Reflections of a green ecosocialist.
"The time has come the walrus said
To talk of many things
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax
Of cabbages and kings"
Lewis Carroll: Alice through the Looking Glass
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Patients Forum London Ambulance Service AGM - New Chair and Recommendations
On Monday night we had the AGM of the London Ambulance Service Patients Forum, the largest patient and public involvement body in the country. I was elected as the new Chair of the Forum succeeding the well known health activist, Malcolm Alexander, who became the Vice Chair.
As guest speaker we had the Chair of the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust. The Forum made a number of important recommendations in our Annual Report which was presented at the meeting. They are:
Equal access and choice of services and treatment. LAS services should be fully accessible and available to all. Neither physical nor mental disability, health problems, language nor any aspect of a person's social, ethnic or cultural being, should reduce access to services.
Clinical partnership with other care services. The LAS should actively work with hospital A&E departments and other healthcare organisations to jointly improve care and care pathwas for patients.
Training of paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. The LAS should ensure that all paramedics and emergency medical technicians have access to all appropriate training and ensure their development as the most effective practiitioners.
Alternative ways of providing emergency and urgent health care. New ways for the LAS to provide urgent care through NHS Direct and community based services are welcome. However, these new pathways must be robust enough to give confidence to the public and LAS crew that they will be available when required, clinically appropriate, fully funded and subject to regular clinical audit and tests of reliable and continuous access.
Non-emergency care. The LAS should introduce maximum waits for patients who need help, e.g. older people who have fallen but may not need an emergency or urgent care service.
Mental Health Services. Significant improvements are needed to ensure that people with severe mental health problems that become ill in the street or in their homes and require emergency care, are treated by paramedics and emergency medical technicians who have specialist training in the care of people with mental health problems.
Patient Transport Services. The LAS should actively support the Patients Forum Quality Standards for PTS. These promote highly effective patient transport services, which are built around dignity, the needs of users and their active involvement in the monitoring, assessment and development of the service.
The Forum will be busy over the next year especially with the new proposed changes (yet again) to the NHS in London and the prospect of the LAS becoming a Foundation Trust next spring.
Joseph Healy stood as the Green Party's Parliamentary Candidate for Vauxhall at the last general election.
Joseph was also Number 4 on the Green Party's European list in London.
He was Male Co-Convenor of Green Left, the ecosocialist, anti-capitalist platform within the Green Party, for two years and was the Secretary for the last year. He is an officer of Coalition of Resistance, the leading anti-cuts campaigning organisation. He resigned from the Green Party this February in protest against the Green Council in Brighton & Hove voting through budget cuts.
He has also been recently elected as the Treasurer of Queers Against the Cuts.
He was also the Green Party's delegate to the Stop the War Coalition and an active anti-war campaigner.
He is an active trade unionist and a member of UNITE.
He was working for four years as director of a Pan London disability charity in Brixton (Transport for All) campaigning for better accessible transport for disabled people and is himself disabled. He currently works for Lambeth's main disability organisation, Disability Advice Service Lambeth on a part time basis.
After having been Vice Chair of the London Ambulance Service Patients Forum, the largest public and patient involvement group in the NHS, he was elected Chair in 2010 and re-elected Chair in 2011.
He was also active as a pioneer in the LGBT rights movement in the Irish Republic in the 70s and early 80s and has campaigned strongly in London on issues connected with HIV and health.
Joseph lives in Camberwell with his partner and his cat.