Sunday, 22 December 2013

Some Things that Matter to Me on the Sunday before Christmas

Last week was full on with everyone trying to get themselves sorted before leaving for their Christmas break. I had back to back meetings from start to finish almost every day. There was often little time to stop and think, and that mattered to me. In fact, last week there was quite a lot that mattered to me.

Hearing that my long term friend from Finland was working his last week, and retired on Friday – and that he had finally done so and with happiness in his heart mattered to me. Hearing that my friend from Holland had her hip operation postponed again and thus leaving her in pain and lacking mobility, mattered. Enjoying catch up meals and or a glass of wine with friends here in the North West, and hearing all their news, sharing time together, exchanging gifts, good and bad news, smiles and laughter, all mattered to me.

Being able to sort out student bursary problems, lost exam papers, and a chance to re-submit failed work before students settled down for their Christmases, mattered, to them and to me. Seeing the smile of relief on the young man sitting opposite me on the late night train from Manchester, his relief was a consequence of  knowing he was finally on the right train and going home, mattered. 

Hearing favourite Christmas carols and songs in the shops, bars and radio, seeing the twinkling lights, smelling hot chestnuts roasting on the street stalls, smelling cinnamon candles burning in the house, tasting the mid-morning mince pie, seeing the smiles on colleagues faces at the School Christmas do, all of which mattered to me.

On Friday I met with colleagues from the Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The CCG was one of the 200 organisations that are responsible for commissioning almost £70 billion worth of health care services, provided in both hospital and the community. I was there to discuss how the University could help them with their work in transforming health and social care for the people of Salford. 

They were person centred in everything they did and thought. Their approach to providing health and social care was predicated on a very simple, but what I thought was a very special thought: moving their approach from concentrating on ‘what’s the matter with you’ to better understanding ‘what matters to you’. They were people after my own heart.

And I hope that you all have a very merry and relaxing Christmas!