Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
How will Simon Stevens lead NHS? 31 October 2013 When Simon Stevens takes over as NHS England chief executive next April he will become the principal figure in a system that does not work and which lacks a credible plan for addressing a huge and widening funding gap. His time in charge will be split into two phases. For the first year, his ability to secure visible change will be hampered by the intense political fighting in the run-up to the 2015 general election. Much of that period will be used preparing the ground for more radical activity after polling day. At present, the health system lacks leadership, clarity and direction. Stevens can be expected to stop NHS England trying to run the whole health service and sort out the dysfunctional relationships between Monitor, the Care Quality Commission, the NHS Trust Development Authority and itself. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ MPs’ scrutiny of councils has limits 25 October 2013 Whitehall and parliament are tightening the screw of central control again, and this time Margaret Hodge is coming after local government. The Labour chair of the public accounts select committee said last week: "You will be accountable to us; we will be able to haul you in." The committee is planning to do a "broad review" of local government with close examination of some individual councils, as well as headline programmes such as the work on troubled families. Hodge claims the committee needs to get a grip on local government because of the abolition of the audit commission – a justification which must seem odd to the National Audit Office, which is taking on council work for precisely the same reason. After three years of growing respect in Westminster and with the public, the attentions of the public accounts committee are a significant reputational risk for local government. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ GPs’ only chance to lead the NHS 24 October 2013 Just seven months ago, GP commissioners were poised to lead a clinically driven revolution in the NHS. Their deep understanding of the needs of patients and ability to eyeball hospital clinicians on service quality were billed as the levers for radical improvements. But there is a grave danger that much of the early ambition around the reform of commissioning is being thwarted by two major obstructions—competition rules and financial instability. Commissioners are struggling through a thicket of competition and procurement law, exacerbated by contradictory advice and uncertainty. Regulator Monitor has done its best to reassure clinical commissioning groups that they have considerable freedom to determine when and how they go out to tender, but many feel that is not enough to allow them to wriggle free of the legislative straitjacket provided by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Commissioners are also struggling over how much they are prepared to risk destabilising providers. Reconfiguring services always entails some degree of destabilisation, but with dozens of trusts facing financial difficulties it is a perilous decision for commissioners as to how far they can go in making changes. Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Who will lead the NHS out of crisis? 17 October 2013 The Foundation Trust Network has been gathering in Liverpool for its annual conference against a background of drift and crisis in the NHS. Like soothsayers in the dying days of a crumbling empire, the service is beset by reports and speeches predicting collapse. Harder to find are leadership and answers. No week would be complete without another report telling us how many billions of pounds the NHS needs to save, how quickly it needs to do it, and how little chance it has of achieving it. This time it was Monitor's turn, with chief executive David Bennett warning that "the NHS must undergo radical change if it is to survive". After many years of substantial improvements, mental health services are sliding into disarray. Research by the BBC and Community Care revealed average occupancy levels in acute adult and psychiatric intensive care beds of 100% – a crisis by any definition. Patients are in danger. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Harnessing the power of Big Data 16 October 2013 Digital services and big data are rendering traditional ways of organising local government obsolete, compelling councils to collaborate both internally and externally. What's more, the public-sector spending cuts are accelerating this change as councils seek to share costs while developing services that offer the hope of long-term savings, such as early intervention to help older people live independently. Meanwhile, citizens are increasingly intolerant of services that are not joined up. To debate the way forward for local digital services, the Guardian brought together an expert panel from central and local government and the private sector, supported by business analytics experts SAS and  IT infrastructure services company Computacenter. The debate was held under the Chatham House rule, with comments reported without attribution, in order to encourage a free debate. Read the full article on the Guardian Society ____________________________________________________________________ Council chiefs stay calm in a crisis 11 October 2013 Local authority chief executives and senior managers gathered at the Solace Summit this week in York where the incoming Solace president Mark Rogers, from Solihull council, urged members not to be overawed by austerity and to think about the whole system when finding a way through for their councils and communities. That is exactly what most are doing: there was no sense of crisis or panic. The NHS could learn a lot from Solace members. Jobs and cuts have been the big issue of the annual event, which is the largest meeting of local authority chief executives and senior managers in the UK. Driving economic growth is the key ambition of most councils, but across the country they are dealing with the paradox that while on paper school performance is improving, young people are entering the jobs market with the wrong skills for local employers. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Tories winning war of words on NHS 3 October 2013 At their conferences the political parties laid out their campaigns on the NHS for the 2015 election. Labour talked about ideology; the Tories talked about patients. Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham had written his speech for the party faithful. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt aimed his squarely at the voters. Hunt's mission was clear: to destroy Labour's reputation as the champion of good healthcare, to position the Tories as standing up for patients against the system, and to highlight touchstone policies which connect with what people want from the NHS for their families. Hunt levelled a grave charge at Labour: that it oversaw a systematic cover- up of NHS failures. He talked about dead babies, blood-splattered wards and unfed elderly patients. He accused Labour ministers of refusing 81 requests for a public inquiry into Mid Staffs. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network
October 2013
Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
How will Simon Stevens lead NHS? 31 October 2013 When Simon Stevens takes over as NHS England chief executive next April he will become the principal figure in a system that does not work and which lacks a credible plan for addressing a huge and widening funding gap. His time in charge will be split into two phases. For the first year, his ability to secure visible change will be hampered by the intense political fighting in the run-up to the 2015 general election. Much of that period will be used preparing the ground for more radical activity after polling day. At present, the health system lacks leadership, clarity and direction. Stevens can be expected to stop NHS England trying to run the whole health service and sort out the dysfunctional relationships between Monitor, the Care Quality Commission, the NHS Trust Development Authority and itself. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ MPs’ scrutiny of councils has limits 25 October 2013 Whitehall and parliament are tightening the screw of central control again, and this time Margaret Hodge is coming after local government. The Labour chair of the public accounts select committee said last week: "You will be accountable to us; we will be able to haul you in." The committee is planning to do a "broad review" of local government with close examination of some individual councils, as well as headline programmes such as the work on troubled families. Hodge claims the committee needs to get a grip on local government because of the abolition of the audit commission – a justification which must seem odd to the National Audit Office, which is taking on council work for precisely the same reason. After three years of growing respect in Westminster and with the public, the attentions of the public accounts committee are a significant reputational risk for local government. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ GPs’ only chance to lead the NHS 24 October 2013 Just seven months ago, GP commissioners were poised to lead a clinically driven revolution in the NHS. Their deep understanding of the needs of patients and ability to eyeball hospital clinicians on service quality were billed as the levers for radical improvements. But there is a grave danger that much of the early ambition around the reform of commissioning is being thwarted by two major obstructions—competition rules and financial instability. Commissioners are struggling through a thicket of competition and procurement law, exacerbated by contradictory advice and uncertainty. Regulator Monitor has done its best to reassure clinical commissioning groups that they have considerable freedom to determine when and how they go out to tender, but many feel that is not enough to allow them to wriggle free of the legislative straitjacket provided by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Commissioners are also struggling over how much they are prepared to risk destabilising providers. Reconfiguring services always entails some degree of destabilisation, but with dozens of trusts facing financial difficulties it is a perilous decision for commissioners as to how far they can go in making changes. Read the full article at the British Medical Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Who will lead the NHS out of crisis? 17 October 2013 The Foundation Trust Network has been gathering in Liverpool for its annual conference against a background of drift and crisis in the NHS. Like soothsayers in the dying days of a crumbling empire, the service is beset by reports and speeches predicting collapse. Harder to find are leadership and answers. No week would be complete without another report telling us how many billions of pounds the NHS needs to save, how quickly it needs to do it, and how little chance it has of achieving it. This time it was Monitor's turn, with chief executive David Bennett warning that "the NHS must undergo radical change if it is to survive". After many years of substantial improvements, mental health services are sliding into disarray. Research by the BBC and Community Care revealed average occupancy levels in acute adult and psychiatric intensive care beds of 100% – a crisis by any definition. Patients are in danger. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network ____________________________________________________________________ Harnessing the power of Big Data 16 October 2013 Digital services and big data are rendering traditional ways of organising local government obsolete, compelling councils to collaborate both internally and externally. What's more, the public-sector spending cuts are accelerating this change as councils seek to share costs while developing services that offer the hope of long-term savings, such as early intervention to help older people live independently. Meanwhile, citizens are increasingly intolerant of services that are not joined up. To debate the way forward for local digital services, the Guardian brought together an expert panel from central and local government and the private sector, supported by business analytics experts SAS and  IT infrastructure services company Computacenter. The debate was held under the Chatham House rule, with comments reported without attribution, in order to encourage a free debate. Read the full article on the Guardian Society ____________________________________________________________________ Council chiefs stay calm in a crisis 11 October 2013 Local authority chief executives and senior managers gathered at the Solace Summit this week in York where the incoming Solace president Mark Rogers, from Solihull council, urged members not to be overawed by austerity and to think about the whole system when finding a way through for their councils and communities. That is exactly what most are doing: there was no sense of crisis or panic. The NHS could learn a lot from Solace members. Jobs and cuts have been the big issue of the annual event, which is the largest meeting of local authority chief executives and senior managers in the UK. Driving economic growth is the key ambition of most councils, but across the country they are dealing with the paradox that while on paper school performance is improving, young people are entering the jobs market with the wrong skills for local employers. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Tories winning war of words on NHS 3 October 2013 At their conferences the political parties laid out their campaigns on the NHS for the 2015 election. Labour talked about ideology; the Tories talked about patients. Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham had written his speech for the party faithful. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt aimed his squarely at the voters. Hunt's mission was clear: to destroy Labour's reputation as the champion of good healthcare, to position the Tories as standing up for patients against the system, and to highlight touchstone policies which connect with what people want from the NHS for their families. Hunt levelled a grave charge at Labour: that it oversaw a systematic cover-up of NHS failures. He talked about dead babies, blood-splattered wards and unfed elderly patients. He accused Labour ministers of refusing 81 requests for a public inquiry into Mid Staffs. Read the full article on the Guardian healthcare network