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?”

A44, A361, A34: Chipping Norton at the crossroads

A version of this article appeared in Chipping Norton News, April 2012

If you’re driving past Bitter and Twisted towards the town hall, the choice of whether to turn right down New Street or keep straight onto West Street may not seem like a major one. But if you followed the two A-roads which divide at this point to their ultimate destinations, the turn down the hill would lead you to Aberystwyth, while the way past the bus stops would eventually get you to Ilfracombe in north Devon.
Continue reading “A44, A361, A34: Chipping Norton at the crossroads”

The biggest council CCTV spenders per resident: Westminster… then Tamworth

Big Brother Watch’s newly-released data on £515m of council CCTV spending between 2007 and 2011 (covered by my colleague Sade Laja on Guardian Government Computing) is even more interesting when combined with population numbers. Obviously, camera spending per capita is not a perfect measure, as some areas clearly have security needs beyond those of their immediate populations. This would help to explain why Westminster is the biggest spender per head of population: £46.75 over the last four years, compared to a UK average of £8.27.
Continue reading “The biggest council CCTV spenders per resident: Westminster… then Tamworth”