July in pho


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July in pho

  1. 1. Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman staff magazine Issue 86/July 2013 Find out more inside Spring into action inPHOmation Reaching the hard–to–reach So long, Jon Ward Glorious Glasto
  2. 2. Press Officer Anne Nicholls tells us all about hard-to-reach groups, and what we’ll be doing, in future, to reach them. Reaching the hard–to–reach 4 19 14 8 InPHOmation says goodbye to our outgoing Director of People & Organisational Development, Jon Ward. So long, Jon Ward One, two, three, four. Dave Riley declares bun war. Find out more about buns, baps, batches and barms than you’ll ever need to know! For sale: one pair of size three wellies. Worn once, hardly used. Camouflage cagoule, size small, never worn. Find out how our designer, Sue Spevack, got on at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Bun fight! HIGHLIGHTS July 2013 Glorious Glasto
  3. 3. CONTENTS Reaching the hard-to-reach 4-6 In the news 7 So long, Jon Ward 8-10 My journey so far 11 Service delivery update 12-13 Glorious Glasto 14-18 Yes, it’s inPHOmation time again. Believe it or not, this is my 12th edition as editor. So I’ve now completed an entire 12-month run without being fired. It’s a miracle. I was going to release a special compendium edition this month, containing highlights from the last year. Unfortunately, this was deemed to be too lazy, so we had to throw something together at the last minute. We’ve got some good pieces for you this month. Press Officer Anne Nicholls tells us all about hard-to-reach groups, we say goodbye to Director of People & Organisational Development Jon Ward and find out how POD’s Tehmina Ansari is getting along on her maternity leave. We also hear from Sue Spevack about her experiences at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Sue’s the person who makes all of our reports and publications look pretty, so we hope the festival helped recharge her creative juices (if it’s possible to recharge a juice). And Dave Riley stirs up a veritable hornet’s nest of controversy with his bit about buns. So that’s it for this month, I hope you like it. I’m off on holiday now, so had to get this edition booted out of the door rather sharpish. Still, it should be up to the usual standard. There’s even a picture of a ninja on this page, and you don’t get many of those in official PHSO literature. Probably for good reason! From the editor Jason Deacy waffles on about what’s in this month’s edition of inPHOmation. Bun fight! 19 A tale of three cities 20-22 The 2013 People Survey is almost here 23 The idiot’s film review 24 Astrology corner 25 What’s on in London and Manchester 26-27
  4. 4. inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 4
  5. 5. One of the tasks in this year’s business plan is to put together a campaign aimed at the ‘hard-to- reach’. This is part of the overall strategy to achieve more impact for more people and encourage more people to complain. Despite a 13 per cent rise in complaints over the past year, awareness of PHSO is not as high as we would like. In the latest PHSO Omnibus survey, just 37 per cent of respondents were aware of the Health Service Ombudsman and 28 per cent had heard of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, but overall awareness has been falling steadily for about a decade. Awareness of the Financial Ombudsman Service, by contrast, is much higher. Awareness is particularly low amongst four groups. Within the 15-34 age group, just 20 per cent had heard of PHSO, compared to 48 per cent of the over-55s. A similar pattern is found amongst black and ethnic minority (BME) groups and in lower social class bands (D/E). We also have evidence that people with learning disabilities have low awareness of PHSO. What does that tell us? We know that most young people and BME groups haven’t heard about us. But this doesn’t necessary mean that we should be targeting them as part of an awareness campaign. Young people, for instance, may not be heavy users of public services, so would not have a reason to complain or engage with us. Those who do have a grouse may prefer to go to campaigning websites, engage with action groups, take part in street protests (smashing up Millbank Tower windows, maybe) or direct lobbying through organisations like the National Union of Students. Nor should hard-to-reach groups be seen as a Press Officer Anne Nicholls tells us all about hard-to-reach groups, and what we’ll be doing, in future, to reach them Reaching the hard- to-reach 5 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  6. 6. 6 homogenous group. For instance, there is a huge diversity between different BME groups that include Asian Muslims, Hindus, East African Asians, British-born people of Caribbean origin, Nigerians, Somalis and many more. Before embarking on any awareness campaign, we need to be sure that we are targeting the right groups with the right messages. Here are some interesting findings about communicating with the hard-to- reach that I’ve gleaned from various online resources and seminars including one run by the BME specialist at No. 10 Downing Street. The overriding message is that research and insight is vital before plunging into a campaign that might fall like a lead balloon. Get the message, tone, language and images wrong and it’s worse than doing nothing at all. But you also need to choose the right communication channels. 20 per cent of the UK population are still not online (they don’t have a computer and internet connection at home) and 14 per cent (around 7 million) don’t use the internet at all. For elderly people in particular, old-fashioned snail mail is more appropriate than email. A campaign to stop plans to do away with payment by cheques, aimed mainly at elderly people, engaged the support of around 50 stakeholder groups, including charities such as Age UK, and then distributed leaflets via relevant channels and intermediaries. Using intermediaries is the key to success because there is a mistrust of authority figures amongst many hard-to-reach groups. That means developing relationships with trusted sources such as charities, peer groups and community leaders. A campaign for better food labelling to encourage healthy eating, for instance, works much better if fronted or endorsed by a charity like the British Heart Foundation, even if the campaign originated from a government department. Finding out where people congregate, whether physically or virtually, is another approach. A campaign aimed at getting people from BME backgrounds to sign up to become blood donors was built around a music event with ‘blood donor ambassadors’ from the local community. To boost attendance, email and text messaging was used. The campaign reached 13,000 people within three months. So what does all this mean for PHSO? We are yet to select the two groups to focus an awareness campaign on because we need better insight into which ones have the greatest need for our services. But there are some clear messages here that will be invaluable when we develop messages and start to put together the campaign plans. We’re working with Research and Customer Service colleagues to move this work forward, so watch this space. Reaching the hard-to-reach Our 2012-13 annual report, Aiming for impact, was published this month. Julie’s introduction to the report begins by saying that ‘Two things have made it possible for us to start to achieve our ambition. Our reputation as a well-run organisation, providing a high- quality service, has been a strong foundation on which to build. And the skill, enthusiasm and commitment of our staff is helping to turn our aims into reality, while still meeting the needs of our customers every day. The achievements in this report belong to them.’ Helen also mentions that ‘Staff were instrumental in driving this (our strategy) forward and their detailed review of our complaints handling process has helped us prepare for growing numbers of complaints in future.’ The report is available to read on Ombudsnet. Before embarking on any awareness campaign, we need to be sure that we are targeting the right groups with the right messages. 6 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 Aiming for impact – our annual report
  7. 7. 77 The coverage in relation to Grant Thornton’s report into the events at Morecambe Bay hospitals, and the CQC’s handling of it has been extremely widespread in the media. The report found no evidence that there was anything improper about the CQC’s contact with us, or that the CQC’s Cynthia Bower sought to influence us not to investigate the Morecambe Bay complaint. Much of the focus has been on the main figures at the CQC at the time and the report into Morecambe Bay which was not released. However, we did receive a lot of mentions. This related both to the reference in the report to finding no evidence of an improper relationship between our offices and the subsequent media coverage of our ongoing investigation into the North West Strategic Health Authority. ‘The Independent on Sunday can reveal the health service watchdog, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), is investigating a number of complaints by families against the NWSHA, known as NHS North West when Mr Farrar was in charge. It is examining the way the authority under Mr Farrar responded to the deaths, how they were investigated, and the supervision of midwives at University Hospitals Morecambe Bay (UHMB).’ Exclusive: The Independent on Sunday A damning email shows the CQC telling police Cynthia Bower could not provide ‘witness statements that would add any value to the investigation’ into the deaths at Furness General Hospital. But the independent report into the CQC’s alleged cover-up claims Bower had been given a ‘flavour’ of the disturbing events at the hospital by the Health Service Ombudsman in 2009. Watchdog lied to cops: The Sun ‘The Health Service Ombudsman has confirmed that it was investigating the behaviour of the now-abolished NHS North West strategic health authority at the time of the failings at Furness, but would not comment on the details of its investigations.’ I refused call to dismiss CQC whistle-blower, says Lansley: The Guardian Also this month, with the continued discussion in the press about the widespread ‘gagging’ culture in the NHS, Julie wrote a piece in The Telegraph describing how this can only be detrimental for patients. ‘…We are seeing a toxic cocktail within some hospitals, where a reluctance to complain is combined with that culture of defensiveness as well as a failure to listen to feedback. Mistakes are covered up rather than dealt with before they escalate into a crisis. This means hospitals are losing the opportunity to listen to complaints and improve services … Mistakes will always happen. But what we want is to encourage hospitals – and other organisations – to embrace a culture of learning from complaints instead of a ‘blame and gag’ culture. Gagging is a symptom of a defensive culture; good complaint-handling is a sign of a more open culture.’ In the Morgan Evans reports on our press coverage inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  8. 8. 88 So long, Jon Ward InPHOmation says goodbye to our outgoing Director of People & Organisational Development inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  9. 9. 99 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 Investors in People (IIP) accreditation that we’ve had since 1999, and has been borne out in our staff survey results. My proudest achievement was probably our People Strategy, which encompassed a vision for what we wanted working at PHSO to be like, what kind of workforce we needed and what we needed to do to achieve that working environment. I’ll really miss the people here, for their commitment, competence, camaraderie, and consideration. The four Cs! In terms of the less positive things, well, while I enjoy a good debate, I think we sometimes agonise a bit too much over detail. We’re a very detail-focused organisation, which is inevitable when you think about what our core business is, and that flows right through the organisation. The problem is that search for perfection can sometimes be the enemy of good, as the saying goes. What were your first impressions of PHSO? Well, after arriving I did wonder what I’d let myself in for as it seemed so backward. It was very strange for me. I’d mainly worked in the NHS in my career, since going into personnel work in 1984. Contrary to popular belief, the NHS is quite a dynamic and fast-moving organisation in many ways. I then became a civil servant when the NHS Executive merged with the Department of Health, but it still wasn’t like the civil service. When I came here, it was totally different, it wasn’t only coming into a civil service-type culture but one that almost seemed to be behind, like a backwater. Mind you, it was exciting in some ways, as there was lots of scope to do things Jon, how does it feel to be leaving PHSO after nearly 15 years? I joined in September 1998 as what was quaintly called ‘Head of Personnel’ as the first professionally qualified Head of Personnel at PHSO. Now that I’m leaving, I’ve got quite mixed feelings. I believe that PHSO’s a great place to work and it’s certainly been good for me and my career. I’ll miss it and I’ll miss the people. That said, I think 15 years was probably a bit too long, and the prospect of leaving now is very exciting and I’m looking forward to doing something different. I don’t know what that is yet, but I’ll take stock after my first decent break in 29 years of working. So, you ended up staying 15 years because of how much you enjoyed working here. What have you loved about PHSO? And what’s got on your nerves? I would say I love the mission of the place, what it tries to achieve. I think the core values we try to live by, excellence, leadership integrity and diversity, are really important. Overall, I think we have lived by them, and I feel they fit with my own personal values. I’ve also loved the organisation’s willingness to embrace and support progressive employment strategies, policies and initiatives. I’ve always felt that PHSO has been completely serious about being a great place to work, in order that people can give their best and provide the best possible service to our customers. There have been debates sometimes about the best way of doing that, but I think the actual commitment to treating people properly has not changed. This is demonstrated by the
  10. 10. 10 and make it better. For example, we had a very antiquated computer system, there was no internet or Microsoft Office. Another peculiar thing that struck me was the way that people were addressed. I was Mr Ward, both in writing and verbally. The Ombudsman also had to be referred to as Commissioner. Formal longhand memos would be written, even though we had a typing pool. Admittedly, there were only two people in the typing pool, but they were underutilised. There were also a lot of eccentrics here. People tended to come on loan from other government departments, which is how our casework teams were staffed. But it was a really bizarre collection of characters. In fact, it was a bit like working in Sgt Bilko’s motor platoon. It made personnel work very interesting as I’d never come across so many strange situations in my working life. Since then, the Office has changed out of all recognition. We immediately started to try and modernise the personnel function, and the Office itself was also in the process of being modernised. Getting IIP was a major step forward, recruitment got much better as we started to take on our own staff rather than relying on loans from the civil service. So there was a change going on under the Ombudsman at the time, Michael Buckley, and we put in a whole suite of employment policies that were much more progressive. So change was already well under way by the time Ann Abraham started as Ombudsman in 2002, but after that the pace of changed quickened even more. It’s really just continued, and I say to people that it feels like I’ve worked for about four or five different organisations during my 15 years here. Each phase of change has made it feel very different, and now we’re a much more professional organisation compared to the well-meaning but amateurish organisation I joined. Ann Abraham’s first presentation to the Office, in spring 2003, spoke about the ‘building blocks of excellence’. These were the basics we had to get in place in order to build to the next level. And Ann had always wanted to have more impact and influence out there, but hadn’t felt ready to push that agenda until we’d got the whole in-house operation sorted out. I think she got to the point where she felt she’d done that, and it needed somebody else to take it forward and that’s what Julie is now doing. It’s interesting to hear the story of that journey, and I think it helps put our current changes into perspective. What reassurance would you give to people in the Office who are nervous about the future? Opportunities arise with any change. I think you have to be positive about what change can bring, and try to shape that change within the organisation. You also need to pay attention to any opportunities that may be available to you, and position yourself to take advantage of them. There will always be chances for talented people to shine out. You also have to be realistic and try to get beyond the denial stage of thinking it won’t happen, or that everything will So long, Jon Ward return to normal afterwards. Change is normal these days and you have to adapt to it. As I say, there has been lots of change at PHSO over the years but plenty of people have been through that journey and are still here. I was clearing out some files the other day, and I came across some files I had about mentoring sessions we ran in 2000. Looking at the list of attendees, 13 of the 30 who came are still here. So even over a period of time like that, covering a lot of change, those people stayed and developed their careers at PHSO. Finally, now that you are moving on, what’s your dream job? What have you always wanted to do? And what do you think you will do? I’d love to have been a professional sportsman, footballer or a cricketer. I support Southampton Football Club, as I was born in London but grew up in Hampshire. I also wouldn’t mind being a professional golfer, or a coach for either the England football or cricket teams. I also wouldn’t mind being the scientist who discovered a cure for cancer. But realistically, I’d like to help young people into employment. I think we’re in danger of throwing a whole generation onto the scrapheap. I was reading in the paper the other day that kids expect to be unemployed for two years. I’ve got two daughters – of 17 and 22 - and having been unemployed for six months myself after leaving university, I know what it can do to you. So if there’s something I could do to help young people get into employment, I think that would be very rewarding. inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  11. 11. I left PHSO in mid-January to begin my maternity leave, and I was really excited. I was about to embark on a new chapter in my life and welcome baby number two into this world. I already have a sweet four-year-old, and can I add, challenging boy. Baby number two was going to be another boy. One person commented ‘you’re going to have your hands full …’ I didn’t know how full until I had the baby and some weeks passed. I heard people comment a few times, when I told them I’d taken 11 months of maternity leave, ‘you must be enjoying your holiday/ long break’. I’m glad to say I am, but with two boys it’s not quite a holiday or a break. It’s extremely challenging (to say the least), but I love being around both of them. The time I’m spending with them is real quality time. I’m now in my sixth month of maternity leave, and I’ve adjusted well to the baby routine (that is, nappies, interrupted nights, feeding, and now a bit of teething). Going through it the second time around doesn’t seem so daunting and stressful. However, this time I had my four-year-old to manage (toddler tantrums, the feeling of attention being shared etc). Thankfully, this has got better! Maternity leave is an absolute must for adjusting both physically and mentally. I’m fortunate that this process has been made slightly easier, due to my parents lending a huge helping hand, and of course my husband has been very supportive. I’m halfway into my maternity leave, and I have to say time is flying by. I’ve been keeping in touch with work colleagues to find out what’s going on and will eventually use some keeping in touch (KIT) days to come into the office, attend meetings and re-engage with colleagues. It will also be good for me to have a break from the baby, just for a few hours. Maternity leave gives us mothers a moment to pause and reflect in a lifetime of work. It’s a gift for us to take a bit of time out – to work out what we really want, and how we’re going to achieve it. It’s the foundation on which we build our future life with our children. Motherhood is extremely rewarding and fulfilling, and I wanted to share this beautiful quote I came across to sum up my journey so far: ‘Children make you want to start life over.’ Muhammad Ali 11 Tehmina Ansari reports on her maternity leaveMy journey so far inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  12. 12. Service Delivery staffing Please welcome James Hughes, our new Service Desk Assistant at Millbank. Feel free to say hello as you see him out and about across the floors! Floor moves and changes in Millbank Over the course of this month, we will be moving people from the 23rd floor to the 21st and 24th floors. This will also involve people moving who are already on these floors. By 1 August, the 23rd floor will be empty and out of use for staff. This is also the date on which we will be giving up the 20th floor. This will enable us to make considerable cost savings and make even better use of our space. Please be understanding while we make changes to our floors to achieve this. We hope to have additional meeting rooms installed on the 15th floor during August and, once in place, they will be available to book on Outlook. River View Café, Millbank In response to your feedback, our catering contractor, Elior, has published a new hospitality brochure. In addition, Steve, our café chef, is always happy to help by discussing any other options or ideas you may also like to consider for your meetings and events. We also want to make the process of arranging hospitality easier for you, so we’re creating an online order form. We hope to have the new form ready for use from 15 July. We will let you know as soon as it is available. You may have noticed that the café now offers a selection of greeting cards for sale. Steve will keep a supply of stamps, in case you need to buy those too. Green Tip Why do we have Zip taps? The Zip taps are better for the environment and use less energy than kettles, based on the volume of water they use. When you boil a kettle, more often than not, you will be boiling cold or lukewarm water. This takes longer to heat up and uses more electricity than the Zip taps, which maintain a water temperature within 0.2 degrees of their set temperature, which is 98 degrees. This temperature is the same as that of water poured from a boiled kettle. The water from the Zip taps is filtered too, which will ensure any delicious limescale and chlorine is removed before drinking. We are also able to use them to provide chilled water, removing the necessity to provide boiling and chilled water separately. Portable appliance testing at The Exchange We will be testing all our electrical appliances in the week commencing 22 July. We’ll give you notice of exact details nearer the time, but please can you ensure that you keep your Service Delivery update Find out what our Service Delivery team have been up to this month inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 12
  13. 13. desk tidy and remove any personal electrical appliances/phone chargers as these should not be left out for testing. Thank you. ICT Meridio upgrade Meridio has been upgraded to the latest version. As this was only a software patch upgrade, there is no additional functionality from the release, however, it has fixed two known PHSO bugs: • ‘Num lock’ should no longer be turned off every time you open an Excel document from Meridio. • Auto-save no longer crashes Meridio Word documents. HR Pro changed to Open HR HR Pro, including HR self-service, has been upgraded; the latest version of the software has been rebranded as Open HR. You can continue to access self-service from the link on the home page of Ombudsnet, and apart from some minor detail changes, you will still find the same options for viewing your personal details, and booking leave etc. by launching a workflow. Any workflow that was already in progress prior to the upgrade can be run from the pending workflow steps option on the left-hand side of the screen. Contact details The Exchange - x4524 / email ++ServiceDesk Manchester Millbank Tower - x4142 / email ++ServiceDesk inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 13
  14. 14. 14 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  15. 15. This story actually started about three years ago, when my friend Bejal and I were talking about going to Glastonbury. We had always wanted to go, but were put off by the thought of mud and living in a tent amongst thousands of other people, who, over the days of the festival, would get smellier and smellier. It wasn’t a pleasant thought. So for the past three years we said we should go and then we’d let it slide, for the reasons above. But then, after Glasto having a break last year, we thought we really should go this time. So we finally took the plunge and submitted our details for registration, back in September last year. Fast forward to 9am on a Sunday morning in October 2012 – with laptop at the ready and fingers eagerly waiting for the ticket window to open. The adventure was about to begin. I must have pressed ‘refresh’ a good 200 times, and almost with a case of RSI, an hour and a half later I finally got onto the payment screen and we For sale: one pair of size three wellies. Worn once, hardly used. Camouflage cagoule, size small, never worn Glastonbury Festival 2013, no mud and hot sunshine – who would have thought it, eh? Glorious Glasto 15 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  16. 16. 16 got our tickets. Phew! Then I went back to bed - I was exhausted after all that effort on a Sunday morning! After celebrating the fact that we got tickets, we decided that we didn’t want to do the tent thing. Seeing as we were first-timers at any sort of camping and festival activity, we opted to hire a camper van. I know what you’re thinking – never done a festival and then doing Glasto? We like a challenge! We left hiring a camper van a little late (about eight weeks before the festival began - note to self, don’t do that again) and we struggled to get a van at a reasonable price that was also comfortable enough to live in for four days. We received quotes in excess of £1,500, I think we could’ve nearly bought a van for that price. Eventually, after a week of phone calls and emails, we managed to bag ourselves a great Volkswagen T5 camper van, with all the mod cons. Well, nearly all, it didn’t have a toilet and shower, but it had a fridge, gas hob, sink and running water, lights, two comfortable (nearly) double beds and heating (just in case). So that was another thing ticked off the list – now all we had to get were the Glasto essentials – wellingtons and a cagoule – and count down the days to G-Day. Thursday 27 June rolled round pretty quickly, and after much deliberation on how much of my wardrobe I could fit in a small case, I set off to Edgware to meet Bejal and pick up the van for our onward drive to Somerset. The van was a lot more spacious then we thought, and Hilary (the camper van owner) diligently showed us the ropes with a lot of enthusiasm – I think she was more excited about it all than we were! And there we were, all packed up and ready to hit the road in our little home for the next four days. For some crazy reason, I volunteered to drive first, and it felt very strange being so high up when driving. I kind of know what a builder’s van must feel like now (only our van was much cleaner and didn’t smell of white spirit). After about five minutes I felt right at home, no crunching gears or knocking anyone’s wing mirror off, so it was all looking pretty good. First stop was a small detour to a Tesco’s down the road, to buy essentials like milk, bread, cereal, etc (not mentioning anything about alcohol being top of our list!) After that, the satnav was turned on and away we went. It was such a lovely sunny day when we left London, and we felt positive that the weather was going to be good over the weekend. However, as soon as we hit the M5, the rain started. And then it rained, and rained and rained loads more. In fact it didn’t stop raining for the rest of the journey. Our positive outlook was turning gloomy and we were dreading the state of the fields when we got to Glastonbury. After getting lost in the winding country lanes, we eventually found our marker for the camper van site (by this time it was 10.30pm). It was still raining. As we followed the marker to the site, all we could see Glorious Glasto There were so many stages and tents to see - various acts ranging from circus performances, to comedians and DJs. There were acts walking around the grounds that were singing and dancing, and you could join in workshops and experience some for yourself. 16 The Pyramid Stage – where the main action happens The flame-throwing bird which got really angry at every headline act inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  17. 17. 1717 were wet people with very muddy wellies. It wasn’t a good sign. Following the blue marker, we finally found our site and pulled off the road into the fields. They had put lots of boards on the ground so vehicles wouldn’t get stuck in the mud, so it wasn’t too bad driving into the site. The steward showed us to the parking area and we finally switched off the engine. We had made it. We both felt pretty exhausted. After we’d tidied up the van and got organised in our little space, we had a cuppa and went to sleep, hoping the next day would look a lot brighter. By the way, it was still raining. The next day we woke up and, although the sky looked a bit hazy, there was no rain. We made some lovely bacon sarnies and had a look at the timetable for that day to plan what we would like to see. There were so many acts and performances going on, and we found quite a lot of clashes, so had to decide who we’d prefer to go and see. After getting ready (wellies on, just in case) and packing a bag of goodies to keep us going (not mentioning any alcohol), we left to set foot on the famous Worthy Farm fields. The camper van site was on a hill, with a 20-minute walk to the main entrance of the festival. As we came around the corner of the hill, we were greeted by an amazing view of the whole of the site – it was huge! All we could see was tents, flags, stages, and more tents. And then the sun came out. We made our way down to the entrance, where we were given our wristband and lanyard to keep our tickets in. They were very strict in checking everyone’s ticket/ wristband in case any unscrupulous fraudsters tried to get in. And then that was that – time to explore and enjoy three days of amazing music and entertainment. There were so many stages and tents to see - various acts ranging from circus performances to comedians and DJs. There were acts walking around the grounds that were singing and dancing, and you could join in workshops and experience some for yourself. After a bit of a wander, we headed straight for the Pyramid Stage, as we wanted to see our first act of the day – Rita Ora. The area was huge and there were thousands of people waiting around. We managed to get through the initial squeeze of the crowd and bagged ourselves quite a bit of space that wasn’t too far from the stage. Surprisingly, if you make a bit of effort getting through, you generally find there is more space in the middle. And then the sun really did come out – it was so hot, the ground dried up and the jackets came off. The atmosphere and energy when Rita Ora came on was amazing. She had a fabulous stage presence and really got the crowd going. The Pyramid Stage – at night Glastonbury in all its glory Me, Bejal and the camper van inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  18. 18. 18 Glorious Glasto The time went really quickly and, before I knew it, Professor Green came on and was doing his thing. It eventually got to that time when we had to succumb to using the toilets in the main festival site. The toilets by the camper van site were pretty clean as the only people using them were those in our area. But the main festival toilets were used by thousands of people, and I have to admit, the stories are true – they are horrendous. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but as you could probably imagine, they’re not good. The rest of the festival was brilliant. The sun shone every day, so no need for any wellies. We danced until our feet hurt and even managed to wangle our way to the front for some of the acts we saw. We both came home exhausted, but really glad we experienced it – and we’re even talking about going next year ... Rita Ora – amazing singer and crowd pleaser, sounds just as good live as she does on her album. Professor Green – not a big fan of Prof Green, but liked his energy. Although I couldn’t really hear half the things he was rapping about! Dizzee Rascal – he was great, performing songs from way back from his Boy in da Corner album (which I think is his best stuff). Fix up, look sharp! Angel – UK R’n’B singer, this one was an early performance, but the crowd got going and he sang well live. Iggy Azalea – crazy American rapper, mixture of Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj, she liked showing off her back-side a lot for some reason … AlunaGeorge – fab duo from London, an act to look out for. Rudimental – Mental with a capital M. No need to say anymore. Nas – the old school rapper came through and showed them how it’s done. It’s all about the One Mic. Rolling Stones – The oldies can still do their thang, I’m not a Rolling Stones fan but I was really impressed with their stage presence and energy. Skream and Benga – if you like your dubstep then these guys are for you. Lots of jumping around and grimey bass. Mumford & Sons – I found them a bit boring (sorry to the Mumford & Sons fans out there!). Laura Mvula – amazing voice and such a humble performer, a must-see live act. Lianne la Havas –same as Laura, great live singer. Although I did notice she changed her guitar for each song she sang – maybe she thought instead of changing outfits she would just change guitars. Lowdown on some of the acts we saw Lianne La Havas, Rita Ora, AlunaGeorge and Nas all doing their thing inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  19. 19. 19 Bun fight! The humble bread roll surely doesn’t cause many arguments, does it? At least it doesn’t until you refer to it by your preferred regional word, at which point, it all kicks off. Thanks to Clement Oke’s review of a ‘Sunday lunch in a bap’ in the last edition of inPHOmation, we have received petitions from the People’s United Front for Barmcakes and the Batch Supporters Trust demanding equal recognition for their dialectal terms. Clearly, this is a sensitive issue. inPHOmation is proposing a vote on the terms listed below to find a common name we can all unite behind for this stalwart member of the bread community. The term that receives the highest number of votes will be recognised as the official PHSO term and must be used throughout all future communications. So, no pressure then … Barm (cake) – a Lancastrian term, originally used for a roll made with the yeasty leftovers of beer- making, but now a catch-all term. Bap – perhaps one of the oldest terms, dating back to the 16th century. Seems to be widely understood, though not necessarily a first-choice term for all. Batch – claimed by both the Wirral and Warwickshire, this term comes from the method of batch-baking linked breads. Also used to refer to a type of loaf. Cob – a claim from the north(ish) Midlands, derives from the Old English definition of round or sturdy. Used by other areas to denote a crusty roll only. Bin lid – a bit of a ringer this, it’s a roll that’s about 20cm (about eight inches in old money) in diameter, but still of the same appearance as the rest of them. Blaa – an Irish variant, seems to differ by being more floury. Breadcake – a Yorkshire term, apparently. A quick googling reveals that people are also making cakes with bread as an ingredient. The mind boggles. Bun – a divisive term as you could get lumbered with the wrong item in the bakery, but mainly used when prefixed by a foodstuff (like burger bun). Flour cake – according to Wikipedia (other disreputable online encyclopedias are available), this is a term specific to Bolton. Any Boltonians out there who can confirm this? Muffin – a north-Manchester term, presumably derived from oven- bottom muffins which has now spilt over to cover all bread rolls. Another bakery problem-maker. Oven cake – suggested during the editorial board meeting by an unknown person in Millbank. We suspect they are the only user of this term. Stottie – a north-east term, that again, appears to have migrated from its original use. A ‘proper’ stottie should be much denser than the common or garden bread roll and appears to be comparable to the Bin Lid (see above) in size. Tea cake – unusual in that it has trans-pennine support, this is the third on our list that might get you the wrong item in the bakery. One, two, three, four. Dave Riley declares bun war inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  20. 20. 20 ‘Bonjour’, ‘Guten Tag’, ‘Buongiorno’! I’ve been saying these words a lot recently (not at the same time though), as I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Paris, Berlin and Florence during July. I like to try and speak the native language if I can (GCSEs in French and German were of help); I think it makes the various waiting staff/receptionists/shop assistants/random people in the street be more helpful and pleasant. The fact I have to then ask the person to slow down because I didn’t understand their response may not be so impressive! Since these three cities were high up on my list of places to see, I thought I would share my favourite sights/ restaurants with you in case you fancied trying them yourself (most are on Trip Advisor too!). I’ve gone for the more unusual/less obvious places that you may not have heard about. 1. Paris (fashionable, passionate, smug) Shakespeare and Company (St Germain - 37 rue de la Bûcherie) – opened in 1951 by a lovely man called George Whitman, this Aladdin’s cave of a bookstore is absolutely delightful. It is full to the brim with books, and has a piano on the first floor that you can play whilst others sit and read, or you can relax on the scatter cushions and while away a few hours. A tale of three cities Lydia Thorp likes to travel about the place and look at things. This month, she travelled to three different places, and looked at lots of different things. Read on and find out where she went inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  21. 21. 21 Aquidus id mo veribus di adit quia di omni- hicte ommoleste si- moBunum mo contris lare con hocrehebem inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 Berlin – Berliner Dom Florence – Duomo Florence – Duomo from above Paris – Ponte des Arts bridge
  22. 22. 22 Pont des Arts (the pedestrian bridge across the Seine river) – lovers have been attaching padlocks onto the railings with their first names written on them for years, before throwing their keys in the river. Take a stroll over the bridge; whether alone or as a couple, it is a lovely backdrop for a photo or two! 2. Berlin (relaxed, functional, cool) Kreuzberg area – IMA Loft Apartments on Ritterstrasse. Large self-catering apartments share the building with dance studios, design agencies and a shoe manufacturer ... very trendy. Don’t expect five-star service, but do expect understated style and friendliness. Bernauer Strasse – this famous street has many stories to tell, and you can see and read about the many escapes from here when the Berlin Wall was erected along the street in 1961. A row of houses became part of the wall, so that their front and back doors gave them access to both East and West Berlin. This was stopped and windows were boarded up. While many managed to flee and tell their story, others unfortunately were not successful. This is an outside museum/memorial. Mauer Park – this public park area was once part of the Berlin Wall segregation. There is a flea market area, as well as green space with a stone amphitheatre where thousands of people flock every Sunday to see performers singing karaoke and entertaining. This was a highlight for us. 3. Florence (romantic, beautiful, cheerful) For our first wedding anniversary, my husband and I chose to celebrate in Florence for three days. Our hotel wasn’t particularly special (a Best Western hotel) but it was pretty central, so we were able to walk everywhere. A tale of three cities Duomo – the highlight of the trip was climbing the 400+ steps up a spiral staircase, and through thin passageways to the top of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore for fantastic city views. Not for the claustrophobic! Uffizi Gallery – if you like a bit of Renaissance and want to see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus up close, then this is the place. The building alone is remarkable. ‘Uffizi’ means offices and this building was the office of the Medici family. There are so many paintings, ranging from 12th to 17th century (I think), including some very famous ones. If you don’t pre-book tickets online you will probably have to queue for up to five hours! You must use the official Uffizi Gallery website to book tickets (there are lots of scam websites). Il Latini restaurant (Via die Palchetti 6/r) – this traditional Tuscan restaurant was absolutely superb! There was no menu. The waiter took us to our table, sat us down and asked if we would like some antipasti (prosciutto, melon, cheeses). He pointed to the two-litre bottle of chianti on the table and said ‘help yourself, we charge by the glass’. Four courses later (including the largest rack of lamb I have ever eaten!), we were served biscotti, with dessert wine to dip into. During the meal the waiter kept coming over and pouring us glasses of sweet white wine. At the end of the fantastic meal, we requested the bill (il conto, per favore). The waiter came over, looked at how much wine was left in the bottle and came up with a price … very reasonable indeed! You should book, as it is busy in the evenings. inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 Berlin – Berlin TV tower
  23. 23. 23 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013 The 2013 People Survey is almost here Things are changing , and now we need to know what you think about it all. On 29 July everyone working at PHSO will be sent an invitation to take part in a short online survey, the 2013 People Survey. As things change, it’s really important we understand what it is like to work here. And we need to know what you honestly think so please be candid. We can promise firstly that the survey will be completely anonymous, and secondly that we will act on what you say. You will have three weeks to make your views known, as the survey will be available online between 29 July and 21 August. We know that you will have good ideas and suggestions that can drive the organisation forward, and we need your contributions to improve the way that PHSO operates, especially as we transition to new ways of working. Once we have the results, we will share them with you quickly, and begin to develop solutions by working with our Engagement Champions and Management Community. Please add your voice – it might be the one that really changes something.
  24. 24. 24 Like many people, I sometimes enjoy getting robbed blind. That’s why I went to see a film called World War Z at my local multiplex cinema this month. The main reason behind my choice was that the Z stood for zombie. Like the undead, I can be found shambling along the curved corridors of Millbank Tower before my first coffee, groaning incoherently and trying to bite people. Sometimes the coffee helps ... sometimes it doesn’t. Anyhow, Brad Pitt was also in this film. I have no strong feelings about Brad Pitt, one way or the other. I loved him in Fight Club, but he’s been pretty rubbish in everything else. He was pretty rubbish in this film too, playing what looked like a uninterested version of the actor Brad Pitt. Apparently, his character was an expert in what you should do if everyone in the world turns into a zombie, so it was a bit of luck that he was around. At first, Brad didn’t want to help because the threat of total human extinction paled into insignificance when weighed against a promise made to his wife that he’d stop this kind of dangerous work ... in case he got hurt. In the end, the powers that be threatened to throw Brad’s family off a safe boat before he agreed to do his bit. Thanks, Brad, you’re a real hero. I’m glad we can rely on you when zombies start feasting on our gooey brains. This was followed by a set of well executed but badly ordered cinematic set pieces. There was a great bit with zombies crawling up a wall, an exciting bit with zombies on an aeroplane and a boring bit with zombies ... in a Welsh hospital. Brad spent most of the film popping around the world in search of implausible expository dialogue, like a nonsense James Bond with girl’s hair. Yet despite all his travelling, no one seemed to know a damn thing about the zombies. I enjoyed the first two thirds of the film, but felt it petered out too soon before the end. The plot had more holes in it than Rab C Nesbitt’s vest, but the CGI was good and action sequences were well executed. I won’t spoil the ending. I don’t need to really, as the film kind of did that for itself. All I’ll say is I’m sure the situation could have been sorted out a lot sooner with some good, strong coffee. 24 The idiot’s film review Jason Deacy tells us about a film that he paid good money to see. Contains spoilers. inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  25. 25. This month you’ll develop the ability to talk to woodlice. You’ll learn that woodlice are argumentative and judgmental creatures, taking issue with everything you say and do. Eventually, you’ll stop talking to the woodlice, much to their disdain. Next Wednesday you’ll win a lifetime’s supply of Cup-a-Soup. Deciding to make the most of it, you’ll eat nothing but Cup- a-Soup for the next three years. You’ll become addicted, and end up in Cup-a- Soup rehab. Luckily, it’ll all work out OK. Mars is in the sky, so this month you’ll discover that Professor Green’s academic credentials are a dubious fabrication. Thinking you know too much, Green will chase you through London on a pogo stick. Fortunately, he’ll fall down a hole. In early August you’ll be diagnosed with night fever. You’ll experience a mild kippering of the tie, and slight flaring in the lower trouser area. Take vitamins between bouts of boogie and it will soon stop. This month, you’ll learn that the world is controlled by a sinister cabal, led by Noel Edmonds. You’ll try to tell everyone, but Edmond’s agents will ruin your credibility by telling people that you collect jam jars. You’ll end up hiding in Moscow airport, playing charades with Edward Snowden. This month you’ll get in a fist-fight with ‘80s TV star Karl Howman over the relative merits of free-range eggs. You’ll be bested by Howman, and banned from your local Sainsbury’s. Let that be a lesson to you! Later on this week you’ll be confronted by an angry gang of shoe smiths. Having targeted you indiscriminately, they’ll berate and heckle you for several hours about the decline of their profession, before giving up and going home. Nextweek,you’lldiscoverthateveryonebar youhasheardthatthebirdistheword.You’ll trytofindoutmoreaboutthisbird,butpeople willassumeyoualreadyknowandlaughyour questionsoff.Intheend,you’llhavetoGoogleit. On Thursday you’ll wake up to discover that everyone in the world is now called Dennis, apart from you. To the Dennises, you’ll be a strange novelty. You’ll go on to enjoy a fantastic career in television before tiring of fame, and changing your name to Dennis. OnTuesday,you’llmakealife-sizedversionof yourselfoutofLego. You’lluseittoattend meetingsinyourstead,andpeoplewillcomment onhowfocusedyouwere.Sooneveryonewillbe doingit,andnoonewillhavetoattendmeetings everagain.You’llbehailedasahero. Next week you’ll dream of San Pedro, just like you’d never gone, you’ll know the song. A young girl with eyes like the desert. It’ll all seem like yesterday, not far away. This is what comes of eating too much cheese before bedtime. Try Horlicks instead. Nothing much will happen to you this month. You’ll go to work, spend time with family and see some friends. The bin men will forget to empty one of your bins, but that’s about it. Astrology cornerMore mischievous mysticism! 2525 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  26. 26. Notting Hill Carnival Notting Hill Sun 25 Aug – Mon 26 Aug Free Personally, I’m not a big fan of carnivals. Growing up in Bexhill- on-Sea, my experience of carnivals was that of watching a procession of badly dressed drunk people struggle to maintain their balance on the back of lorries. One year, a man dressed as a clown sprang from the crowd and scared me half to death. As an entertainment spectacle, I have to say I always found carnivals wanting. They’re a bit like markets in that regard, everyone seems to love them but I think they’re rubbish. Apparently Notting Hill Carnival is great, it’s just a shame I can’t enjoy it. I’m so scarred by my experiences that it wouldn’t be possible. Please go along though, and tell me what it’s like. Dino Snores for Grown-Ups The Natural History Museum Friday 16 August £175 Basically, you get a three-course meal, breakfast and get to sleep under the skeleton of a diplodocus. If it was fifty quid I’d have done it, but this is Kensington we’re talking about. For £175 I’d expect the damn thing to come to life and perform a show, along with all the other skeletons and fossils. I’d want to hear classic Hollywood show tunes, see amazing dance routines and then eat woolly mammoth steaks ... cooked by a tyrannosaurus rex. Now that I’d pay £175 for, but somehow I don’t think that’s what they’re offering here. Go along if you have money to burn, but I’m sure you can find better value somewhere else. Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life Tate Britain 26 June – 20 October £16.50 (£13.10 concs) Before you think it, I’m not being paid commission by the Tate. I just think it’s a shame not to make the most of it, given it’s right next door to the office. Lowry’s art is instantly recognisable. As the song went, he painted matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs. Documenting the industrial landscape of early 20th-century Britain, Lowry’s work represents a glimpse at a world that has mostly disappeared. Tate Britain presents the first public exhibition of its kind held by a public institution in London since Lowry’s death. I’ll definitely pop along and have a look, and I’d recommend that you do as well ... if you like this kind of thing. by Jason Deacy What’s on in London 26 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013
  27. 27. Manchester Manchester Pride Big Weekend Various places around Manchester 23 – 26 August Day tickets from £10 Weekend ticket from £21 (child tickets available) Manchester Pride returns over the month of August, complete with Pride Fringe, with more than 40 events taking place around the city over the month. The Parade happens on Saturday 24 August, with a theme of ‘Acceptable in the 80s?’ referencing HIV activism, the battle over Section 28 and the iconic music and fashion that helped define that decade. The Gay Village will be more lively than usual, with live bands and DJs, market stalls and plays. On the evening of Monday 26, Sackville Gardens will host a candlelit vigil to remember those lost to HIV and to renew commitment to the fight against it. Cameron R Scott – Carvings and Collages Portico Library, Mosley Street 2 – 31 August Free The Portico Library is hosting a collection of carvings and collages by Scottish artist Cameron R Scott, who formerly worked for the University of Salford and was the Head of School of Art at Burnley College. His carvings and collages form scenes inspired from life, with the use of 3D in his carvings creating incredible depth to his images. Given that this building almost backs on to The Exchange, maybe you could take a trip at lunchtime? The Abattoir Blues Festival Castle Hotel, Oldham Street 24 – 25 August Weekend tickets £7 Abattoir Blues Records is a Manchester-based record label, and they’re putting on a festival over the bank holiday weekend. Over 20 bands have been announced, bringing a mix of garage rock, psychedelic folk and plain old traditional blues, with a collection of local acts and a few visitors from Scotland, Germany and the USA thrown in. If you like your music raw and simple, this will be the place to be. by Dave Riley 27 inPHOmation Issue 86/July 2013