"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Phantom Listening Events

After my post about Lansley's phantom listening events, Joe Farrington-Douglas (@joefd on Twitter) points me to the following Commons order paper where John Healey asks for a written reply to the following questions:

101 To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the oral Answer to the right hon. Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark of 26 April 2011, Official Report, columns 3-4, on NHS reform, how many of the 119 events organised centrally had been organised prior to the announcement of the NHS Future Forum. (54868)

102 To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the oral Answer to the right hon. Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark of 26 April 2011, Official Report, columns 3-4, on NHS reform, what the (a) date, (b) location and (c) attendance list was of each of the 119 events. (54869)
Question 101 is important because it ensures that Lansley isn't just re-badging normal, scheduled staff meetings as "listening events". If they are to be serious events they have to be separate and scheduled as such. Question 102 is important because we will be able to see who are being listened to and how easy it is for them to get to the event. If events are scheduled in a way that people cannot attend then they cannot be regarded as true listening events. For example, have a look at this tweet from Richard Caulfield (Voluntary Sector North West):


If you are keen to get as many people as possible to comment, then you must make sure that you don't put obstacles in their way, like scheduling the meeting at a time that would involve a peak time rail ticket, or an overnight stay.

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