Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Regulator beatings don’t secure change 11 December 2014 There are two narratives in the NHS inspired by the central bodies; one is a story of opportunities and possibilities, the other is finding someone to blame. While the regulatory beatings are continuing, there are signs the positive approach is gaining ground. In recent days the Care Quality Commission has been choking on its own bile. First it had to admit that it had wrongly categorised 60 GP practices as high risk in ratings it had published for surgeries across England, after a BBC investigation uncovered flaws in its methodology and a failure to test the data properly. Then on Tuesday the CQC agreed to pay £570,000 in an out-of-court settlement for a libel action brought by its former deputy chief executive, Jill Finney. The dispute arose from the investigation by consultants Grant Thornton into the CQC’s flawed oversight of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS foundation trust. The regulator found itself driven by media and political pressure into ever more complex investigations built around highly-contested claims and counter-claims. It is deplorable that an organisation dedicated to overseeing standards should end up in such a position with one of its own former managers. (It has at least avoided forming a circular firing squad with Grant Thornton, having decided not to pursue the company for a contribution to the costs.) Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Kerslake reveals the rot in Birmingham 10 December 2014 Birmingham city council is right to reject a government-inspired plan to oversee it with an improvement panel – but now members have to demonstrate they are able to change, and rapidly. On 9 December Sir Bob Kerslake, permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, published the results of his five- month inquiry into how Birmingham should address its dysfunctional politics and culture. His key recommendation is that the community secretary should appoint an independent improvement panel to provide “robust challenge and support” as the city tries to find a way out of difficulties largely of its own making. In the report, which was a consequence of the Trojan Horse letter about extremism in Birmingham schools, Kerslake highlights deep-seated problems such as a low-skilled workforce, an arrogant attitude towards partnerships, a multiplicity of plans and strategies that are not followed through and the absence of a clearly articulated vision for the city. Read the full article on the Guardian Public Leaders Network ____________________________________________________________________ What will end NHS resistance to change? 27 November 2014 Sir Stephen Bubb’s report exposing the failure of the NHS to reform the care of people with learning disabilities highlights the health service’s extraordinary ability to resist pressures to change. While clinical and technological innovations are commonplace, the Bubb  report exemplifies the way the NHS often seems impervious to system reform. After Panorama broadcast videos revealing the cruelty of staff at Winterbourne View, the government pledged to move all people with learning disabilities or autism inappropriately placed in institutions into community care. Three years later, more people are institutionalised than ever. Everyone agreed what needed to be done. There were plenty of reports outlining what good services look like and how to commission them. A concordat was signed by more than 50 organisations – from the Department of Health to the NHS Confederation to social care bodies. Collectively they achieved virtually nothing. Government policy failed. Public outrage failed. Commissioning failed. Organisations promising to change failed. Bubb concludes that “we made it too hard … to make change happen, and too easy to continue with the status quo”. Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Faults at the heart of Better Care Fund 13 November 2014 The National Audit Office’s (NAO) forensic dissection of the Better Care Fund  fiasco is a harsh lesson in the dangers of ministerial interference in health and care systems under stress. Its report Planning for the Better Care Fund – published this week – exposes how the government mishandled the entire project. The fund was the coalition’s gambit in the battle with Labour over who would integrate the NHS and social care. Launched as a flagship policy in the 2013 Autumn  Statement, it was a triumph of presentation over strategic thinking – big, bold, long on rhetoric, short on delivery detail and recycling old money as extra funding. It soon hit trouble. NHS England and the Local Government Association (LGA) published guidance on how it would work that December, and all local areas submitted bids by April on how they would spend their cut in 2015-16. Ministers then scrapped the guidance, dumped the bids and restarted the whole process. The broken wire at the heart of the machine was that the Department of Health and NHS England were planning on securing £1bn of savings on the back of the £3.8bn Better Care Fund, but robust thinking to achieve this was not put at the core of guidance for the 151 local bids. Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network
November to December 2014
Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Regulator beatings don’t secure change 11 December 2014 There are two narratives in the NHS inspired by the central bodies; one is a story of opportunities and possibilities, the other is finding someone to blame. While the regulatory beatings are continuing, there are signs the positive approach is gaining ground. In recent days the Care Quality Commission has been choking on its own bile. First it had to admit that it had wrongly categorised 60 GP practices as high risk in ratings it had published for surgeries across England, after a BBC investigation uncovered flaws in its methodology and a failure to test the data properly. Then on Tuesday the CQC agreed to pay £570,000 in an out-of- court settlement for a libel action brought by its former deputy chief executive, Jill Finney. The dispute arose from the investigation by consultants Grant Thornton into the CQC’s flawed oversight of University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS foundation trust. The regulator found itself driven by media and political pressure into ever more complex investigations built around highly-contested claims and counter-claims. It is deplorable that an organisation dedicated to overseeing standards should end up in such a position with one of its own former managers. (It has at least avoided forming a circular firing squad with Grant Thornton, having decided not to pursue the company for a contribution to the costs.) Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Kerslake reveals the rot in Birmingham 10 December 2014 Birmingham city council is right to reject a government- inspired plan to oversee it with an improvement panel – but now members have to demonstrate they are able to change, and rapidly. On 9 December Sir Bob Kerslake, permanent secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, published the results of his five-month inquiry into how Birmingham should address its dysfunctional politics and culture. His key recommendation is that the community secretary should appoint an independent improvement panel to provide “robust challenge and support” as the city tries to find a way out of difficulties largely of its own making. In the report, which was a consequence of the Trojan Horse letter about extremism in Birmingham schools, Kerslake highlights deep-seated problems such as a low-skilled workforce, an arrogant attitude towards partnerships, a multiplicity of plans and strategies that are not followed through and the absence of a clearly articulated vision for the city. Read the full article on the Guardian Public Leaders Network ____________________________________________________________________ What will end NHS resistance to change? 27 November 2014 Sir Stephen Bubb’s report exposing the failure of the NHS to reform the care of people with learning disabilities highlights the health service’s extraordinary ability to resist pressures to change. While clinical and technological innovations are commonplace, the Bubb report exemplifies the way the NHS often seems impervious to system reform. After Panorama broadcast videos revealing the cruelty of staff at Winterbourne View, the government pledged to move all people with learning disabilities or autism inappropriately placed in institutions into community care. Three years later, more people are institutionalised than ever. Everyone agreed what needed to be done. There were plenty of reports outlining what good services look like and how to commission them. A concordat was signed by more than 50 organisations – from the Department of Health to the NHS Confederation to social care bodies. Collectively they achieved virtually nothing. Government policy failed. Public outrage failed. Commissioning failed. Organisations promising to change failed. Bubb concludes that “we made it too hard … to make change happen, and too easy to continue with the status quo”. Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network ____________________________________________________________________ Faults at the heart of Better Care Fund 13 November 2014 The National Audit Office’s (NAO) forensic dissection of the Better Care Fund fiasco is a harsh lesson in the dangers of ministerial interference in health and care systems under stress. Its report Planning for the Better Care Fund – published this week – exposes how the government mishandled the entire project. The fund was the coalition’s gambit in the battle with Labour over who would integrate the NHS and social care. Launched as a flagship policy in the 2013 Autumn Statement, it was a triumph of presentation over strategic thinking – big, bold, long on rhetoric, short on delivery detail and recycling old money as extra funding. It soon hit trouble. NHS England and the Local Government Association (LGA) published guidance on how it would work that December, and all local areas submitted bids by April on how they would spend their cut in 2015-16. Ministers then scrapped the guidance, dumped the bids and restarted the whole process. The broken wire at the heart of the machine was that the Department of Health and NHS England were planning on securing £1bn of savings on the back of the £3.8bn Better Care Fund, but robust thinking to achieve this was not put at the core of guidance for the 151 local bids. Read the full article on the Guardian Healthcare Network