Some Sanity at last
The decision of the Government to accept Birmingham's proposal to merge only Eastern and North Birmingham PCTs is a glimmer of sensible decisionmaking amidst a fog of incompetence.
It will be an interesting test case to see if consequentially we cope better with the financial problems currently facing the Health Service. The government today were still only talking about Period 6 figures. That is not that surprising as they can adjust the end of year figures in all sorts of interesting ways that will be difficult to bottom out. They then can announce end of year figures that are better than period 9 as a result of "brokerage" where the SHA chucks a bung at a trust in deficit on a one-off basis.
Yesterday and Today involves further discussion of the Report Stage of the Parliamentary Scrutiny (Abolition) Bill. It is clear, listening to the debate, that the government do not follow the complex legal arguments today.
Today I also managed to meet up with people from CSCI and the College of Paediatricians. I have argued that:
a) The family court process should be open to scrutiny on a reasonable basis
b) Other aspects of Social Care procedures should be open to more scrutiny with a right for participants to raise concerns in confidence with politicians. The parties should be allowed further discretion.
c) There should be a parents advocate during Child Protection proceedings as a matter of course.
d) The "Independent Chair" of Child Protection proceedings should be truly independent.
We also had a short meeting about the West Midlands City Region which is moving forwards. This is a workable system for bringing better coordination across the metropolitan area (inc Coventry and Telford).
It was also interesting in the Finance Bill Standing Committee (A) that the government really don't understand the issue about first year capital allowances for Small Businesses. If a Small Business makes an extra profit of say £25,000 and invests that in capital equipment for the business they still have to pay tax on the profit even though they have spent the money.
This is same for larger businesses, but the cash flow issues tend to not be as problematical.