I apologise for not updating people as to my activities over the past few weeks – holidays, a hectic timetable, personal issues all conspired to make it difficult.
But this week sees me first (Sunday 18th and Monday 19th) at the Party Conference of the Liberal Democrats in Brighton – networking with colleagues from the charitable sector, and lobbying key politicians on the broad agenda of the British Psychological Society.
I’m then, on Tuesday 20th, at a meeting of a newly-convened (and grandly-named) BPS Presidential Taskforce on the future of applied psychology training in statutory settings. This follows from the recent Government announcement / consultation on changes to the funding of a range of healthcare training, and anticipated threats to commissioned training in psychology. It aims to develop a coherent BPS position on these issues before challenged again on these issues externally.
On Wednesday 21st, I’m meeting senior colleagues from the Department of Health / NHS England to discuss the representation of psychology and psychologists in the senior management of the NHS, and (inevitably, therefore) to raise issues of concern and mutual interest.
I’ll then be travelling up to Edinburgh, because I’m due to open a conference on Thursday 22nd in Perth on how psychology can respond to the challenge of compassion in the NHS, especially highlighted by a number of recent enquiries into failings in health and social care.
That evening, I’ll be travelling back down to London for the free annual joint lecture with the British Academy and the BPS exploring the effects of stress on the brain.
Friday allows me time to return home (and attend to some University work), because on Sunday 25th September, I’ll be off to the Labour Party Conference, for more political fun and games… perhaps spiced, this year, by the leadership contest.