Meeting RNIB At Focus

It’s almost a year since I swam a mile in aid of local charity Focus on Blindness (pictured), and this evening I went to an event hosted at Focus in  Harborne. It was organised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). They had invited local politicians (there were 3 of us, one from each of the 3 main parties) and service users along for a discussion to flag up some of the problems blind people face.Jan 09 203

Amongst the problems flagged up was the fact that some Focus activities are funded by HOB (Heart of Birmingham teaching PCT) specifically for people registered with a Birmingham GP. Two people tonight explained that although they lived within Birmingham, they were registered with GPs outside of the city boundary, and therefore could not qualify for the services.

It was also explained that there was a variation of help offered depending which of Birmingham’s 3 PCTs people lived in. The PCTs are looking to re-organise and possibly move into one commissioning PCT so I asked the professionals if they thought moving to one PCT in Birmingham would help this situation where there was a variation of service.

 Interestingly, reservations were expressed about such a move because it was  felt that just having one PCT in Birmingham might make it too large and unwieldy an organisation to be effective.

I am sure there will be a lot of arguments both for and against moving to one commissioning PCT over the coming months, which Health Overview & Scrutiny (the Council committee which I chair) will be considering.

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