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Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 6 January 2012 - 10:45am

I don't know what it is about the New Year but I always have this desire to tidy up and throw stuff out. I have been having a major clear out in my somewhat untidy office. I tend to keep things for longer than I should so it's always a rather interesting time when I come across old papers or momentoes. Sometimes I can't bear to throw them out so I redistribute to grateful staff and suggest they will be educative!

My extensive collection of photos is expanding around the office. I have a great new crop from Perth CHOGM. And an African wooden Chiefs stick which is a symbol of authority and makes a good gavell for me to hammer on the table when my Directors start ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 5 January 2012 - 10:54am

A fascinating documentary on King George V on Tuesday. No one would claim George as a great intellect. He was a terrible father and more interested in shooting animals than reading books. He was however an incredibly good Monarch. Why?

His leadership style was based on a sound common sense approach and a gut instinct in handling difficult situations. These are , in fact, key leadership attributes. I've often been struck by how important a role instinct plays in making decisions as a CEO.

I can point to a number of occasions when the logic or advice I received pointed to a particular decision but I knew it wasn't quite right. Sometimes I bowed to the advice- only to find my instinct was right. Other times I plowed ahead on my instinct and found I was right. But sometimes wrong so it's not an infallible guide to success. But then the leadership job is made up of these types of challenge.

Now this is not to suggest you ignore all advice or press ahead ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 4 January 2012 - 1:46pm

That's our health service. We all saw the reports from the Care Quality Commission about the appalling standards of care for old people in some hospitals. We now have a report from MENCAP which suggests that enduring "institutional discrimination" among doctors and nurses has contributed to the deaths of 74 vulnerable patients.

The 74 patients' deaths over the past decade were either caused or complicated by mistakes in hospitals and decisions by staff who failed to treat them properly and displayed ignorance or indifference to their plight, according to Mencap .

Inquiries by Mencap into the deaths raise searching questions for the NHS, which has been criticised in a series of recent reports for providing poor care, especially to older patients. The parliamentary and health service ombudsman, Ann Abraham, has already ruled that four of the cases highlighted were avoidable deaths and found serious failings in eight others. Inquest verdicts also confirm failings ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 31 December 2011 - 6:45pm

A Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope the jubilee year of 2012 will prove more propitious for our sector.

Let's face it , 2011 has been difficult! The signs for a more prosperous year are not good. We know that councils plan more cuts. We know the health service is cutting back. Recession will bite harder. So the leaders of our sector will be tested more harshly. And our beneficiaries will continue to bear the brunt of the recession , as unemployment rises, cuts hit deeper for citizens and communities. Their voice must be heard. Their plight recognised. So our role as the " voice of the voiceless" becomes more crucial.

But this will also be the time for us to show innovation and resolve. To take advantage of opportunities to deliver more services and to make the case to councils and health commissioners that we cam provide more focused services . Let's not be victims but make the case for change.

And there will be many occasions to celebrate next year. ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 23 December 2011 - 10:00am

Well , I've packed up , tidied up after a fashion and left for Charlbury. I'm looking forward to the break and all the festivities. I hope you all enjoy a good Christmas. It's a time to recharge batteries. Enjoy fine wine. Good food. Bracing walks. The hound is salivating at the thought of all that left over turkey!

Let me leave you with a thought. I went to the Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols at my London Church, All Saints ,Margaret St, this week. The following words were part of the bidding prayer.

I dedicate it in particular to all our politicians when they come to budget making soon.

" because this of all things would rejoice his heart ,
let us at this time remember in his name the poor
and the oppressed ; the sick and those who
mourn; the lonely and the unloved; the aged and
the little children . "

As recession bites more harshly in 2012 these sentiments need to be written above the door of HMT. Have a great ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 22 December 2011 - 10:00am

Great meeting with John Craig earlier this week. He is working on a project between the Innovation Unit and NESTA.

It's called the " People powered health programme and aims to investigate how people can better manage their health care?

Did you see an important report last week about Diabetes? This indicated that up to 24,000 diabetes-related deaths could be avoided in England each year, if patients and doctors better managed the condition.

The first-ever audit of patient deaths from the condition said basic health checks, a good diet and regular medication could prevent most of them.

Diabetes UK said it was vital the 2.3 million sufferers had top quality care.
The Department of Health in England said shocking variations in care and an unacceptable death toll were evident.

About a third of people in the UK affected do not realise they have the condition.
It means their bodies cannot use glucose properly. If they do not manage it, they ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 21 December 2011 - 9:54am

David Cameron spoke at my old college in Oxford last Friday about the important role religion must play in national life. He was speaking at a service to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. I very much agree with his stance. Politicians should not avoid talking religion , though I would hate if we ever found ourselves landed with the hypocrisy of the American religious right that so mars politics there.

But we should celebrate the contribution that religion makes to our civil life and to a better community. It is very clear that people of faith play a great role in our sector , both in terms of giving and volunteering. The injunction to giving is something that unites Muslims , Christians and Jews .

But I hope it is always in the spirit of tolerance. There is something nauseous about the strident voices of those who denounce others who have different views or approaches to life , whether on the issue of abortion or on homosexuality. You will not be ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 19 December 2011 - 11:47am

Yes,things are tough out there ; my ACEVO North Director , Jenny tells me she was speaking to a CEO in Manchester today whose organisation provides summer play schemes in some of the most deprived wards in East Manchester. They usually run 10 schemes in the 6 week period, this year funding was cut which meant they could only provide 3. The effect was noticeable in the communities with more children playing on the streets and just hanging about.

He thinks it unlikely they will be funded to run play schemes next year at all.The cumulative effect of these decisions across the country mean a significant impact on both social cohesion and the life chances of many citizens. Our sector is at the fore front in tackling these problems but our hands are tied behind our backs by spending cuts.

And one difficult and damaging aspect of all this is that I see CEOs neglecting leadership development. It's understandable that when CEOs are stretched and there is little money that ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 18 December 2011 - 9:43am

Well, an early morning start on Saturday ; off to " News and Things" our local newsagents in Charlbury. to secure a copy of the FT. Page 2 glories in a rather splendid photo of me in Bloomsbury Square leaning against a tree. It's a profile headed " Stephen Bubb, standard bearer for charities and still an iconoclast" , rather flattering , he says immodestly. My brother emails me to point out that in the picture , the tree is leaning right ! A good interview with Sarah Neville , the Public Policy Editor though rather too much use of the vernacular for Mother's taste.

I don't know about weather forecasts; it all sounded very gloomy on the news but up here in West Oxfordshire it was a glorious winter day, sharp cold and brilliant sun. The hound and I headed off to our favourite pub , the Plough in Finstock. This trek involves crossing the Cornbury estate where once Queen Elizabeth I hunted stag among the oaks of the Wychwood Forest. A lovely meal and 2 pints and I fell ...more

Posted By Bubb’s blog
On 16 December 2011 - 10:08am

Well, it was a jolly affair! Our staff lunch was preceded by a Quiz on our membership and our sector and , because Seb Elsworth was organising it , geography !

The photos say it all ( whatever that is.... )