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Scrutiny and the yellow jersey

The sporting event of the year for me is the Tour de France – an awe-inspiring three week ordeal that pits man and bike against mile upon mile of impossibly steep mountains, treacherous cobbles, rolling hills and wild crowds of spectators, baking sunshine, wind and rain to secure one of sport'...

Back to school

So what do you think of when you look back at your school years? Were they a time of opportunity, opening up new possibilities? Or were you miserable, counting down the days and wishing they were over? Or maybe, like most people there were good times and bad? I have to say, I loved school. For me...

Where have all the nurses gone?

I'm writing a new verse for the 1960s anthem "Where have all the flowers gone?" for the adult social care sector- here it is: Where have all the nurses gone, long time passing? Where have all the nurses gone, long time ago? Where have all the nurses gone? Gone to hospitals, every one...

Conference Season

It's the conference season in health and social care- as providers, commissioners, people who use services, carers and others gather together in different venues across the country to learn from each other, pick up good ideas and hopefully be inspired to do something different back at base....

Care Home Open Day

The third Care Home Open Day took place on Friday 19 June – an annual opportunity to strengthen links between homes and the local community, celebrate good care and recognise the contribution of countless dedicated staff and managers across the country. From tea parties to sing-a-longs; barbecues...

Good guys sometimes get the gongs

Among the high profile celebrities on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, there were some real gems for us to applaud. Whether you approve or not of the honours system, it still is the major game in town for a public opportunity to say thank you and well done to people who have given great service...

Wit and wisdom

Singer Peggy Seeger is 80 next week and is celebrating this milestone by touring with her sons to sell-out crowds across the country. I was there on Saturday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and what a wonderful night it was. As feisty as ever, funny and insightful her beautiful voice and chatty...

Improvement top tips

On Friday I was speaking at a conference focusing on breaking down the barriers between health and social care to promote integration. Under the banner of #AllTogetherNow, the joint organisers Care England and the Royal College of Nursing had assembled an impressive array of speakers. The morning...

A night in Berlin

A strange thing happened to me at the weekend. I was in Berlin walking home with a group of friends after a lovely evening. A very drunk young man fell over as we passed by, got up and started hurling abuse at us- in pretty good English. Like the rest of the group I tried to avoid and ignore him...

Displaying ratings – answering your questions about CQC posters and widgets

The public have a right to know about the performance of the health and care services they use. This information is easier to find now that such services are required by law to display their CQC ratings on their premises and on their websites. We’re in the process of rating most types of service...

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