The Vote Leave campaign bus has ‘We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead’ written on its side. This number is, to be polite, a bit dodgy. Due to the rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher, the actual amount is about £250m a week, or £13bn a year. The EU then spends more than £4bn in the UK, mainly on farmers and badly-off parts of the country, which would push the figure down to about £165m a week. Continue reading “Leave out dodgy numbers on EU and NHS”
Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network has just published two articles by me. The first is on Plymouth Community Healthcare, an expanding healthcare company running NHS and social care services in and around the city.
The organisation argues that its status as a not-for-profit, no-shareholders community interest company is better than being part of an NHS trust. It reckons the services it runs are often lost within trusts focused mainly on acute or mental health; that it is more flexible and in tune with local needs; and that it is able to focus its spending on its local area, which NHS trusts can’t do. Continue reading “Plymouth Community Healthcare: happy outside the NHS”
The NHS is centre stage in the parties’ manifestos; there are subtle yet significant differences between their commitments
Having read the general election manifestos so you don’t have to, I have written the following piece for Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network. There is an area of significant difference between the parties on the NHS, and – perhaps not a massive surprise – it’s the role of the private sector.
If you do want to read the general election manifestos, which I find is often the best way to get an overview of what each party wants to do, you can do so through the following links, to PDF copies in each case: Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, UK Independence Party, Green Party, Plaid Cymru and National Health Action Party.
Continue reading “Election 2015: what do party pledges mean for NHS staff?”
My latest piece for ComputerWeekly.com looks at the use and limits of decision-support software in healthcare. It certainly has a role; the question is how much it can do, and how much needs to be dealt with by medical professionals.
NHS Direct‘s replacement NHS 111 has, at least initially, made heavier use of software, but is now making greater use of medical professionals. But any software-driven service is likely to be overly cautious, according to my interviewees. “It wasn’t known as NHS Redirect by the ambulance service for nothing,” says Janette Turner of the University of Sheffield.
On Wednesday, Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network published my interview with Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales. He discussed having a bit more money, pay restraint (which will continue despite the bit more money) and how to get people to understand and agree to reconfigurations of services.
He also said it is easier to make things happen in Wales:
We’re able to bring people in a room, and understand their own views on how they want to develop good services… People can talk about what they want to change in Wales, and we’re able to do something about that.