Drug Stabbing Time - Chief Exec's blog

05.07.16

On 28 June 2016, 25 Hampshire based not-for-profits gathered in Winchester to showcase to GPs and other medical professionals how their work contributes to the health & wellbeing of people/ patients. Sadly, the medical professionals did not turn up (we had informed them of the event previously!)

If they had, they would have heard how Rowner Community Trust is working to reduce frequent attenders at local GP surgeries; how Headway improves the lives of people living with a brain injury; how the Nightshelter in Winchester provides not just emergency shelter but also education in cooking, shopping, healthy eating and budgeting. Also support with depression and anger management (and I haven’t mentioned the football and swimming programme!). CIS’ters would have told them about their guide, for GPs and other medical staff, on how to respond when hearing about a domestic violence disclosure; Alabare would have talked about their counselling service for 11-18 year olds suffering from lack of self- esteem and/or bullying (which has led to a drop in attendance at GP surgeries). Step by Step would have showcased their health counselling and substance misuse services; Andover Mind would have presented their dementia advice and older peoples’ community independence service. deafPLUS wanted to tell them about their reablement and mobile advisory services. The Farm Community Network would have shown how they support families dealing with stress in rural communities and how this reduces the need to see GPs. Endometriosis UK wanted to show how their work makes a demonstrable difference to women with endometriosis in Hampshire. I could go on but you get the idea.

So, in the absence of our medical friends, not-for-profit organisations did what they always do – they networked, swapped information and stories and came out with new ideas for delivering even better support to their beneficiaries. They were gracious when I apologised for wasting their time and said it was what they had come to expect from health bodies. However, I still can’t help feeling it was a missed opportunity. Although there seems to be a growing recognition of the contribution of the not-for-profit sector which can help beneficiaries, whilst at the same time relieving pressure on GPs, there hasn’t been perhaps a recognition that good relationships are built on mutual respect and equal partnership.