LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Osborne doesn't see public sector role 22 March 2013 The Budget left local government squeezed in a vice of another funding cut and a refusal to unleash its potential to encourage economic growth. With additional cuts to most departments of 1% a year for the next two years – although councils are spared any new cuts in 2013-14 – the hope had been in the runup to the budget that any misery from further reductions would be offset by good news in the government's response to Lord Heseltine's review of economic strategy No Stone Unturned. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Pressure mounts on CCG leaders 21 March 2013 Many clinical commissioning group leaders will need to see their GP in the next few weeks. The pressure they are now under, just days away from assuming their new powers, is immense. Even for the 43 CCGs the NHS Commissioning Board has authorised without conditions among the 211 groups, there are difficulties. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Social media turns fire on councils 20 March 2013 Last year, as more and more local and regional newspapers closed, a council meeting trended on Twitter. Local papers are still read by millions, but their contraction, and the growth of online and citizen journalism, social media and above all online investigative tools mark a profound change in the public scrutiny of local government and other public services. Read the full article at page 62 of the Centre for Public Scrutiny book, The State of Accountability in 2013 ____________________________________________________________________ Welfare cuts drive up costs and poverty 8 March 2013 Welfare reform has the potential to become a complex and deep-seated crisis for local government. These ill-thought-through proposals will strip disposable income out of struggling high streets, promote a culture of non- payment and drive up councils' arrears as they are forced into the futility of trying to collect small sums from poor people. The prospect of a return to routine non-payment of local tax thanks to cuts in council tax benefit is a major reverse for councils. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ NHS needs Nicholson to lead - for now 7 March 2013 Should Sir David Nicholson quit? In his three-hour interrogation at the health select committee on Tuesday the chief executive of the NHS commissioning board did enough to survive in the short term. But the big issue is not the past but the future. Nicholson should not be forced out because of the campaign being run by the Daily Mail, or as a public sacrifice for the failings at Mid Staffordshire. What matters is whether he is the right leader for what lies ahead. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Council role in solving energy crisis 22 February 2013 As the energy regulator Ofgem warns that the UK is going to be increasingly dependent on expensive imports of gas to keep its lights on, what is local government's role in managing and meeting our energy needs? Local government's involvement in the energy industry, is huge. From facilitating the building of power stations and authorising the storage of nuclear waste to promoting energy efficiency in factories and homes, councils participate in almost every step along the supply chain. Ever since the 1950s, when the local planning committee took just 45 minutes to approve the building of Dounreay, the first nuclear power station primarily used for civilian power, councils have been closely involved in the development of the nuclear industry. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ The price for not winning over public 21 February 2013 North London's Whittington hospital provides the latest excruciating example of how not manage service reorganisations. By mishandling the communication of plans to replace wards with community facilities it has a rebellion on its hands. What hospital managers regarded as an "estates strategy" has now been described in the Camden New Journal, which broke the story, as "a dramatic plan to dismantle the Highgate hospital". It said there had been a "hush- hush decision by the board to sell off £17m worth of public buildings … and close three wards on the main site, halve the total number of patient beds to 177 and axe 570 jobs, including around 200 nurses". It's not hush hush now. After the plans emerged, around 500 people turned out last week to give managers a thrashing at a public meeting in the local Methodist hall, led by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Francis Inquiry causes new problem 13 February 2013 The recommendations of the Francis Inquiry cannot simply be implemented. It is a complicated set of proposals that will create new difficulties and challenges for the medical profession. Doctors need to lead the debate on what happens next. Robert Francis’s lawyerly circumlocution, filling almost 1,800 pages, guarantees that virtually nobody will read the whole report. Are public inquiry chairs paid by the kilogram? But at its core is the powerful concept of professionals adhering to “fundamental standards” to be enshrined in the NHS Constitution and health service regulations and policed by the Care Quality Commission. Crucially, Francis calls for “zero tolerance” of breaches. Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Cameron is undermining radical change 8 February 2013 The prime minister, David Cameron, is personally undermining councils' attempts to make the radical changes required to survive years of austerity. At the Guardian Public Services Summit on Wednesday, experts lined up to stress that the public sector will not be able to cope with the years of austerity stretching out before us by simply "slimming the staff and dimming the lights". As Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the home civil service, emphasised, transformation rather than tinkering is key. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Who will lead NHS culture change? 7 February 2013 So who is going to change the culture in the NHS? Despite the questionable wisdom of making 290 recommendations, some of which seem far too detailed for a public inquiry, Robert Francis's report into the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal provides solid foundations for changes in the management and clinical practice of the health service – but someone has to make the first move. The coincidence of the publication of the inquiry's final report with the imminent change to the new NHS structure does at least provide an opportunity for a new culture to take root in the new organisations. But it will take more than that to change bad habits. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Burnham plans huge NHS overhaul 4 February 2013 With little media attention, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has proposed scrapping clinical commissioning as part of a new round of NHS upheaval if Labour is returned to office. In a speech at the King’s Fund recently, Burnham tried to portray his ideas as a mere reshuffling of the structures that will be in place this April. Just like Andrew Lansley in opposition, Burnham said “our fragile NHS has no capacity for further top-down reorganisation… I know that any changes must be delivered through the organisations and structures we inherit.” Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Flaws in Labour’s council plan for NHS 25 January 2013 If there is one lesson that can be drawn from Andrew Lansley's health reforms, it is that anyone proposing a major shakeup of the NHS should be required to provide compelling and overwhelming evidence that it is the right thing to do. This is the lens through which the idea of shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, to hand about £63bn of health service commissioning to local government should be judged. In a speech to the King's Fund on Thursday outlining his proposals Burnham said: "I want to be clear: nothing I have said today requires a top-down structural reorganisation." Don't be fooled; this would shake the ground of healthcare barely five years after the present reforms, when they would just be starting to bed down. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Have NHS managers got the right skills? 24 January 2013 Managers in both acute trusts and clinical commissioning groups have been scrutinised by the NHS leadership in the last few days and found wanting. The NHS Commissioning Board is tightening its grip on clinical commissioning groups. On Wednesday, the announcement of the second wave of CCGs to be authorised revealed that three of the 67 – Herts Valleys, Medway and Nene in Northamptonshire – have been formally warned they could have members imposed on their board if they do not improve their performance. On the CCG authorisation Richter scale these are ranked as "level 4" conditions. Levels 5, 6, and 7 consist respectively of firing the accountable officer, stripping the organisation of specific functions and closing the CCG down. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ How can LGA counter Pickles’ attacks? 11 January 2013 What is striking about the reaction to the funding settlement announced just before Christmas is that while councils can cope with the prospect of further cuts, what angers them is the way they are presented. Communities secretary Eric Pickles no doubt enjoyed baiting local government by publishing his ludicrous 50 Ways to Save booklet just before the figures were released. Predictably, the booklet received a less than enthusiastic response from councils, but more surprising was how much it riled members of his own party. After the Conservatives were defeated in the 1997 general election, seething resentment from among its local government ranks was laid bare in the post-mortems about where the party had lost its way. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ What awaits health managers in 2013? 10 January 2013 As the NHS stumbles towards the formal start of the new, reorganised structure in April, some of the big issues the service faces seem barely changed from a year ago. We are still waiting for the report by Robert Francis QC into the Mid Staffordshire scandal, many managers still don't know if they will have a job in the new system, the Care Quality Commission is still in difficulty, and the overwhelming majority of clinical commissioning groups still have a long way to go before they are truly ready. The NHS Commissioning Board's most pressing priority is to get the remaining 177 clinical commissioning groups through the authorisation process. Only 34 have completed it. Among those in the pipeline will be some barely fit to begin work. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network
January to March 2013
Public Policy Media Richard Vize
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Osborne doesn't see public sector role 22 March 2013 The Budget left local government squeezed in a vice of another funding cut and a refusal to unleash its potential to encourage economic growth. With additional cuts to most departments of 1% a year for the next two years – although councils are spared any new cuts in 2013-14 – the hope had been in the runup to the budget that any misery from further reductions would be offset by good news in the government's response to Lord Heseltine's review of economic strategy No Stone Unturned. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Pressure mounts on CCG leaders 21 March 2013 Many clinical commissioning group leaders will need to see their GP in the next few weeks. The pressure they are now under, just days away from assuming their new powers, is immense. Even for the 43 CCGs the NHS Commissioning Board has authorised without conditions among the 211 groups, there are difficulties. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Social media turns fire on councils 20 March 2013 Last year, as more and more local and regional newspapers closed, a council meeting trended on Twitter. Local papers are still read by millions, but their contraction, and the growth of online and citizen journalism, social media and above all online investigative tools mark a profound change in the public scrutiny of local government and other public services. Read the full article at page 62 of the Centre for Public Scrutiny book, The State of Accountability in 2013 ____________________________________________________________________ Welfare cuts drive up costs and poverty 8 March 2013 Welfare reform has the potential to become a complex and deep-seated crisis for local government. These ill-thought- through proposals will strip disposable income out of struggling high streets, promote a culture of non-payment and drive up councils' arrears as they are forced into the futility of trying to collect small sums from poor people. The prospect of a return to routine non-payment of local tax thanks to cuts in council tax benefit is a major reverse for councils. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ NHS needs Nicholson to lead - for now 7 March 2013 Should Sir David Nicholson quit? In his three-hour interrogation at the health select committee on Tuesday the chief executive of the NHS commissioning board did enough to survive in the short term. But the big issue is not the past but the future. Nicholson should not be forced out because of the campaign being run by the Daily Mail, or as a public sacrifice for the failings at Mid Staffordshire. What matters is whether he is the right leader for what lies ahead. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Council role in solving energy crisis 22 February 2013 As the energy regulator Ofgem warns that the UK is going to be increasingly dependent on expensive imports of gas to keep its lights on, what is local government's role in managing and meeting our energy needs? Local government's involvement in the energy industry, is huge. From facilitating the building of power stations and authorising the storage of nuclear waste to promoting energy efficiency in factories and homes, councils participate in almost every step along the supply chain. Ever since the 1950s, when the local planning committee took just 45 minutes to approve the building of Dounreay, the first nuclear power station primarily used for civilian power, councils have been closely involved in the development of the nuclear industry. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ The price for not winning over public 21 February 2013 North London's Whittington hospital provides the latest excruciating example of how not manage service reorganisations. By mishandling the communication of plans to replace wards with community facilities it has a rebellion on its hands. What hospital managers regarded as an "estates strategy" has now been described in the Camden New Journal, which broke the story, as "a dramatic plan to dismantle the Highgate hospital". It said there had been a "hush-hush decision by the board to sell off £17m worth of public buildings … and close three wards on the main site, halve the total number of patient beds to 177 and axe 570 jobs, including around 200 nurses". It's not hush hush now. After the plans emerged, around 500 people turned out last week to give managers a thrashing at a public meeting in the local Methodist hall, led by the Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Francis Inquiry causes new problem 13 February 2013 The recommendations of the Francis Inquiry cannot simply be implemented. It is a complicated set of proposals that will create new difficulties and challenges for the medical profession. Doctors need to lead the debate on what happens next. Robert Francis’s lawyerly circumlocution, filling almost 1,800 pages, guarantees that virtually nobody will read the whole report. Are public inquiry chairs paid by the kilogram? But at its core is the powerful concept of professionals adhering to “fundamental standards” to be enshrined in the NHS Constitution and health service regulations and policed by the Care Quality Commission. Crucially, Francis calls for “zero tolerance” of breaches. Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Cameron is undermining radical change 8 February 2013 The prime minister, David Cameron, is personally undermining councils' attempts to make the radical changes required to survive years of austerity. At the Guardian Public Services Summit on Wednesday, experts lined up to stress that the public sector will not be able to cope with the years of austerity stretching out before us by simply "slimming the staff and dimming the lights". As Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the home civil service, emphasised, transformation rather than tinkering is key. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Who will lead NHS culture change? 7 February 2013 So who is going to change the culture in the NHS? Despite the questionable wisdom of making 290 recommendations, some of which seem far too detailed for a public inquiry, Robert Francis's report into the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal provides solid foundations for changes in the management and clinical practice of the health service – but someone has to make the first move. The coincidence of the publication of the inquiry's final report  with the imminent change to the new NHS structure does at least provide an opportunity for a new culture to take root in the new organisations. But it will take more than that to change bad habits. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Burnham plans huge NHS overhaul 4 February 2013 With little media attention, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has proposed scrapping clinical commissioning as part of a new round of NHS upheaval if Labour is returned to office. In a speech at the King’s Fund recently, Burnham tried to portray his ideas as a mere reshuffling of the structures that will be in place this April. Just like Andrew Lansley in opposition, Burnham said “our fragile NHS has no capacity for further top-down reorganisation… I know that any changes must be delivered through the organisations and structures we inherit.” Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Flaws in Labour’s council plan for NHS 25 January 2013 If there is one lesson that can be drawn from Andrew Lansley's health reforms, it is that anyone proposing a major shakeup of the NHS should be required to provide compelling and overwhelming evidence that it is the right thing to do. This is the lens through which the idea of shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, to hand about £63bn of health service commissioning to local government should be judged. In a speech to the King's Fund on Thursday outlining his proposals Burnham said: "I want to be clear: nothing I have said today requires a top-down structural reorganisation." Don't be fooled; this would shake the ground of healthcare barely five years after the present reforms, when they would just be starting to bed down. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Have NHS managers got the right skills? 24 January 2013 Managers in both acute trusts and clinical commissioning groups have been scrutinised by the NHS leadership in the last few days and found wanting. The NHS Commissioning Board is tightening its grip on clinical commissioning groups. On Wednesday, the announcement of the second wave of CCGs to be authorised revealed that three of the 67 – Herts Valleys, Medway and Nene in Northamptonshire – have been formally warned they could have members imposed on their board if they do not improve their performance. On the CCG authorisation Richter scale these are ranked as "level 4" conditions. Levels 5, 6, and 7 consist respectively of firing the accountable officer, stripping the organisation of specific functions and closing the CCG down. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ How can LGA counter Pickles’ attacks? 11 January 2013 What is striking about the reaction to the funding settlement announced just before Christmas is that while councils can cope with the prospect of further cuts, what angers them is the way they are presented. Communities secretary Eric Pickles no doubt enjoyed baiting local government by publishing his ludicrous 50 Ways to Save booklet just before the figures were released. Predictably, the booklet received a less than enthusiastic response from councils, but more surprising was how much it riled members of his own party. After the Conservatives were defeated in the 1997 general election, seething resentment from among its local government ranks was laid bare in the post-mortems about where the party had lost its way. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ What awaits health managers in 2013? 10 January 2013 As the NHS stumbles towards the formal start of the new, reorganised structure in April, some of the big issues the service faces seem barely changed from a year ago. We are still waiting for the report by Robert Francis QC into the Mid Staffordshire scandal, many managers still don't know if they will have a job in the new system, the Care Quality Commission is still in difficulty, and the overwhelming majority of clinical commissioning groups still have a long way to go before they are truly ready. The NHS Commissioning Board's most pressing priority is to get the remaining 177 clinical commissioning groups through the authorisation process. Only 34 have completed it. Among those in the pipeline will be some barely fit to begin work. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network
Public Policy Media Richard Vize