Public Affairs Update
Earlier this month, our Campaigns Manager, Dave Bracher met with Julie Cooper MP, the Shadow Minister for Health & Social Care (Community Health). They discussed NHS Continuing Healthcare in general and particularly funding. Other topics covered were the potential impact of Brexit on the availability of carers, this Autumn’s Social Care Green Paper, and other issues important to SCI people. Going forward, we feel that Julie will be a very useful and influential person in supporting the SIA’s campaigning goals. Indeed, she has already asked five penetrating Parliamentary Questions on our behalf.
Our Head of Public Affairs, Dan Burden also visited the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre in Sheffield, accompanied by Dr Rupert Earl, our Chair of Trustees. They had positive meetings with both the new Centre Manager and the Specialist Consultant, focusing on how we can work together to ensure the highest quality of specialist care provision.
Finally, Dave Bracher attended the “NHS Continuing Healthcare Strategic Improvement Programme – Patient, Public and Third Sector Collaborative Event” in London. This was an opportunity for the NHS Continuing Healthcare Strategic Improvement Programme Team to share important information about the overall improvement programme, and for attendees to input into the development of key projects and workstreams. The event was led by Jim Connolly, the NHS Team’s National Director, who is well known to the SIA and someone whom we’ve worked closely with in the past.
Over the coming weeks, we have four more meetings with Parliamentarians, including one with Sir Roger Gale MP and another with Mark Tami MP (who attended the recent SCI All Party Parliamentary Group). We will also visit Stoke Mandeville, to discuss SCI specialist service provision with Neil McDonald, the Chief Executive for Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust and have a meeting scheduled with Andrew Coxon, who is responsible for the National Spinal Injuries Database.