How to save the NHS
“In essence it’s a guide to how to become a politically engaged citizen. It would appear that we are only going to be able to save the NHS if we can save democracy while we’re at it.” Jonathon Tomlinson reviews NHS SOS.
Department of Health response to my email to Jeremy Hunt: the smell of rotting fish
“Yesterday I received the following email from the Department of Health. It alleges to be a reply to my email of 8/9/13 to Jeremy Hunt (see previous post). It does not address any of the concerns I raised in that email.” George Farrelly shares the response that he has received to his recent email to Jeremy Hunt MP.
My warning to Jeremy Hunt on policy to abolish GP boundaries: is it fraudulent?
“This patient ‘choice’ appears on the surface to be a welcome development. But as someone who has worked as a GP for over 25 years, it simply does not work…” George Farrelly explains his concerns with abolishing GP practice boundaries - and suggests what may really be behind this reform.
Telehealth: So obvious, it must be true
“Like any other intervention, telehealth needs evidence to show effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness. So Telehealth Advocates, prove me wrong…” Mark Macgregor casts a sceptical eye over the supposed benefits of telehealth.
Health service transformation is urgently needed
“The Francis report, mortality rates, the treatment of whistleblowers, relentlessly negative media coverage, and a system crisis over last winter, have combined to create a perfect storm in the NHS.” Dr Mark Newbold makes the case for transformation of the health service.
Clinical commissioning groups… fancy doing a survey?
I have recently been doing the monumental task of looking through each of the 211 new clinical commissioning groups (these replaced Primary Care Trusts) websites. Clinical Commissioning Groups are a flagship health policy of the Coalition, giving spending control of 60% of the NHS budget to groups of practitioners – notably General Practitioners or GPs. […]
Painting the picture…
Earlier this week I tweeted about the wisdom of my first ever boss. Dr Kemp was a fantastic, old-school doctor and I couldn’t have wished for a more supportive or inspiring Consultant in my first FY1 job. I’m sure he is a major reason why I pursued a career as a Physician. At the end […]
Shadow politics: The NHS is more than a logo
Perhaps the most blatant example of the shadow politics is what the political class has doing to the NHS over the past 30 years. To most people, the NHS is more than a logo - but for how much longer?
Room to breathe in defence of the NHS
“We need to engage with the already existing, vibrant user-led movements and NHS workers challenging conventional mental health care and think about what these movements could offer for health care as a whole.” Ramona argues that we can criticise NHS mental health care at the same time as making the case for why privatisation would be worse.
It has taken a year in the making but I was so proud to see the book I had contributed to on a shelf at WHSmith the other day. Last year a few of us sat down and realised we needed to set the record straight on the betrayal that the NHS was subjected to […]
We need to have a chat about the NHS
Lately, I’ve noticed - indeed been on the receiving end - of a new phenomenon. Suddenly, all over middle England, those drifting gently to the right of a fairly rightish centreground keep popping up on my timelines or in my inbox - or even all over my telly - to tell me patient care in […]
Competition, choice and quality in general practice
“The formulation of the patient as a ‘rational chooser’ underpins contemporary political policy, but is contradicted by studies about the experience of illness, the nature of suffering, the practice of care and the wishes of patients.” Jonathon Tomlinson explains why ‘patient choice’ fails to understand what patients really want.
The NHS at 65: the Coalition are retiring our public health service
The National Health Service (NHS) celebrates its 65th birthday today. While coalition politicians cut ribbons, they are also busy cutting the lifelines that make the service viable. Ceaseless scare stories, never ending costly reorganisations, rampant commercialisation and privatisation, and deliberate loading of unsustainable debt onto hospital balance sheets. It is time for a reminder of what […]
In the shoes of… Alison Cameron, Patient leader & active citizen – Part 2
The first part of Alison’s story can be found on the Whose Shoes? site here. Alison Cameron - Half Life - Part 2 Alison on a ‘Sailaway’ holiday that played a significant part in her road to recovery… I started in small ways after having the seed of hope planted by hearing the inspirational Doctor Rachel Perkins speak. I […]
£3.8bn for health and social care? No thanks!
When I heard the announcement that the Government was creating a £3.8bn pot to fund social care my heart sank. Not because the funding isn’t needed. It clearly and quite desperately is. But this isn’t new money. It’s money that is currently in the “ring fenced, protected” NHS budget and used to provide services free […]
The political class: Why big ideas are a big waste of time and money
The political class and frontline practitioners not only have different ideas for improving public services - they also disagree fundamentally on what the problem is.
How migrant workers built the NHS
These days we hear increasingly regular (and baseless) assertions that migrant workers are in some way to blame for a range of problems, including the performance of the NHS. The truth is very different. This film was made by my former colleagues at NHS North West, as part of a resource documenting the history and […]
Are GPs too lazy?
Two evenings ago, when I arrived home at 9pm for supper, my daughter, with a smile on her face, pointed me to the front cover of the current edition of The Week which asks ‘Are GPs too lazy?’ She and her brother were always clear that they were not going to study medicine because they thought their parents, both GPs, worked […]
Discharge is key to emergency care crisis
This blog was first published here on HospitalDr on 20th May The crisis in emergency care has now been acknowledged as a ‘system’ problem, rather than something caused by ‘poorly performing’ acute trusts. I am sure readers of this website have known this all along. It is important this is recognised, so that the right solutions are considered. Of course, […]
The weight of history
This is close to an anniversary for me. I arrived in Dumfries as the Acute Trust Finance Director on Saturday 15 May 1999, the same day that my home side Swansea RFC were hammering local rivals Llanelli in the Welsh cup final. This was not supposed to happen. Not the coming to Dumfries part; that […]