The Times, They are a changing

I did not manage to get on the politics show in the end after my last blog. They cut the amount of questions on the show and it seems disability and DLA went. The good news was England won and qualified. while this means the germans are next (the texts already started with my friend rico in leipzig) i am enjoying the euphoria and hoping we can do it sunday. We watched it at work and was nice to share this with colleagues. Just before the game i was interviewed by The Times and made page 5 with a colour picture to boot (wit woo). It is about my personal and general concerns for the medical assessments to be introduced in 2013 for disabled people and DLA. see link for full interview and as always please do feedback on the website, email, twitter etc.

I was very sensible last night in the pub, only had 2 vodkas, because I had annual leave today for something else quite new and cool. Hackney council have asked me to be their ambassador for social care transformation. my role here will change depending on their needs, but essentially I bring a service user perspective of personal budgets and other bits and bobs around business, economics, marketing, charity, disability and so forth. today was their transformation conference held in Stoke Newington town hall. I would say around 100 people attended, mainly service providers. there were talks on what personalisation is, what has happened to date, what needs to happen and the benefits to all engaging. There were then 5 workshops and I facilitated the one on “are you ready for personalisation”. My role was not to give advice or know the answers but encourage debate, info sharing and a feeling of enabling providers to work together. The few service users were passionate about personalisation, despite the skills they had to learn (becoming an employer and so forth). Providers were more apprehensive what this would mean for them. Through healthy debate and explanations on how personalisation is to be rolled out, the room warmed to the benefits and the blue print show. this is a massive shift and change for all stakeholders moving into this new arena of social care. once achieved it will open up many doors for all and enhance many people’s lives. I hope today showed people this and that transformation can go forward with people learning together and improving things together.

Am shattered having facilitated the workshop twice over. not complaining as i thoroughly enjoyed it but its time for a shower, the football and sleep. have a long meeting at work tomorrow before going to Manchester with my PA, Alessandra and her friend Zeina to visit Rich. will try and get a video blog as its been a while and rich usually provides good comedy value. fingers crossed for england sunday hey!