Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Public sector needs to find voice on cuts 27 June 2014 There is a growing consensus that it is time the finance profession found its voice on public spending. Politicians say cuts can be pain-free, but the public are confused about the true financial position and what it means for local services. Informed, impartial professionals are urgently needed to join the debate. To address this need, CIPFA is holding a series of roundtable debates across the country to give public sector finance managers a platform to speak about public spending policy and practice, and to help the institute develop its own policies. The first, in May, focused on health and social care – the pressures and opportunities for collaboration and integration. It was held in Leeds and led by Mike Farrar, CIPFA’s strategic adviser on health, and involved more than a dozen finance leaders from across the North of England. Read the full article in Public Finance ____________________________________________________________________ Hunt’s safety league table misses target 26 June 2014 The superficial appeal of health secretary Jeremy Hunt's new safety league  table obscures deeper questions about how to create a safety culture throughout the NHS. As part of the government's Sign Up to Safety campaign, the NHS Choices website now carries a measure of "open and honest reporting" of patient safety incidents. Open and honest reporting is of course essential to developing a safety culture, but it is questionable whether this particular measure is focusing on the right issue. The indicator has five components, such as an organisation's NHS staff survey rating on whether it has fair and effective incident reporting procedures, and potential underreporting of death and severe harm to the National Reporting and Learning System – the central database of patient safety incident reports, which has logged over four million cases since it was established in 2003. Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Miliband betrays weak localist vision 20 June 2014 Local government reform should be inseparable from the economic and social issues it is intended to tackle and the Institute for Public Policy Research's (IPPR) Condition of Britain report, released on 19 June, puts a persuasive case for empowering local government. Judging by Ed Miliband's speech at the launch, however, it is far from clear whether he will take much notice. The report was supposed to be a major staging post in the development of Labour's manifesto. But speaking at an IPPR event, Miliband's response was an obsessional focus on being tough on welfare costs while doing little to develop the wider themes about the distribution of power. He observed there is a deep sense of pessimism about whether Westminster politics has any of the answers, but failed to provide an alternative vision. As a curtain-raiser for the imminent report by Labour's local government innovation taskforce, it was not promising. Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Will the NHS really allow people power? 12 June 2014 The NHS will soon be in the grip of unprecedented people power. Will there be knowledge and responsibility to go with it? Two events are beginning to define the role of popular sentiment and personal consent in the NHS – the crescendo of opposition to Care.data, and the determination of NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens that public opinion should be given significant weight in determining service configurations. The failure to involve the public in building the concept of Care.data collided with public suspicion of big government, big business and big data to form a critical mass of insurmountable opposition. Ever tuned to political risk, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has overseen its indefinite postponement as a national project. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Unpalatable truth on service integration 6 June 2014 The reality of trying to redesign public services is actually much harder than anyone wants to admit. Ministers peddle platitudes about the integration of health and social care and say services should be built around those who use them, but what happens when you try to do this? Councils in 25 areas across England have been finding out. They have been participating in the government-backed Local Vision programme which encourages those working to improve local areas – such as NHS trusts, probation services and businesses – to come together in an attempt to solve problems that often seem intractable. This includes alcohol abuse in Plymouth, female genital mutilation in Hackney and food poverty in Wirral. Each area has been attempting to make a real difference to how things are done. Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Does evidence on integration stack up? 3 June 2014 The case for integrating care has been compelling. It seems obvious that health and social care services should be working more closely together to provide better care, meet rising demand, and cut costs in wasted or duplicated efforts. It is the much needed shift in care provision that people have been talking about for 20 years. But evidence that integration works is hard to find. Does it justify the time and money being spent? Integrated care is an imprecise term. It is often used to describe the coordination of existing services, perhaps extending to pooling budgets or sharing staff. But Merav Dover, chief officer for Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care in south London––says: “Don’t confuse integration with just joining up—it’s a completely different approach and model of care. Read the full article in the BMJ ____________________________________________________________________ How NHS might escape funding crisis 29 May 2014 This week two visions are being offered for how the NHS can find its way out of the funding and quality crises. One is a myth, the other might make a difference. The myth is, of course, being peddled by a politician. This week it's the turn of health secretary Jeremy Hunt (again). In an HSJ interview he claimed that safety and technology are all that are needed to get the NHS through more years of deficit reduction. Eradicating mistakes while installing new kit appears to be the way forward. Of course safe care saves money, but it is specious to suggest the potential savings are anything like the size required. In support of his argument Hunt deployed the now familiar 'if only the whole NHS was like Salford Royal' line. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Winners still have chances despite cuts 23 May 2014 This is a good year to be winning control of your local council. Party groups that have seized control in the elections have a great deal more to do than simply administer cuts. Even slashing spending provides political opportunities. That is not to trivialise the reality of the cuts – particularly in northern councils, which are suffering the most – but there are still options. While it is true many councils are reaching the limit of anything that could be called an efficiency saving, there are certainly more opportunities to be found for reshaping services through collaboration with other councils and other parts of the public sector. Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Parties promote visions for primary care 15 May 2014 The focus of the NHS and politicians is finally shifting to where the transformation in healthcare needs to take place – primary care services. Who should commission them, how much money they should get and what they should do are all being debated. It is striking that one of Simon Stevens' first actions as NHS England chief executive has been to tackle the paralysis in primary care development, by acceding to clinical commissioning group calls for a much bigger role in developing primary care. His invitation to CCGs to demonstrate how they would use additional powers to improve quality and put their local NHS on a "sustainable path" is a major step forward in turning the talk about shifting resources from hospitals to communities into action. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Why Better Care Fund belief is faltering 9 May 2014 The Better Care Fund is under scrutiny, and with it, local government's role in the health and care system. Until a few weeks ago, integration was seen as the best hope for improving care quality while coping with rising demand in an age of austerity. Now that belief is faltering. In March a study by York University of 38 schemes around the world pooling health and social care resources – including 13 in England – found none had secured a sustained reduction in hospital use. Last week, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, making clear his scepticism over the likely impact of schemes to be funded from next year by the Better Care Fund, told the health select committee: "There are all kinds of ways of doing [integration] which don't work." Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Health learns to work with local politics 8 May 2014 Local government matters to hospitals as never before in NHS history. Councils oversee services vital to hospitals’ success, share their money, play a central role in setting local health policy and scrutinise hospitals’ performance and plans. The legislation introducing the NHS reforms underpins much of the current relationship. Working together is tough. Both sides are short of money while many NHS staff are baffled by local politics. “The relationship between the NHS and local government is as close as it has ever been,” says Carolyn Downs, chief executive of the Local Government Association. “Finally the right conversations are being had and the right people are having them but that doesn’t mean there aren’t significant cultural barriers which need to be worked at.” Read the full article at Health Service Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Stevens offers hospital closure escape 1 May 2014 In his first appearance at the health select committee, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens revealed important departures from orthodox thinking about the future of the health service, while repeatedly championing local autonomy in deciding the best way to deliver care. During more than two hours of questioning, Stevens revealed deep scepticism about the effectiveness of integration schemes being planned as part of the Better Care Fund. He highlighted research published last month  by York University, which found that not one of 38 integration schemes in eight countries – including 13 projects in England – secured a sustained, long-term reduction in hospital admissions. As Stevens told MPs: "There are all kinds of ways of doing these things which don't work." Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network
May to June 2014
Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Public sector needs to find voice on cuts 27 June 2014 There is a growing consensus that it is time the finance profession found its voice on public spending. Politicians say cuts can be pain-free, but the public are confused about the true financial position and what it means for local services. Informed, impartial professionals are urgently needed to join the debate. To address this need, CIPFA is holding a series of roundtable debates across the country to give public sector finance managers a platform to speak about public spending policy and practice, and to help the institute develop its own policies. The first, in May, focused on health and social care – the pressures and opportunities for collaboration and integration. It was held in Leeds and led by Mike Farrar, CIPFA’s strategic adviser on health, and involved more than a dozen finance leaders from across the North of England. Read the full article in Public Finance ____________________________________________________________________ Hunt’s safety league table misses target 26 June 2014 The superficial appeal of health secretary Jeremy Hunt's new safety league table obscures deeper questions about how to create a safety culture throughout the NHS. As part of the government's Sign Up to Safety campaign, the NHS Choices website now carries a measure of "open and honest reporting" of patient safety incidents. Open and honest reporting is of course essential to developing a safety culture, but it is questionable whether this particular measure is focusing on the right issue. The indicator has five components, such as an organisation's NHS staff survey rating on whether it has fair and effective incident reporting procedures, and potential underreporting of death and severe harm to the National Reporting and Learning System – the central database of patient safety incident reports, which has logged over four million cases since it was established in 2003. Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Miliband betrays weak localist vision 20 June 2014 Local government reform should be inseparable from the economic and social issues it is intended to tackle and the Institute for Public Policy Research's (IPPR) Condition of Britain report, released on 19 June, puts a persuasive case for empowering local government. Judging by Ed Miliband's speech at the launch, however, it is far from clear whether he will take much notice. The report was supposed to be a major staging post in the development of Labour's manifesto. But speaking at an IPPR event, Miliband's response was an obsessional focus on being tough on welfare costs while doing little to develop the wider themes about the distribution of power. He observed there is a deep sense of pessimism about whether Westminster politics has any of the answers, but failed to provide an alternative vision. As a curtain-raiser for the imminent report by Labour's local government innovation taskforce, it was not promising. Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Will the NHS really allow people power? 12 June 2014 The NHS will soon be in the grip of unprecedented people power. Will there be knowledge and responsibility to go with it? Two events are beginning to define the role of popular sentiment and personal consent in the NHS – the crescendo of opposition to Care.data, and the determination of NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens that public opinion should be given significant weight in determining service configurations. The failure to involve the public in building the concept of Care.data collided with public suspicion of big government, big business and big data to form a critical mass of insurmountable opposition. Ever tuned to political risk, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has overseen its indefinite postponement as a national project. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Unpalatable truth on service integration 6 June 2014 The reality of trying to redesign public services is actually much harder than anyone wants to admit. Ministers peddle platitudes about the integration of health and social care and say services should be built around those who use them, but what happens when you try to do this? Councils in 25 areas across England have been finding out. They have been participating in the government-backed Local Vision programme which encourages those working to improve local areas – such as NHS trusts, probation services and businesses – to come together in an attempt to solve problems that often seem intractable. This includes alcohol abuse in Plymouth, female genital mutilation in Hackney and food poverty in Wirral. Each area has been attempting to make a real difference to how things are done. Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Does evidence on integration stack up? 3 June 2014 The case for integrating care has been compelling. It seems obvious that health and social care services should be working more closely together to provide better care, meet rising demand, and cut costs in wasted or duplicated efforts. It is the much needed shift in care provision that people have been talking about for 20 years. But evidence that integration works is hard to find. Does it justify the time and money being spent? Integrated care is an imprecise term. It is often used to describe the coordination of existing services, perhaps extending to pooling budgets or sharing staff. But Merav Dover, chief officer for Southwark and Lambeth Integrated Care in south London––says: “Don’t confuse integration with just joining up—it’s a completely different approach and model of care. Read the full article in the BMJ ____________________________________________________________________ How NHS might escape funding crisis 29 May 2014 This week two visions are being offered for how the NHS can find its way out of the funding and quality crises. One is a myth, the other might make a difference. The myth is, of course, being peddled by a politician. This week it's the turn of health secretary Jeremy Hunt (again). In an HSJ interview he claimed that safety and technology are all that are needed to get the NHS through more years of deficit reduction. Eradicating mistakes while installing new kit appears to be the way forward. Of course safe care saves money, but it is specious to suggest the potential savings are anything like the size required. In support of his argument Hunt deployed the now familiar 'if only the whole NHS was like Salford Royal' line. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Winners still have chances despite cuts 23 May 2014 This is a good year to be winning control of your local council. Party groups that have seized control in the elections have a great deal more to do than simply administer cuts. Even slashing spending provides political opportunities. That is not to trivialise the reality of the cuts – particularly in northern councils, which are suffering the most – but there are still options. While it is true many councils are reaching the limit of anything that could be called an efficiency saving, there are certainly more opportunities to be found for reshaping services through collaboration with other councils and other parts of the public sector. Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Parties promote visions for primary care 15 May 2014 The focus of the NHS and politicians is finally shifting to where the transformation in healthcare needs to take place – primary care services. Who should commission them, how much money they should get and what they should do are all being debated. It is striking that one of Simon Stevens' first actions as NHS England chief executive has been to tackle the paralysis in primary care development, by acceding to clinical commissioning group calls for a much bigger role in developing primary care. His invitation to CCGs to demonstrate how they would use additional powers to improve quality and put their local NHS on a "sustainable path" is a major step forward in turning the talk about shifting resources from hospitals to communities into action. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Why Better Care Fund belief is faltering 9 May 2014 The Better Care Fund is under scrutiny, and with it, local government's role in the health and care system. Until a few weeks ago, integration was seen as the best hope for improving care quality while coping with rising demand in an age of austerity. Now that belief is faltering. In March a study by York University of 38 schemes around the world pooling health and social care resources – including 13 in England – found none had secured a sustained reduction in hospital use. Last week, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, making clear his scepticism over the likely impact of schemes to be funded from next year by the Better Care Fund, told the health select committee: "There are all kinds of ways of doing [integration] which don't work." Read the full article on the Guardian Local Government Network ____________________________________________________________________ Health learns to work with local politics 8 May 2014 Local government matters to hospitals as never before in NHS history. Councils oversee services vital to hospitals’ success, share their money, play a central role in setting local health policy and scrutinise hospitals’ performance and plans. The legislation introducing the NHS reforms underpins much of the current relationship. Working together is tough. Both sides are short of money while many NHS staff are baffled by local politics. “The relationship between the NHS and local government is as close as it has ever been,” says Carolyn Downs, chief executive of the Local Government Association. “Finally the right conversations are being had and the right people are having them but that doesn’t mean there aren’t significant cultural barriers which need to be worked at.” Read the full article at Health Service Journal ____________________________________________________________________ Stevens offers hospital closure escape 1 May 2014 In his first appearance at the health select committee, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens revealed important departures from orthodox thinking about the future of the health service, while repeatedly championing local autonomy in deciding the best way to deliver care. During more than two hours of questioning, Stevens revealed deep scepticism about the effectiveness of integration schemes being planned as part of the Better Care Fund. He highlighted research published last month by York University, which found that not one of 38 integration schemes in eight countries – including 13 projects in England – secured a sustained, long-term reduction in hospital admissions. As Stevens told MPs: "There are all kinds of ways of doing these things which don't work." Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network