Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Helpful collaboration or sleeping with the enemy - or why is your hair blue?

"Collaborative Care" was the buzz word a couple of years back. I was never 100% sure it wasn't a bit like "The Recovery Model" or "Reconfiguration of Services", i.e. a good excuse for cutting State provision without anyone noticing, but in the sense that it was used to mean that people who are unwell need a circle of care rather than one great healer, I approved.

I didn't hear it directly referred to this EDIC. Hopefully that's not because the research and treatment worlds are busy working on new and improved techniques for parentectomy, but rather because it is now taken for granted, oh and because no one can possibly make any more cuts by stealth.

Hard fought for, or taken as read, collaboration isn't always easy, or right. When it is with the illness we smugly call it "collusion" as if we're always able to tell the difference between the best interests of the individual and the disease. In war, business or politics it can be referred to as "sleeping with the enemy" but who is my friend and who is my enemy?

I sniffily pooh pooh the private sector and rant against the allocation of resources that could stay within the NHS to private providers. Yet some of the most sympathetic and kind people I've talked to at conferences have been from private facilities, and anyway, the GP's surgery, the backbone of the NHS, has always been a private business. As someone who has been brought up in the ED world to seek evidence based care, I am naturally drawn to collaborating with those who aim to provide it, only, sometimes, to find that they aren't in the least bit interest in collaborating with me or mine. I was thrilled at the idea of collaboration between drugs companies and ED researchers. Think of all that lovely money, and the acceptance and fighting of stigma that it can buy. A dedicated and thinking friend was appalled.

For what it's worth, I am delighted at the collaboration between BEAT and FEAST for EDIC that allowed me to have a fantastic time laughing and eating and sharing the secrets of having blue hair with Laura. I don't personally go for campaigns collaborating with the popular press, or centred on the fashion industry, or concentrating on teaching me to love my body, but I'm OK with the idea that others may wish to. I'm proud, when asked why my hair is blue, to give two answers. The first, to those who might have an academic interest (or cough up some money) is that it is a fund and awareness raiser for an initiative in collaboration with Kings College. The second, to family and friends, is that is is in collaboration with my dear friend Laura to honour Charlotte. Yes, both those links are the same.

1 comment:

Laura Collins said...

Can't tell you how glad I am to share blue hair with you, dear Marcella. We are twins!!!