On 5 July 2013, the NHS will reach Britain’s current male pension age of 65. But far from retiring, the health service will be undergoing surgery – at least in England, although there are also changes afoot in Scotland and Wales. Here are some pointers for the NHS in 2013. Continue reading “The NHS in 2013: a reorg, Sir David Nicholson & CCGs – for £5.69 a day”
Some useful links and quotes on the NHS from the party conferences, including the full speeches from the shadow and actual health secretaries. Continue reading “Further reading: the NHS at the party conferences”
A decreasing number of NHS hospitals are run by plain old NHS trusts, simply because an increasing number are successfully applying to be foundation trusts – which requires evidence of financial stability. Those which have not yet become foundations are regulated by the Audit Commission, which therefore tends to oversee those on a weaker financial footing. It recently reported on the trusts still in its care, and found that 10 of the non-foundations were in financial deficit in 2011-12, totalling £177m. (Trusts have a legal duty not to make a loss, although this applies over three-year periods.) Continue reading “Why London is the home of loss-making NHS hospital trusts”
A new NHS hospital typically costs hundreds of millions of pounds to build. Trusts do what anyone buying a new home does: they take out a mortgage. The problem has been that most trusts (in England, anyway) have had only one, weird type of mortgage available: a private finance initiative (PFI). Continue reading “Hartlepool shows how pension funds could save NHS hospitals from PFI”
It is tricky to compare different countries’ healthcare systems, as well as politically explosive. The World Health Organisation (WHO) last tried in 2000, concluding that France had the best in the world.
The following attempt is very simplistic, but also very easy to understand. It uses WHO data to calculate how much each country spends on each year of average lifespan beyond 45, per year per person in purchasing power parity-adjusted US dollars. 45 is chosen simply because it is slightly below the lowest average longevity, Malawi, of 47 years. In the map below, the darker the shade of green, the more expensive each extra year of life: the figure for each country will pop up when the cursor is over it. Continue reading “A healthcare systems medal table: USA wins inefficiency gold”