Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pedestrians rule OK?

Today was another of those all too rare opportunities to see the NHS at its best - a doctor giving the impression to an elderly patient that there was all the time in the world to listen to her concerns while skilfully steering the conversation to answer the questions she needed to ask, a really meaningful consultation discussion about possible treatments (including do nothing different) and everyone seeming to come out feeling that things were better than they had been. Yet again I'm reminded that the NHS is not a system but people and when people are allowed to do the job they want to do they do it as well as they can and other people share the benefits. Why oh why do successive governments think they can solve all the problems by tinkering with systems?
This afternoon's meeting was at a venue which is not easily accessible by public transport but has such awful car parking problems that it's not worth trying to take the car either. I opted for the bus to Stockton High St and a walk from there over the bridge across the river and through Teesdale. It was a pleasant walk if a longish one. My point about car parking was made when as I sat down in the meeting room with my water and my papers all out ready to start the chair rushed in and apologised to me for not stopping to give me a lift - he'd passed me but on the other side of the road and it wasn't safe to stop. He'd then spent so long finding a parking spot and walking from it that I got there a good 3 minutes before him! I did pick up a couple of interesting points to share with colleagues at the next Western Area Partnership meeting but the afternoon went down hill when the train home from Thornaby was delayed by over 5 minutes which gave time for the rain to start at Eaglescliffe and me to get thoroughly wet walking down from the station. It's summer in England - whoopee.
Before the formal parish council meeting tonight there was a discussion with Stockton's town centre manager about the problems caused by the proliferation of A-board advertising. The whole discussion did seem to be about consulting on a new policy being developed until he said that the policy was already drafted but might need a few little tweaks following the consultation! Yet again a meaningless consultation from Stockton Council. The fundamental issue of whether or not to allow such boards wasn't really being considered, just how they should be regulated. So those who struggle with eyesight problems, those whose mobility is such that they need a wheelchair, those who push prams around the streets, will still have to struggle but they'll have the "consolation" that the obstructions are licensed. So that's all right then.

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