Surgery at Wood Green library – from which I exit in order to run to the Civic Centre where the Public Inquiry on the Hornsey concrete factory plan is being held to make my statement. I do my best to make the Inspector understand that he should uphold the decision of Haringey Council to refuse the scheme. Fingers crossed. I rush back to my surgery and continue to try and help everyone who comes to me. Surgery is pretty draining. So much desperation, need and unhappiness. One man sobbed today.
I then go to meet the Learn Direct team and HALS – so that I can know more about what is available to skill people up so that they can engage better in work or whatever. Very impressed with the whole team. Clearly Learn Direct is helping raise education and skills for those people who, for whatever reason, missed out on some of their education.
And then last port of call of the day is a visit to meet the Chief Executive of the Whittington Hospital. Ostensibly it is a meeting so that we can meet. But I suspect from the conversation that he had been surprised by the coverage of particular complaints with regard to care that elderly people received when they were at the Whittington. I had written to the Secretary for Health describing the cases as a way of suggesting to the Minister that there needs to be some attention paid to whether these are infrequent occurrences or whether there is nationally any need to review training etc.
I found the Chief Exec extremely easy to get on with and look forward to working closely on health and public health issues. From what we discussed, the Whittington is actually doing pretty well. Forgetting the stars (not my favourite system) they are hitting their targets, they were not one of the hospitals on the recent expose of dirty hospitals and it looks like they will have a balanced budget this year. But even more importantly, I felt that Mr Sloman really cared about delivering good services at the hospital. And in the end – that is what counts the most. It is always down to people and leadership. We agree to meet quarterly to keep updated on all the key issues and hope to be able to attend the opening of the new building in the spring.