Department of Health Meeting – 2020 Challenge….

Yesterday I was back at the Kremlin Quarry House in Leeds to join a video conference with the Department of Health down in London as part of the Task and Finish Group for the Prime Ministers 2020 Challenge.  I remember, not so long go……saying I would try and avoid back to back stuff…………and this week I find myself with 4 in a row…….🙄always seems like such a good idea at the time of saying ‘yes’……..

The ability to be in Leeds prevents the long haul down to London and is much appreciated. I usually have Philly Hare helping me cope with the vagaries of Quarry House, but yesterday I had a new playmate as the lovely Emily Abbott agreed to be my stand in for Philly, who was elsewhere……..we also had the added bonus of having Jayne Goodrick in Leeds instead of London so we were out in force in Leeds today……

There’s been a few challenges each time we’ve had a meeting there – namely being rushed and only shown to the room at the start time, train tickets arriving at the last minute, to name a couple…..however…….this time the train tickets arrived a fortnight before and I was asked what time I would be arriving, so things are looking up and improving…….brownie point well deserved for effort.

It was a miserable wet day when I set off – very different from the lovely sunny day of yesterday…….however, once we left Hull, on the second train, the sun came out..although the rainbow showed rain was still around………

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Jayne and Emily were waiting for me as planned which was nice, so after a hug and a catch up we headed for the taxi…….

The Kremlin Quarry House, looked as imposing as ever as the train approached Leeds….

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The organisers earned a brownie point for letting us in early, then quickly lost it by mentioning a ‘holding room’ 😱but then earned it back again as no one was in the meeting room and the lady arrived with the tea……..😊phew!

IT support then proceeded to have the brownie point deducted again as the telephone connection didn’t work. While we were waiting it allowed us to take a group photo as we were all on screen.

Jayne, me and Emily....
Jayne, me and Emily….

Anna Gaughan and Jean Tottie then arrived in Leeds too, so numbers were good today…..

David Nuttall, who has taken the place of Lorraine Jackson – civil servant – chaired the meeting – and once IT got sorted and the screen came to life, went round and introduced everyone from London and Leeds. He chaired very well……brownie point…
During the progress update Anna identified the omission of local authority identification from the forthcoming survey – I said it would will also identify areas that are answering and engaged and areas that aren’t responding.We need the info by local authority to give us richer and useable information. I think it was agreed that this would definitely be taken forward as not to, would be missing a huge opportunity…….

Matt Murray was up next in describing the update on the toolkit for involving people with dementia and supporters.
We need to promote and ensure people are aware of the toolkit for engagement – make the principles of engagement something facilitators see first. This was seen as key to ensuring engagement is done correctly……
David Mowat – Parliamentary undersecretary of state for care and support…..is hoping to launch the tool kit and survey at the Dementia Conference………as he’s giving his first key note speech and will make him look good ensure the right message is given …😊

There are still a few issues to sort before then, but hopefully this first phase will be well received. I found it sad that someone commented how he didn’t expect large numbers to complete the survey. There should be lots of enthusiastic and friendly promotion to show how people can get their views heard…………. in my mind if there aren’t large numbers, it’s not being promoted correctly……..

I hope the amendments are made that were proposed as there were some very good points – none more so, than it being key that we set a gold standard for others to follow……

We finished early😳which is a rarity and I had to hope Gemma could pick me up an hour early without it being a pain…..🙄 – I’m sure it was but she was too nice to say…….💐

Photo of kremlin from it’s better side…..
Photo of kremlin Quarry House from it’s better side…..
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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

2 thoughts on “Department of Health Meeting – 2020 Challenge….

  1. Gosh, what a busy time you’ve had Wendy! I’m feeling quite exhausted at the thought of all that travelling! 😉 I used to love train journeys, but can’t manage them any more.

    At age 7 my Mummy put me on the train at Paddington, asked the Guard to keep an eye on me, and sent me off to Ruabon on my own where my Grandparents met me. Steam train back then of course! 🙂 Following year I changed train at Ruabon by myself (oh how heavy my suitcase seemed after just a few yards walking along the platform!), travelling on to Dolgelley (as it was called back then) on what must have been one of the most beautiful branch lines in the UK. Beeching closed it of course.

    Liked by 1 person

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