world has ever seen [Link]. That’s something else worth fighting for. The obstacles you have to overcome in the systems you work within. The irony of being a radical in a radical team. Small skirmishes that sharpen the sword.
Late twenties is the weird age where you aren’t sure if you’re old enough to be acting like an adult. Or young enough to be masquerading as a young ‘un. In your twenties you learn that you never really become an adult, just that people start expecting you to act like one. So you start pretending to be grown up, even though you still feel like a child
I don’t have many goals in my life. Find the ying to my yang. See west ham win a trophy. Simple, me. My parents visited just a few days ago, thanks to the cultural-identity-personality-complex my old man invites on me, I’m really not sure which battle I’m going to dedicate my life to. I guess it’s important to learn.
Roll on 2014, 2013 has been a strong year. West Ham are still in the Premier League, I imagine we can win the league one day before I die. Seriously. I might just place a bet on it. I mean I took a couple of major risks this summer; quitting my job at one of the world’s biggest health consulting firms, just after getting accepted to do an Executive MBA at one the top International Business Schools… and instead of having another comfortable job to go to, I did a whole lot of random stuff instead. The office of the Mayor of London, Collabocart, Health Policy debates…this summer has been a journey.
F**K your comfort zone. It does not deserve to exist. Annihilate that bitch.
All throughout your life, it’s always been the one thing that stands between who you are, and who you want to become. Every time an opportunity has come up to step out into uncharted territory, to do something that would fulfill your soul, it’s been the invisible hand that squeezes the back of your neck and pulls you back at the very last moment.
Make a list of everything that you’ve always wanted to do, but you’ve always let fear hold you back from doing. And one by one, starting with the smallest, do them. I’m incredibly grateful to having my old man as my old man, and best friend. As a Pentecostal-Gospel Christian, my old man was always into harnessing spiritual, psychological elements of life. Unfortunately, no one told him the Uri Geller tapes (yeah, this was a long time ago kids) he bought were to be taken with a pinch of salt and his ramblings about bending spoons soon left a mark on the congregation. I love that man. He keeps leaving marks on me that encourage me to be better. Right now, he’s in Nigeria managing his retirement portfolio. My earliest life memories are staying in the battered Nissan, whilst he and my mum cleaned offices in Central London. Babysitters wasn’t really a Nigerian concept. When we got a little bit older, we then helped take the rubbish bags down the stairs and remove the expired milk from the back of fridges. Fast forward and I’m calling him from one of these London offices having just discussed the agenda for influencing policy on A&E with key stakeholders.
I remember coming home from school to see him transfixed at the TV screens immediately after 9/11. He told me in 4-6 years time, Islamaphobia would increase as a result of this and we had a discussion about immigration policy. My mum worked in the housing sector of Tower Hamlets, her stories about public housing policy were just as interesting. In and around all of these discussions and thoughts were obvious connections, well to me at least, about the role and effects these things have on our health.
Some people say that we choose our Destiny. This can come about by an act of steel will or by unattended default. By action or inaction, we all arrive at a Destiny. One may see Destiny as a destination but it’s really a manifestation of the journey and the arrival, the crystalized understanding of your purpose. It doesn’t half help when you have a spiritual God-given theology to drive home the message either but my fortune of late hasn’t been half bad, I think.
I don’t know what the inevitable course of events for what someone like me is. Some people seem to have an idea and won’t hesitate to foist it on you. I’m grateful when people divert me away from journeys they (and I, initially) don’t realise aren’t irresistible course of events for myself. And when a path initially looks closed, I go back to the drawing board, read from others and sharpen my instruments to chip away at the block in my path.
I wish I knew what my ‘love-destiny’ was. I have a rough idea, but would like a definitive one… How does love really work?
When you have problem-solving skills that work wonders for your clients, helping them figure out how to satisfy shareholders and patients, whilst solving healthcare problems… is satisfying. Giving advice to health policy experts over dinners next to the Thames is equally satisfying. Helping support people getting engaged in positive change, just as satisfying.
Whenever you’re at a crossroads, feeling uninspired or lazy – do what the person you want to be would do. You have a purpose, you have a vision and no matter what, you have a Destiny. The course of action adopted and pursued by a government or political party can be said to be what ‘policy’ is. Luck has little to do with anything, but rather the strength of our imagination… and if I believe West Ham can win the league one day, well you know what sort of daydreamer I am then don’t you? Roll on 2014, 2013 has been a strong year.