The flourishing life: a response to Rick Muir

In 2009 I set out the case for a 21st century welfare state that would replace current transactional models with a more collective, relational approach.  I called it “relational welfare” (I’m hopeless at snappy titles). Continue reading The flourishing life: a response to Rick Muir

Relationships in public services shouldn’t be an afterthought

I’ve been catching up on a Health Foundation report from last year, The Puzzle of Changing Relationships: Does changing relationships between healthcare users and providers improve the quality of care?

There’s lots of good stuff here, including a rapid evidence appraisal of various health interventions to improve quality, such as addressing complaints and using peer support workers. There is also some useful theorisation of different dimensions of the patient-clinician relationship (looking at intensity, formality, power and valence).

What I found particularly interesting were the authors’ reflections of how relationships had rarely been a direct focus of attention in any of the studies they included in the review. Continue reading Relationships in public services shouldn’t be an afterthought

Is our politics ready for relational welfare?

The concept of relational welfare, pioneered by the innovative work of Participle, has been gathering political support in recent weeks. The Labour leader Ed Miliband said in his Hugo Young lecture that ‘the challenges facing public services are just too complex to deliver in an old-fashioned, top down way without the active engagement of the patient, the pupil or the parent’. Continue reading Is our politics ready for relational welfare?

The NHS can’t do it on its own – communities from inner city London to rural Wales are getting involved

This week saw the second NHS Change Day – a grassroots movement of NHS staff, patients and others who make pledges to do something that they believe will improve patient care. It’s a fantastic project, bringing together hundreds of thousands of people’s motivation to make a difference.

It is increasingly clear that the NHS cannot make the changes needed on its own. With long-term conditions like dementia, diabetes and depression rising, ‘business as usual’ services will soon be overwhelmed. Continue reading The NHS can’t do it on its own – communities from inner city London to rural Wales are getting involved

Time to care

I got a letter this morning reminding me I had to book a hospital appointment. As far as I know I didn’t receive the original letter which had a password on it.
I phoned the appointments hotline, and they told me I couldn’t book it without a password, so to phone my GP.
So I phoned my GP who gave me my password, then called the appointment line back.
The appointment line then told me that I couldn’t book an appointment because they had run out at the hospital so I would need to keep calling back to check whether they had put more in the system.
*time passes* Continue reading Time to care

“Hi, How’s your day?”

“Do you want to be part of creating a solution that marries medical expertise with non-medical resources, including peer to peer support, to help people to lead the best life possible not just manage their conditions?”- Job advert for Wellogram Guide

While working as an Assistant Psychologist, I quickly learnt that the dream I had as a student, of what it meant to be a psychologist and the impact I could have on peoples lives, was not supported by the reality of the current health system. Continue reading “Hi, How’s your day?”