I will need to get my suit out this week… We try to meet with MPs regularly to keep them informed of our campaigns but this week, the NDCS campaigns team has an unusually busy week of meetings with 3 Ministers and 1 senior MP. We may as well camp out at Westminster.
Firstly, we due to meet with Phil Hope and Ann Keen from the Department for Health to talk about our campaign on newborn hearing screening. We’re hoping the Department will set out how it will make sure that the areas which are failing to screen all babies for deafness will be brought up to speed.
Secondly, we’re meeting with Iain Wright at the Department for Communities and Local Government where we will be pressing for a new requirement for pre-completion acoustic testing as part of our Sounds good? campaign.
And thirdly, we’re meeting with senior Conservative MP John Bercow to also talk about our Sounds good? campaign on acoustics as well as some of our wider concern about support for children with special educational needs.
The meetings are a great opportunity to impress on senior decision makers our concerns and why urgent action to help deaf children is needed. A lot of work obviously goes into preparing for these kinds of meetings and one of my responsibilities as a campaigns officer is to make sure we make the most out of these opportunities. Pre-meetings are held here to discuss what points we want to raise and briefing documents are written so that all the relevant background information is available to hand.
My fear is that one or more of these meetings will get postponed at the last minute which is depressingly common given the hectic lives that Ministers and MPs lead… But here’s hoping the meetings all go ahead and we make some progress this week in our campaign work for deaf children. At least enough to justify the dry cleaning bill for my suit…