Religion and healthcare: why the NHS provokes holy arguments

The Hospice Comtesse, just north of the historic centre of Lille, opened in 1245, more than seven centuries before the formation of the NHS. It treated the sick for free, using income from its estates and donors, until 1796 when post-revolution reforms turned it into a hospice, a role it performed until 1939. As a tour of the buildings, now a museum, makes obvious, it was an explicitly Christian institution, with a chapel adjoining its huge dormitory ward and its healthcare provided by nuns. Continue reading “Religion and healthcare: why the NHS provokes holy arguments”

Stroke care in the south west: how do hospitals compare?

Last week, NHS South of England SHA cluster published detailed performance data on dementia and stroke care by the health service in the south west. It has set up a pilot website, Our Health, which allows fairly sophisticated graphical comparison of services on specific criteria (and has been backed by the prime minister), which may be expanded to other conditions and regions.

The south west contributed to the opening of medical performance data for the wrong reasons, when the failings of the children’s heart unit at Bristol Royal Infirmary in the early 1990s (highlighted by Dr Phil Hammond, the Private Eye columnist and comedian – currently on tour with a very funny show) and subsequent investigations led to all heart surgery units publishing mortality rates. So it’s good to see an NHS organisation taking the initiative in uncovering another aspect of the region’s data. Continue reading “Stroke care in the south west: how do hospitals compare?”

Hinchingbrooke hospital chief: unions do not doubt our intentions

Ali Parsa, chief executive of the private company running a Cambridgeshire NHS trust, tells SA Mathieson how he aims to make the hospital one of the best in the country

As well as talking to Ali Parsa, I also spoke to Circle’s head of IT Gary Mudie on his plans for Hinchingbrooke. Continue reading “Hinchingbrooke hospital chief: unions do not doubt our intentions”