Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Job - First Day

Been in Cardiff last night and today - at the Village Hotel. It was my first day in a new job. I've been chairing the first meeting of the Welsh Advisory Board of the European Care Group. This rapidly expanding international business is involved in residential, EMI and nursing care as well as the provision of services and care for people whose lives are challenged by mental illness, acquired brain injury, learning difficulties and autism related conditions. This is a testing role for me, because it is an area of activity that is completely new. Which of course makes it all the more interesting.

This afternoon, we visited one of the European Care Group's recently acquired properties located at Porth in the Rhondda Valley. It has accommodation for around 80 and is a mix of residential, EMI and nursing beds. I was deeply impressed by the standards of care. Over the years I have visited several homes of 'mixed' quality. Ty Porth was the best that I have ever visited.

One of the reasons I decided to become involved was my longstanding concern about the way we treat old people and those suffering mental illness. This is one of the biggest problems facing Governments across the world as people live longer and we become more aware of mental problems. I was pleased to see that Jonathon Morgan has 'won' a ballot in the National Assembly to formally request a transfer of power from Westminster to Cardiff Bay (a Legal Competence Order) to reform Mental health legislation. And this morning I was listening to a Westminster Government Minister outlining plans to spend an extra 170 million pounds on mental health illness. At long last this policy area is getting the attention it desreves. I am employed only for about 6 days a year, but I expect to be spending a lot more time on this issue over the next few months.


Dr. Christopher Wood (avatar: "Farscape") said...

Good to read that you have deep concerns about the way we treat old people ("seniors" on this "udder side" of the wee pond).

On another subject, I got the feeling reading your postings that you were very worried about Brown calling an election (along with the leader of your party).

I must say that I am a bit of a loss to understand the panic - Brown's only chance of resoundly winning the election more or less evaporated with the Northern Rock fiasco - Brown might have thought that Northern Rock would not stick to his clothes, but it was inevitable that his credibility would take a bashing especially with talk of a drop in house prices. Brown, imho, has lost all hope of a landslide victory.

About time that MPs were subject to a regular election time like what happens in the USA to avoid PMs like Brown going for it, and then not going for it based on some poll results.

Glyn Davies said...

Chris - I wasn't worried about a snap election. It's just that I prefer a proper campaign.

I disagree with you about the Northern Rock fiasco damaging Brown - at least in the short term. Perhaps it should have damaged him. The Foot and Mouth outbreak should have dameged him even more - because it was the Government that actually caused the outbreak. But Brown remained untouched until his opportunistic visit to Iraq and his dithering over an early election - and then his ridiculous pretence about his reasons for dropping his election plans and for changing his Comprehensive Spending Review. He will find it very difficult to recover now.

Anonymous said...

What's the pay Glyn? Clever name European Care Group for a private care provider, Usual trick of getting ex politicians and local business people to give the firm an air of repectability in the locality when the name of the game is profit and low wages for the staff

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I don't think I can answer your question on my blog - but if you contact me directly I will very happily tell you.

The rest of your post could not be further from the truth. The name of the only game I'm interested in is providing a better standard of care in an industry where standards are extremely variable. Without realising it, you have insulted all those who work in the wonderful care home that I visited yesterday in a deeply unfair way. It seems to me that there is a degree of prejudice behind your comment which puts care of the people who need help second to a political ideology.

Anonymous said...

I would think that quality care for the elderly should be the first priority - wether provided by the state - voluntary or private sectors. The Assembly via its inspectorate provides the same level of standards for all!

Glyn Davies said...

anon - couldn't agree more.