Monday, June 23, 2008

A fantastic ambassadorial effort

Today I went up to the House of Commons with Deputy Leader Alex King and Chief Executive Peter Gilroy, where Kent County Council and policy group Westminster Advisers hosted a conference on TeleHealth; an innovation which uses new technologies to assist those with chronic long term conditions to monitor their vital signs, such as blood pressure, blood oxygen and blood sugar from the comfort of their own homes, sending the data to their GP by telephone.

Just under a hundred delegates attended from the NHS, local authorities and primary care trusts, as well as service users and their carers and families. I made the point in my welcome that it wasn't about the cost, or the process, nor about whether it was health or social care who got most benefit. It was about the outcomes, about how this programme was changing people's lives for the better.

Speakers from KCC, the NHS and the British Heart Foundation came next, together with a fascinating question and answer session chaired by Nigel Hawkes, Health Editor at The Times.

After the formal session, there was a formal lunch in the Cholmondeley Room at the House of Lords, where Earl Howe, the Shadow Minister for Health gave an excellent address in support of our project and giving a clear vision of health and social care under a Conservative government. Finally, Peter Gilroy gave a typically incisive view of how demand was moving forward rapidaly and what KCC was doing to shape future provision.

Alex King summed it up. "One of the best seminars I've been to in years..." he said "...and a fantastic ambassadorial effort by KCC."

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