Sunday, November 17, 2013

What do you want?

I recently had a go a cutting my throat. Needless to say, it wasn’t a clean sweep, otherwise I would not now be writing this column. Either that or I would be making a small post-mortem fortune in describing the true goings on from the ‘other side’. My wife immediately suspected that I had been listening to Mahler’s 5th Symphony; for me, a wonderful work with an unfathomable depth of emotion to it. For my wife, it represents a morose person about to commit suicide. It is interesting how music affects people in different ways. However, the truth is that I was not listening to Mahler.

Neither was I contemplating whether to interview the young doctor who put in his curriculum vitae that his hobby was listening to ‘vintage rock’. It was the word ‘vintage’ that stopped me in my tracks (sorry; for those who still have LPs stored in the loft, I couldn’t resist that pun); as he then went on to explain that the term ‘vintage’ meant music from the 60s. As I was born in 1960, it was a new experience to be considered by implication as ‘vintage’.

No, the truth of the matter was that my razor head fell apart; giving the blade a new found freedom that heretofore it had only dreamt of. The result was a one inch gash a little too close to my left carotid artery for comfort. Fortunately, I survived the auto-mutilation and can now devote some time to contemplating how I wish to continue keeping well and live an independent life in North Lincolnshire. Which is all a very long-winded way of bringing me to the point of this week’s subject.

North Lincolnshire’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is, since April 2013, the organisation responsible for buying health services. The CCG is now keen to know your views; views that will help to inform how services are developed within our county. The question being asked is ‘what needs to happen so that you and yours feel confident about keeping well and living an independent life to the full?’ The CCG is keen for people of all ages to contribute to this learning process. What would make a difference for you and your family? How do we need to develop health and social services to help and support your aims and needs?

There are two ways in which you can become involved with this important survey. The first is to simply go on-line and complete a survey heregiving us the opportunity to see how you see life. The second is to attend a public meeting on Thursday 27 June 2013 between 9.30 – 14.30 at the Wortley House Hotel, Rowland Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire DN16 1SU. The organisers say that the event will be ‘fun, inspiring and you will learn a lot’.

Finally, if you want to learn more about public health inequalities and what people die of in your area, enter your postcode into the Longer Lives website and see how we compare to other areas: Fortunately, self-beheadings do not seem to feature for my street, so I may be okay for a while longer.

First published in the Scunthorpe Telegraph, 20 June 2013
© Copyright Robert M Jaggs-Fowler 2013       

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