Saturday, April 21, 2012

The time is...now


6 months into a new way of working in diabetes care and into my heaving inbox drops an email from our local Commissioners bearing words of praise, bearing encouraging news that patient and primary care praise has been present, “feedback had been excellent”…and you know what? It felt…nice. I thought back to those days when it started, the planning, the financial modelling, the negotiations, the concerns…and in between all, trying to keep up the bravado in front of senior colleagues, nurses who had placed faith in me..that it was all ok..it was all right..it would work. “Trust me guys…I will deliver” has been a constant façade to maintain- and even though one prides oneself in one’s unshakeable self-belief..it hasn’t been easy. And although one shows the external features of “I don’t care for anyone…”at the end of the day, as any normal human being, appreciation does sit well.

But it has been possible due to the faith put in me by senior colleagues, folks who have been my Consultants and guided me, nurse colleagues who have seen me as a trainee, Community nurses who have shared my vision,GP colleagues who have helped and stood by me, Trust executives who have trusted and of course Commissioners who have believed. So you know what? Something which I don’t do enough…thank you guys and with the deepest humility, it wouldn’t have happened without you all- so do appreciate the whole hearted support.

However, a blog by my wouldn’t have been a blog by “me” if I didn’t aim some guns at some others. My friends and supporters who have stood by me will always and always get my unflinching loyalty…but those who steeped themselves in negativity, tried to undermine what we have tried, spent time more interested in politics and had a façade of patient care….I say again…you are NOT the future of this country. I will send you the feedback not to prove myself/ourselves but to point out squarely to you how something which is built on getting to work with primary care colleagues, treat them with respect..actually works. Step aside and let the ones with belief, passion and fire in their belly do what’s needed for patient care. You have tried, you have argued, you have spent time debating how to entrench yourselves, defend your position and in turn have left the patient wondering who does actually care for them.

I make no apologies for visibly flinching when specialists shout out loud about the "preventable Type 1 deaths" when the naked truth is that in the vast majority of  areas,Type 1 patients ARE under specialist care. Folks..a bit of reality check...it shows WE are not doing well either! As specialists, do we do a fantastic job in all adolescent diabetes patients..no is the stark truth...so why haven't we devolved our resources to tackle this high risk group while being educators for primary care as regards the vast majority of Type 2 patients? Reason is a fear of letting go, a fear what would happen to us, an arrogant belief that "we know best".

Anyhow, enough of folks who wonder about “what if” rather than daring to try something new. Lots of challenges ahead, so who has the time to spend on organisations or individuals who don’t dare to dream? Lots of things in the pipeline..an innovative educational portfolio working in a business like manner with pharmaceutical industry (who themselves deserve a blog in their own right…so forthcoming!); a revamped foot pathway; possibly expansion of Consultant colleague; definite expansion of nurse workforce- and a major area of passion –whereby I will focus my energy and passion in type 1 diabetes care. An area which has been deprived, sucked into the abyss of Type 2 diabetes, an area where we have done a huge disservice to our young patients…so its time to stop that- and as ever, one can only advice nationally, if one has done so locally.
Some colleagues and friends have asked me to slow down, take things easy…and maybe there is a need for that…but you know what? You never know whats around the corner- and I have never done regret. Why come to a point where you regret what one could have done? And the energy and drive is there now…so now is the time to do it or at least give it one heck of a try.

"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying"....so said one of the greatest sportsman ever to have been born, Michael Jordan. And to that I say only one word…Amen.

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