Well we are all of us in 2008, what will it bring? Lots I hope, but you can bet one one thing some of us will have a hard fight on our hands when it comes to changing things for the better re health and what are so called political masters both national and local have in store for us. Lets look at health, and the problems stroke survivors have getting what they need so they can reach the recovery they are entitled to reach, yes there has been a new consultation document called A New Ambition for Stroke, it all reads well, then it has been reading well from the early 90s when the evidence was there then stating what was needed to deliver good and comprehensive stroke services throughout England, and again in the early 2000s, when standard 5 again showed what was needed. But in both cases, services were not implemented across the country, it was patchy and fragmented in most areas, no one was responsible for delivering or owning the plan, so in many areas lip service was the only thing delivered.
In this/my area we are lucky we have people working within the stroke service who are pro active and who were not prepared to see stroke patients, survivors their carers and loved ones be treated second class, or listen and take the crap from some managers who could not see the woods from the trees, or who would only see things in monetary terms.
I still fear for the some areas that have little or no stroke service to speak of, for nowhere does the New Consultation Document show who will take control and ownership and who can be held to account if they do not deliver what is being suggested, who is going to fight for these people?
You can bet one will step forward to say they will the way they have for years, but they will look closely at their funding and standing within the political spectrum first, as their top priority. cynical, who me? Will we be going through another consultation in five years? Hope not.
I have seen the face of the so called professional bodies who say they help or who say that they know what is best for me and other stroke survivors, when we were fighting for our stroke service in the late 1990s one stroke charity refused point blank to help us in my area.
I, would like to see more user/carer groups set up and take things into their own hands on their local stroke services and how they wish them to be, get involved, sit on committees and groups, I would like to see the Government speak to groups like this more often and stop just taking notice of a stroke charity who are not capable in my view of expressing my concerns in my way and with my passion and knowledge of stroke.