Friday, 6 February 2009

Your voice on health services

And invitation to speak up, wherever you are

Yesterday, Norman Perrin wrote as follows on his blog:

Patient Opinion was founded by Paul Hodgkin a GP in Sheffield who wanted to make the wisdom and insights of patients, available to the NHS. The old ways of doing this – inviting a patient to sit on a working party or carrying out a survey – did not work very well so he devised Patient Opinion as a way for thousands of patients to both share their own experience and gain support form others.

The initial phase of Patient Opinion was funded by the Department of Health and South Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority. From 2006 Patient Opinion will be funded by selling data back to hospitals and PCTs.

Patient Opinion is managed by a team headed by Paul Hodgkin and has its own independent board. It is entirely separate from the NHS and is structured as a company limited by shares.

Yesterday afternoon Conductive World drew reader' atention to this (see previous posting, 'Nice one Norman'), asking 'What about a Patient Opinion for special educational needs (or indeed for all services for the disabled)?' It gave its own answer:

What a wonderful idea. It would be applicable right across the world, at least in all those countries where the state provides (and predetermines) services for disabled children and adults, and their families.

Is there no one with the determination and energy to take on this challenge?

And invitation to Conductive Education, everywhere

This afternoon Paul Hodgkin posted a response to this on Conductive World, as a Comment to yesterday's item. In case people missed it, here it is again:

As one of the team behind Patient Opinion it's great to be able to add some additional points:

1. It really does work. Comments from patients, carers and staff are thoughful and make really useful suggestions. What's more, increasing numbers of trusts are posting responses that show that they are making improvements or thinking hard about the comments.

2. It would be great to have comments from users of conductive education about their experiences of health services in the UK

3. So far as spreading world-wide goes we would be happy to share the system with any social enterprise sigining up to the same values and an open-source approach.

Do get in touch if you are interested, at

Conductive Education is often criticised (not solely by outsiders!) for trying to go it alone, with few or zero relevant alliances with those already engaged and experienced in congruent struggles. Here's an open-door to make your individual voice heard.

The British NHS

Remember that this applies to dealings with the British National Health Service (not what used to be called 'education' or social services). That still encompasses a multitude of evils. For example, what about those physios who unlawfully, unethically and againt their own code of practice, threaten to block access to NHS services unless parents withdraw their children from CE programmes?

Adult or child services, hospital- or community-based, specificly CE-related or on more general matters, if you have something to say, take this opportunity to say it. Remember a fairly golden rule: if you don't do it, no one else is likely to do it for you.

Outside the UK

Patient Opinion offers a useful model for improving health services for the benefit of their users.

Take note of Paul's invitation and if you are interested and fit his criteria drop him a line for an informal discussion of possibilities.

Education (or as it's currently called in the UK, 'children')

The Great Unaccountable, with all its insufficiencies and injustices, continues on its its jagganaut path, crushing the hopes and expectations of so many families of childen with disabilities (not solely with respect to Conductive Education and not solely in the UK.

Something will happen in the education sector, like Patient Opinion in the health sector, only when someone takes up the gauntlet makes it happen. It seems therefore worthwhile to reiterate and emphasise the challenge thrown down in yesterday's item:

Is there no one with the determination and energy to take on this challenge?

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