On 8 February the NHS published the plan for tackling the backlog of “elective” care built up during the COVID-19 pandemic. The term elective seems to me to be a bit misleading, as though this is care you might elect, or choose, to have. Something which might be in some way optional. What we are in fact talking about is care that is essential, but not urgent or an emergency. What impact does the use of this term have?
Lizzie Cain is part of Co-Production Collective, an open community based at UCL which exists to support co-production across research, policy and practice. Whatever our identity and experience, we work together in equal partnership to create better outcomes for everyone.
My name is Ezra Ben-Yisrael, and I am a British-born, Caribbean descendant who has lived in the UK all of my life. I have been married for 19 years and have two children. My passions are unlocking insight for others within my professional and personal life and championing wellbeing.
Content warning: discussion of surgery, discrimination (specifically transphobia) and suicide.
‘Elective surgery’ is a term irrelevant to many people’s experiences. Few would argue that their surgical needs are a choice. For trans and non-binary communities, the term may be especially marginalising, and contribute to negative perceptions of those seeking gender-affirming healthcare.
We’re all familiar with the rhetoric that diverse boards make better decisions. And most boards have made some sort of progress on gender diversity by now. But when we at National Voices took a good hard look at ourselves ahead of recruiting new trustees earlier this year, we realised that if we were serious about having a truly diverse board we needed to do something different. As the saying goes, ‘if you always do what you’ve always done; you’ll always get what you’ve always got’.
covid:aid is the UK’s charity for all those significantly affected by Covid-19, and has been uniquely set up to act as an open and collaborative partner and platform for healthcare providers, charities, and other groups – ensuring people and organisations can find and access support tailored to their needs, wherever that may be.