Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Europhiles need to shout about benefits 20 March 2014 As Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg scrap over the UK's future in the EU, the public sector has already given its verdict. Guardian research unveiled on Tuesday at its Public Leaders' Summit that no single issue is less important. When senior public sector staff were asked their key challenges over the next 12 months, engaging with the EU came last. Only 7% of respondents mentioned it. Does Europe matter at all to local government? In the 1980s and 1990s EU funding was a big local government focus. Areas of high poverty, or where there had been rural or industrial decline – mine closures, for instance – all benefited substantially from EU largess. Bidding for this money (managed under impenetrable titles such as the Objective 2 Programme) required an undignified parading of economic and social wounds, because those who appeared more desperate were more likely to get the cash. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ NHS debts distract from procurement 20 March 2014 The Department of Health has been railing against the lack of interest in the NHS towards procurement. They are frustrated that, with many trusts ending this year in deficit, senior managers seem to have the attitude: “I haven’t got time to focus on procurement because I’ve got this big debt to worry about.” Data collected by Health Service Journal shows 54 of the 141 non-specialist hospital trusts in England are expecting to end 2013-14 in deficit. Yet, according to John Warrington, DH deputy director for procurement policy and research, there are only 600 qualified buyers across the entire NHS to oversee £20 billion of spending on goods and services. The DH estimates this amounts to almost a third of the operating costs of a typical hospital. According to Supply Management, Warrington told a conference last week: “There is a lack of leadership on procurement in trusts.” “Chief executives still don’t give this the attention it deserves.” Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider ____________________________________________________________________ Who is blocking change in the NHS? 20 March 2014 In his last days as NHS England chief executive, Sir David Nicholson has warned that the health service is doomed to long-term decline unless it reforms comprehensively and fast. So who is blocking change and what should happen to them? In an interview last week with the Guardian's Denis Campbell, Nicholson argued that it requires "massive change, on a scale we've never seen before, and over a shorter period of time than we've ever seen before in healthcare". He envisages huge centralisation of specialist services and emergency care, alongside substantial expansion of primary and community care and far closer co-operation between clinicians inside and outside hospitals. Yet across the NHS, powerful, poorly co-ordinated parts of the system are obstructing change. Foundation trusts (FT), terrified of exposure by Monitor or the Care Quality Commission, are more focused on being inspected and regulated than they are on working with clinical commissioners to reform the local health economy. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Leadership training in wake of Francis 18 March 2014 Leadership has been identified as the cause of NHS failures and the cornerstone of the solutions. Intolerance of management shortcomings since the Francis Inquiry has led 10 trust chief executives to resign, while thousands of managers and trainees have been undergoing leadership development in pursuit of high quality, compassionate care. In his final report last February into the failings at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Robert Francis QC laid bare repeated leadership failures at the root of the collapse in quality in parts of Stafford Hospital. The board “failed to tackle an insidious negative culture involving a tolerance of poor standards and a disengagement from managerial and leadership responsibilities”. Leadership failures were everywhere – surgery, A&E, nursing, the primary care trust and the strategic health authority. Read the full article in Health Manager (page 15) ____________________________________________________________________ MPs give verdict on procurement 18 March 2014 The day before the Public Accounts Committee launched its latest broadside  about government outsourcing, the more congenial Communities and Local Government Committee published the results of its investigation into local government procurement. Three decades after councils were force-fed the private sector under Margaret Thatcher’s compulsory competitive tendering drive, local government is more comfortable hiring and working with the private sector than either central government or the NHS. It is still some way from providing the rest of the public sector with a procurement masterclass – even the Society of Procurement Officers only claimed there were “pockets of excellence” – but there is encouraging evidence emerging of councils’ growing determination to extract wider social benefits from their contracts. Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider ____________________________________________________________________ Social care cuts: councils’ guilty secret 17 March 2014 Government underfunding of the reforms enshrined in the Care Bill could finally bring the crisis in social care funding into the open. The reforms, including a cap on what people will have to pay for care and a deferred payment scheme so that people will not have to sell their home, will cost local and central government a great deal of money while failing to meet the expectations generated by this complicated and widely misunderstood legislation. A survey by the County Councils Network has revealed overwhelming concern that the changes are going to increase pressures on social care budgets. On Monday the Local Government Association and social care leaders warned there is a £135m shortfall in the new money for councils to implement the Bill. The funding dispute with ministers has become so bitter that the Department of Health recently accused the LGA of publishing misleading figures. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Ministers under fire on contract secrecy 11 March 2014 The government is under attack from both business and Parliament for excessive secrecy around its contracts. Last week the CBI proposed measures to increase the transparency of public services contracts. Director-general John Cridland said the 200,000 private firms involved in public services “recognise that they operated in an industry which rightly demands close public scrutiny”. Alluding to scandals around companies such as G4S and Serco, he added: “We can’t ignore the fact that confidence in the sector has been badly hit by several high-profile failures and that it will take time and meaningful change to rebuild it.” The CBI is proposing that in every contract negotiation, contractors and customers should discuss how information should be published in order to make it as accessible and comparable as possible. Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider ____________________________________________________________________ Labour seeks solution to messy problem 7 March 2014 Labour’s independent commission on health policy has made some welcome recommendations on integrated care and system reform, but could create conflict between the NHS and local government. The commission, led by respected GP Sir John Oldham, develops the idea of “whole person care” championed by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, intended to bring together physical and mental healthcare with social care. It calls for the Payment by Results system to be reformed to stop rewarding episodic care in hospitals, and advocates outcome based commissioning. This would typically be achieved through a prime contractor, where one organisation is responsible for the delivery and coordination of services to achieve specific outcomes. On reconfiguring services it wants a “national conversation,” to be completed by 2016, on the future of health and social care. Read the full article at the BMJ ____________________________________________________________________ Contradictions in Labour’s health plans 7 March 2014 The proposals for Labour's health policy, unveiled this week, open up the prospect of profound changes in the local and national system of leadership of the NHS. The report, One Person, One Team, One System, is the outcome of the party's commission on "whole person care" led by GP Sir John Oldham. Championing integrated health and social care, it is strongly focused on making the system fit round the needs of individuals. It calls for the abolition of the current competition rules and for the loathed Office of Fair Trading to be kept out of the NHS. However, there is no mention of shadow health secretary Andy Burnham's plan to make NHS services the "preferred provider" of healthcare. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Addenbrooke’s leader’s sight on success 5 March 2014 As a one-time special forces sniper and a former transplant physician, Keith McNeil, chief executive of Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, has little time for leaders who can't make decisions. "If you are in a position where you're supposed to make decisions and you can't, get out of the chair and let someone sit there who will," he says. The report into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS scandal is among several that have identified poor leadership as a cause of service failures. The NHS is now investing tens of millions in leadership training. McNeil calls himself a leader, not a manager. "I've never done any finance or management courses," he says, and he tries to imbue his staff with the self-belief to decide and act rather than wait to be told. After his first year leading Cambridge University Hospitals NHS foundation trust – which consists of Addenbrooke's, world-famous for services such as transplantation, treatment of rare cancers and neurological intensive care, and the Rosie women's and maternity hospital – McNeil has just seen plans to move the renowned Papworth transplant hospital to a new facility next door to Addenbrooke's delayed by a last-minute Treasury intervention. Read the full article at Guardian Society ____________________________________________________________________ Labour wants evolution not revolution 5 March 2014 Labour is preparing the ground for yet another substantial reorganisation of public services. In a speech to the Social Market Foundation last week, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie made the case for upheaval – but gave some hope that changes may be more permissive and evolutionary than top-down. The speech was built around the standard claim that Labour will conduct a “zero-based review” of public spending, as if any government can avoid honouring huge commitments from the previous administration. Leslie said his party’s public service reforms will be built around two ideas. As well as Ed Miliband’s “people powered services”, Labour will “declutter”, and look at how services could be “reconstituted to release the cashable savings that are now required”. Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider
March 2014
Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Europhiles need to shout about benefits 20 March 2014 As Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg scrap over the UK's future in the EU, the public sector has already given its verdict. Guardian research unveiled on Tuesday at its Public Leaders' Summit that no single issue is less important. When senior public sector staff were asked their key challenges over the next 12 months, engaging with the EU came last. Only 7% of respondents mentioned it. Does Europe matter at all to local government? In the 1980s and 1990s EU funding was a big local government focus. Areas of high poverty, or where there had been rural or industrial decline – mine closures, for instance – all benefited substantially from EU largess. Bidding for this money (managed under impenetrable titles such as the Objective 2 Programme) required an undignified parading of economic and social wounds, because those who appeared more desperate were more likely to get the cash. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ NHS debts distract from procurement 20 March 2014 The Department of Health has been railing against the lack of interest in the NHS towards procurement. They are frustrated that, with many trusts ending this year in deficit, senior managers seem to have the attitude: “I haven’t got time to focus on procurement because I’ve got this big debt to worry about.” Data collected by Health Service Journal shows 54 of the 141 non-specialist hospital trusts in England are expecting to end 2013-14 in deficit. Yet, according to John Warrington, DH deputy director for procurement policy and research, there are only 600 qualified buyers across the entire NHS to oversee £20 billion of spending on goods and services. The DH estimates this amounts to almost a third of the operating costs of a typical hospital. According to Supply Management, Warrington told a conference last week: “There is a lack of leadership on procurement in trusts.” “Chief executives still don’t give this the attention it deserves.” Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider ____________________________________________________________________ Who is blocking change in the NHS? 20 March 2014 In his last days as NHS England chief executive, Sir David Nicholson has warned that the health service is doomed to long-term decline unless it reforms comprehensively and fast. So who is blocking change and what should happen to them? In an interview last week with the Guardian's Denis Campbell, Nicholson argued that it requires "massive change, on a scale we've never seen before, and over a shorter period of time than we've ever seen before in healthcare". He envisages huge centralisation of specialist services and emergency care, alongside substantial expansion of primary and community care and far closer co-operation between clinicians inside and outside hospitals. Yet across the NHS, powerful, poorly co-ordinated parts of the system are obstructing change. Foundation trusts (FT), terrified of exposure by Monitor or the Care Quality Commission, are more focused on being inspected and regulated than they are on working with clinical commissioners to reform the local health economy. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Leadership training in wake of Francis 18 March 2014 Leadership has been identified as the cause of NHS failures and the cornerstone of the solutions. Intolerance of management shortcomings since the Francis Inquiry has led 10 trust chief executives to resign, while thousands of managers and trainees have been undergoing leadership development in pursuit of high quality, compassionate care. In his final report last February into the failings at Mid- Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Robert Francis QC laid bare repeated leadership failures at the root of the collapse in quality in parts of Stafford Hospital. The board “failed to tackle an insidious negative culture involving a tolerance of poor standards and a disengagement from managerial and leadership responsibilities”. Leadership failures were everywhere – surgery, A&E, nursing, the primary care trust and the strategic health authority. Read the full article in Health Manager (page 15) ____________________________________________________________________ MPs give verdict on procurement 18 March 2014 The day before the Public Accounts Committee launched its latest broadside about government outsourcing, the more congenial Communities and Local Government Committee published the results of its investigation into local government procurement. Three decades after councils were force-fed the private sector under Margaret Thatcher’s compulsory competitive tendering drive, local government is more comfortable hiring and working with the private sector than either central government or the NHS. It is still some way from providing the rest of the public sector with a procurement masterclass – even the Society of Procurement Officers only claimed there were “pockets of excellence” – but there is encouraging evidence emerging of councils’ growing determination to extract wider social benefits from their contracts. Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider ____________________________________________________________________ Social care cuts: councils’ guilty secret 17 March 2014 Government underfunding of the reforms enshrined in the Care Bill could finally bring the crisis in social care funding into the open. The reforms, including a cap on what people will have to pay for care and a deferred payment scheme so that people will not have to sell their home, will cost local and central government a great deal of money while failing to meet the expectations generated by this complicated and widely misunderstood legislation. A survey by the County Councils Network has revealed overwhelming concern that the changes are going to increase pressures on social care budgets. On Monday the Local Government Association and social care leaders warned there is a £135m shortfall in the new money for councils to implement the Bill. The funding dispute with ministers has become so bitter that the Department of Health recently accused the LGA of publishing misleading figures. Read the full article on the Guardian local government network ____________________________________________________________________ Ministers under fire on contract secrecy 11 March 2014 The government is under attack from both business and Parliament for excessive secrecy around its contracts. Last week the CBI proposed measures to increase the transparency of public services contracts. Director-general John Cridland said the 200,000 private firms involved in public services “recognise that they operated in an industry which rightly demands close public scrutiny”. Alluding to scandals around companies such as G4S and Serco, he added: “We can’t ignore the fact that confidence in the sector has been badly hit by several high-profile failures and that it will take time and meaningful change to rebuild it.” The CBI is proposing that in every contract negotiation, contractors and customers should discuss how information should be published in order to make it as accessible and comparable as possible. Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider ____________________________________________________________________ Labour seeks solution to messy problem 7 March 2014 Labour’s independent commission on health policy has made some welcome recommendations on integrated care and system reform, but could create conflict between the NHS and local government. The commission, led by respected GP Sir John Oldham, develops the idea of “whole person care” championed by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, intended to bring together physical and mental healthcare with social care. It calls for the Payment by Results system to be reformed to stop rewarding episodic care in hospitals, and advocates outcome based commissioning. This would typically be achieved through a prime contractor, where one organisation is responsible for the delivery and coordination of services to achieve specific outcomes. On reconfiguring services it wants a “national conversation,” to be completed by 2016, on the future of health and social care. Read the full article at the BMJ ____________________________________________________________________ Contradictions in Labour’s health plans 7 March 2014 The proposals for Labour's health policy, unveiled this week, open up the prospect of profound changes in the local and national system of leadership of the NHS. The report, One Person, One Team, One System, is the outcome of the party's commission on "whole person care" led by GP Sir John Oldham. Championing integrated health and social care, it is strongly focused on making the system fit round the needs of individuals. It calls for the abolition of the current competition rules and for the loathed Office of Fair Trading to be kept out of the NHS. However, there is no mention of shadow health secretary Andy Burnham's plan to make NHS services the "preferred provider" of healthcare. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Addenbrooke’s leader’s sight on success 5 March 2014 As a one-time special forces sniper and a former transplant physician, Keith McNeil, chief executive of Addenbrooke's hospital, Cambridge, has little time for leaders who can't make decisions. "If you are in a position where you're supposed to make decisions and you can't, get out of the chair and let someone sit there who will," he says. The report into the Mid-Staffordshire NHS scandal is among several that have identified poor leadership as a cause of service failures. The NHS is now investing tens of millions in leadership training. McNeil calls himself a leader, not a manager. "I've never done any finance or management courses," he says, and he tries to imbue his staff with the self- belief to decide and act rather than wait to be told. After his first year leading Cambridge University Hospitals NHS foundation trust – which consists of Addenbrooke's, world- famous for services such as transplantation, treatment of rare cancers and neurological intensive care, and the Rosie women's and maternity hospital – McNeil has just seen plans to move the renowned Papworth transplant hospital to a new facility next door to Addenbrooke's delayed by a last-minute Treasury intervention. Read the full article at Guardian Society ____________________________________________________________________ Labour wants evolution not revolution 5 March 2014 Labour is preparing the ground for yet another substantial reorganisation of public services. In a speech to the Social Market Foundation last week, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie made the case for upheaval – but gave some hope that changes may be more permissive and evolutionary than top-down. The speech was built around the standard claim that Labour will conduct a “zero-based review” of public spending, as if any government can avoid honouring huge commitments from the previous administration. Leslie said his party’s public service reforms will be built around two ideas. As well as Ed Miliband’s “people powered services”, Labour will “declutter”, and look at how services could be “reconstituted to release the cashable savings that are now required”. Read the full article on Public Procurement Insider