All of our scheduled meetings with the three Ministers and a MP went ahead. And we got good results from them all! I’ve allowed myself a tub of Pringles to celebrate.
Firstly, the meeting with Phil Hope and Ann Keen, Ministers at the Department for Health: they were concerned about failings in the delivery of the newborn hearing screening programme, and said they would monitor the programme carefully to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Secondly, the meeting with Iain Wright, Minister responsible for building regulations at the Department for Communities and Local Government: he seemed to be in support of the campaign and said he would work with Ministers the Department for Communities and Local Government to try and find a way to introduce acoustic testing in new school buildings.
And apparently, Iain Wright is very concerned about the impact of listening to loud music on ipods so the RNID Don’t lose the music campaign clearly has been making waves.
Obviously, all of this is good but warm words in themselves don’t lead to concrete action. So we’ll be doing a lot of work on follow-up in writing various letters to the people we’ve met, setting out what was discussed and agreed and trying to push things along. But at the very least we hope, if only for a short while, we had the undivided attention of senior politicians and that they won’t forget the needs of deaf children for a while…