My mission statement

The times we are working in now need a great deal of accelerated change and there must be no negotiating that down. So my mission statement for this part of my consultancy career is to be clear that there needs to be and will be a lot of change from the work that I do with individuals and organisations and if organisations don’t want that, then it is probably best to go somewhere else.

Read my statement in full »

The Nicholson challenge is now for 10 or 15 years. Will the NHS meet it?

Filed Under (Economics, Nicholson Challenge, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 24-12-2012

For my last post of the year I want to return to one of the main themes of the year – the short, medium and long term relationship between the state of the British economy and the consequent necessary changes to the way in which the NHS will operate given the reduced level of resources that it has to spend. Read the rest of this entry »

Question: When is an NHS waiting time target ‘politically motivated’ and when is it ‘in the interests of patients’? Answer: It depends whether the target is being achieved or not…

Filed Under (Targets) by Paul on 19-12-2012

Readers will remember that the Conservative Party had a very clear policy on NHS waiting time targets. During the five years leading up to the last election they were consistently promising that if they were to win they would drop waiting time targets – and when they came to power they did just that.

They spent the year between winning power in May 2010 and May 2011 dismantling the sets of relationships between Whitehall and the NHS that had signified the public’s concern about maximum waiting time targets. Read the rest of this entry »

Meeting the mandate and improving health literacy

Filed Under (National Commissioning Board, Patient involvement, Self Management) by Paul on 17-12-2012

The Secretary of State’s mandate for the National Commissioning Board lays clear responsibilities on it to improve the capacity of patients to self manage. In fact the mandate says that the board must become dramatically better at involving patients,

“2.5 The NHS commissioning board’s objective is to ensure the NHS becomes dramatically better at involving patients and their carers and empowering them to manage and make decisions about their own healthcare and treatment. For all the hours that most people spend with a doctor or nurse, they spend thousands more looking after themselves or a loved one.”

Readers will know that I have been working with a number of organisations to improve the ways in which the NHS can help patients to better self-manage. Read the rest of this entry »

On level playing fields and the competition for providing services to NHS patients.

Filed Under (Competition) by Paul on 12-12-2012

It’s no secret that the very existence of any kind of competition for providing services to NHS patients is a controversial issue. Between December 2010 and March 2012 whilst the NHS Health and Social Care Act was wending its way through Parliament, the two very different issues of competition and privatisation caused the most controversy. Read the rest of this entry »

The debate about the need for NHS reform is slowly beginning to stir within the Labour Party.

Filed Under (Health Policy, Labour Party) by Paul on 10-12-2012

I didn’t post about this stirring at my first sighting a few weeks ago because one flutter in the foliage doesn’t necessary mean that something is really happening. But now, after a couple more sightings, I think we can safely say that, within the Labour Party, we really can see the return of NHS reform as a policy discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

Exactly how does the new Secretary of State think he is going to influence the NHS to do his bidding?

Filed Under (Reform of the NHS, Secretary of State) by Paul on 05-12-2012

On further reflection I think there is an even more important issue about the speech that Jeremy Hunt gave at the King’s Fund last week than the one that I discussed on Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

Throwing away an important announcement – some communication problems for the Secretary of State for Health

Filed Under (Narrative of reform, Secretary of State) by Paul on 03-12-2012

I, along with many commentators, felt that Jeremy Hunt had been made Secretary of State for Health because he was good at developing a strategic and tactical approach to communicating the Government’s message.

His predecessor failed as a reforming Secretary of State because he could not communicate to either the public or the NHS what problem his reforms were meant to solve. He was also silent on the subject of how they were going to solve it. Read the rest of this entry »