I travelled to Birmingham on Sunday for the Party Conference. If you have not been there before, it is a great opportunity to attend fringe meetings on just about any subject that interests you, and so much more than the set piece debates reported on television.
It was a great place to meet with as many groups as possible with an interest in the Health White Paper and of course to catch up with political friends and colleagues.
I presented at a fringe event for the 'Ovarian Cancer Action' to debate how we improve survival, early diagnosis and support for cancer sufferers and to promote their 'remember the symptoms' campaign. Follow the link for more information about their campaign.
I met with representatives from nursing, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy and charities and attended round table discussions with Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the Health Select Committee. I also attended a meeting with the GMC to discuss the problems caused by the Working Time Directive and the scandal of doctors from EU countries being able to work in the UK without any tests of either competence or language skills.
It was not all about Health and the NHS as I am also trying to arrange a series of political debates in conjunction with the Dartington Trust. This was an opportunity to try and get some ideas off the ground.
Next week I will be back in Westminster.