● I’m in a daze coming back from a regional joint commissioning meeting, and my colleague from the primary care trust feels sick. I’ve listened to joint commissioning managers blathering on about commissioning strategies, plans and frameworks. These people have built careers about talking, quite frankly, bollocks and never get their hands dirty.
It was when one of the regional officers got up and described how one authority had “begun to take greater advantage of the synergies within the organisation and to address some of the challenges around joint commissioning by developing a centrally led procurement and contracting group with bold but fragmented lines to strategic commissioning priorities” that I blew:
“Has anyone here ever done any social work? I mean, has any of you ever seen a child?!”
I sat down, tumbleweed blows through the room but no one answers in the affirmative. I try to rationalise my rant: “The point I’m trying to make is what’s the point of all this if it doesn’t make any difference to the people we serve?”
This is a cue for a colleague to tell me about “the importance of clear and meaningful consultation with all stakeholders and service users in the form of a corporately endorsed participation strategy”.
I give up and turn to my PCT colleague for support and realise she is sick with embarrassment.
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