Future Proofing Health and Care

A really interesting and new update from the Chief Medical Officer on what the next 20 years of healthcare might look like.

Interesting to reflect on the certainty about the future imbued in the language and the power of planners to help negotiate it.

One of my concerns working in the field in primary and secondary care is the limited time and capacity that local practitioners have to reflect on the future of health and care in their communities and plan an appropriate response, because they are just too consumed in dealing with the challenges that are currently presenting and chasing down todays targets and KPIs.

Leeds – Time for A Complete Reset?

I was encouraged this morning to see a tweet from Tom Riordan, CEO of Leeds City Council that suggests that when we look at Sir Bob Kerslake’s report for the 2070 Commission into city and regional inequalities, ten years of the Marmot review into health inequalities and the climate emergency that we need a ‘complete reset’.

A complete reset.

I remember Richard Florida, an academic and practitioner of urban regeneration for many decades, wrote a book about a decade ago arguing for what he called a great reset in urban regeneration . And for him the reset was to be built around a fresh understanding of how regeneration happens. The book was sub-titled – How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

Talking specifically about the regeneration of Pittsburgh, he said…

The most successful examples…result not from top-down policies imposed by local governments but from organic, bottom-up, community based efforts.  While…government and business leaders pressed for big government solutions – new stadiums and convention centres – the city’s real turnaround was driven by community groups and citizen-led initiatives.  Community groups, local foundations and non-profits – not city hall or business led economic development groups – drove…transformation, playing a key role in stabilising and strengthening neighbourhoods…Many of…(the) best neighbourhoods…are ones that were somehow spared from the wrath of urban renewal…

Richard Florida – The Great Reset

It is not about getting citizen led groups to do the work of the state, but about engaging the state in the work of the citizens.  Making a transition as far as possible from ‘authority’ towards ‘enabler’. This really is a massive shift. A paradigm shift in practice, skills, behaviours, values, identity – even purpose. Everything shifts.

This requires community development workers to not be ‘bought’ by the state to foist policy on neighbourhoods.  But to recognise that their role is to facilitate enterprising communities and not to be an extension of the state with a smiling face.

To put communities in the lead.

I’m not sure what Tom has in mind when he talks about a complete reset but I hope some of this very different thinking gets some space in our thinking about health, culture, economic development, education, housing and sustainability.

I’m sure that there are many who won’t agree that a complete reset is needed. Especially those who benefit from the current system. But perhaps it is time that those of of us that do want to see things change found our voice?

If you work in the voluntary, community or social enterprise sector and would like to talk with peers in Leeds about how we might shift the paradigm we have room for a few more at this event on March 12th. Shifting Paradigms…

Wants and Needs

At Progress School we got into a conversation about wants and needs, and the role they play in shaping our reality and our future.

A need is something that we must have in order to survive. Shelter, food, warmth, love, meaning, purpose. Without these we face misery and a premature death. Needs are relatively limited – though some can be illusive.

Not all of them can be bought.

Wants on the other hand are things that you would like to possess, now or in the future. Wants are unlimited and are a bit of dream for sales folk. There is always something else to want. And we are socialised, taught to want.

Because most of what we want does not relate to a need we often keep on wanting and are never satisfied. Our wants can displace our attention from our needs for meaning and purpose, belonging and love. We might want stuff to compensate for the absence of these things.

So when planning Progress ask your self is this a want or a need? Personally I think there is nothing wrong with wanting and getting stuff. as long as it is done with awareness. But if we focus on meeting our deep human needs and those of our friends and neighbours then perhaps we will achieve a much greater sense of joy and wellbeing?