South East Midlands LEP: Creative and Cultural Research. Get involved.

Are you a part of the vibrant Creative or Cultural Sector?

FireDog Research have been commissioned and are progressing a research study on behalf of the South East Midlands LEP (SEMLEP) into their Cultural and Creative Sectors. Working in partnership with SEMLEP, our team have created a short online questionnaire that takes just 10 minutes of your time to complete.

Now is your opportunity to share your views on your business, the SEMLEP are and the growth and opportunities that are available in the South East Midlands.  

If you are an employer within the Arts, Heritage, Sports, Visitor Economy, Creative and Cultural Industries, the team at SEMLEP would love to hear from you. Share your views on skill development and skills needs on the following link:


Want more of a say?

For a more in depth chat, the friendly FireDog team undertaking a number of telephone interviews in the next few weeks. Please let us know if you are available for an anonymous and more in-depth chat about your business, the sector and SEMLEP.

FireDog and SEMLEP appreciate your time and help. For more information, please contact Gwenn Winters, our Research Director at FireDog by emailing hello@firedogresearch.com


The National Health Service

Where does the money go?

At the recent General Election everyone agreed with Danny Boyle that the NHS was a wonderful thing. There were no major disagreements about the principle. Instead we simply heard how much our politicians loved the health service – how much better it would be because of them and how much worse it would be with the other guy.

But there is one question that interests me, simply because it is never discussed. Is this because we are not aware of it? If gut feel is the mark of a politician, should MPs across the land not be talking about this issue?

What should the NHS pay for? And what is private medical cost?

I’m not talking about cosmetic surgery or gastric bands here.

I think I’m starting a debate which is surely much less controversial.

The following is hypothetical, but illustrates my point.

I have a sore knee.

I go to my GP. She believes that it is a problem that should best be managed with exercise and/or mild analgesic. I think differently and decide to take advantage of my private health cover.

I demand that my GP writes a referral letter to my private consultant.

I have surgery.

I go home. My knee starts to hurt. I am unable to drive. So I am visited by my GP (in our out of hours). I am prescribed medication.

My wound is redressed.

I need remedial surgery.

Can you guess which parts of this are paid for by the NHS?

Answers next week.

Ross Moloney
Managing Director, FireDog Research


DCPC – was it really meant to be this hard?

Dr Ross Moloney


I think of myself as an upbeat and optimistic sort of individual.
But DCPC is now one of those subjects that leaves me with my head in my hands.
Was it really supposed to be this hard?

I’ve written previously about my position on DCPC. I believe in training, I believe that skills can improve the efficiency and effectiveness on people and organisations. But those skills have to be relevant and fix a problem.

I’m not going to be a better researcher by doing five first aid courses in a week, and I don’t believe many professional drivers will benefit much either. The training has to be high quality and the learner has to be engaged. Is it really this hard?

So here are my bugbears – I wonder what else should be on the list?

  1. Auditors – I’ve heard so many bad things about the auditing. I tried to improve it when I was involved. How are things now?
  2. Pure attendance. Turning up and reading a book? I’m attending my Speed Awareness Class tomorrow. I’m expected to fully participate.
    Did we really mean to outlaw testing completely?
  3. Repeating the same courses over and over. Crazy.
  4. Line of sight over who is responsible. Is it JAUPT? Is it DVSA?
  5. Communication – as above I think, can a fundamental shift such as this one really best be communicated via an online forum? Is that really the best way to do things?
  6. Who has the ear of the DVSA? I believe in evidence based policy. Is there any worked-up evidence at the heart of this change?  I hope employers are heard. I hope training providers – who let’s face it should be experts in this – are listened to.
  7. Leadership – who is leading this? Who will listen to competing voices and say, ‘I hear you – let’s do it this way – on my head be it’.
  8. Statistics. Can we please get some definitive numbers on professional drivers.

I’ve moved away from the DCPC issue but I had hoped that things were better than when I got involved.

A fundamental shift announced on an online message board? If that’s really what happened then it sounds like somebody has a long way to go.

What do we think?

Dr Ross Moloney
Managing Director
FireDog Research