The Scalpel's Blog

A smattering of opinions on health policy and NHS news from National Health Executive’s most cutting and merciless reporter, ‘The Scalpel’.

Bringing together a daily dose of sarcasm and realism with an occasional spoonful of sugar, these pick-me-ups for the healthcare manager may prove bitter pills to swallow but keep the patient’s best interests at heart.

Interested in becoming a guest blogger? Email the editor.

Data sharing to improve care: the GP potential

18.05.18: As sharing data across organisations becomes the norm in the NHS, will general practice embrace its potential to improve the care we deliver to patients? Rebecca Fisher, a GP and policy fellow at the Health Foundation, investigates. “...

Nurses are great, aren’t they?

11.05.18: Sacha Rowlands, a former NHS nurse turned NHE journalist, invites everyone to celebrate the invaluable contribution nurses make to the health service as part of tomorrow’s International Nurses’ Day. Seriously, where would we be with...

The impact of NICE guidance on child birth

11.05.18: Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care for NICE, talks us through the impact of their work and guidance on pregnancy, birth and the early weeks of a child’s life. Having a baby can be one...

The NHS is at a crossroads, on a precarious path to a future yet unknown

11.05.18: Niall Dickson CBE, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, gives NHE readers an exclusive preview of what to expect at this year’s edition of Confed18 – where high-profile speakers and deep-dive workshops and seminars will ensure d...

Tackling pyjama paralysis to prevent infection

30.04.18: Pat Cattini, Vice-President of the Infection Prevention Society, discusses the importance and advantages of getting patients out of bed, dressed and moving about.  There are widespread benefits to getting patients dressed up and moving...

NHS leaders have a duty to unlock the potential of volunteers

26.04.18: Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, discusses the vital role volunteers have played in West Suffolk and how they are an untapped recourse of potential for the NHS. Volunteers play a valuable role in our co...

NHS long-term funding: what’s in store?

10.04.18: Anita Charlesworth, director of research and economics at the Health Foundation, discusses Theresa May’s recent announcements on long-term NHS funding and considers the options available. The prime minister’s appearance in front...

Tough task ahead for the NHS

04.04.18: Phillippa Hentsch, head of analysis at NHS Providers, paints a stark picture of NHS finances, workforce pressures and unsustainable targets for the coming year unless firmer action is taken by the government. We wanted it. We campaigned for...

International Women’s Day: time for change in gender pay

08.03.18: Dean Royles, director of human resources and organisational development at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, analyses the latest gender pay gap report released by trusts in Yorkshire. Today, 8 March, is International Women’s Day &nd...

Trusts recognise the value of the GIRFT programme – but it must remain ‘quality first’

09.02.18: Cassandra Cameron, policy advisor at NHS Providers, says trusts must be given constructive support – without fear of failure – in order for the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme to succeed. The NHS GIRFT programme ai...

The difference NICE is making for cancer patients

02.02.18: Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE, on her organisation’s new cancer impact report released just a few days before World Cancer Day this weekend. In the run-up to World Cancer...

Uncharted territory – what could 2018 bring for STPs and accountable care?

31.01.18: NHS Providers head of strategy, Miriam Deakin, considers the five potential themes her organisation would like to see in the year ahead as a result of emerging accountable care models. As sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs...

Workforce strategy: facing the facts

26.01.18: Dean Royles, director of human resources and organisational development at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, lays bare the four truths the NHS needs to confront if it intends to develop a workforce that is truly fit for the future. Health...

Ten lessons to support new care models locally

29.11.17: Anna Starling, policy fellow at the Health Foundation, offers the top 10 lessons for local leaders seeking to make systematic improvements across services, all based on first-hand accounts from vanguard officials. Redesigning health and soc...

From a bright idea to a successful programme

27.11.17: Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, on the impressive benefits and extremely high success rates of a brand new programme designed to prepare NHS staff for the challenging and complex role of becoming a CEO. The task of leading a...

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latest healthcare news

Taxes must rise by at least 4% to prevent NHS deterioration as ‘no savings left to make’

24/05/2018Taxes must rise by at least 4% to prevent NHS deterioration as ‘no savings left to make’

A taxation increase of at least 4% a year is necessary to prevent “unnecessary costs, inefficiencies and uncertainty” and improve qua... more >
Harding plans volunteering scheme for NHSI staff to ‘serve on the frontline’ during winter

24/05/2018Harding plans volunteering scheme for NHSI staff to ‘serve on the frontline’ during winter

The chair of NHS Improvement (NHSI) has announced that she wants to open a volunteering scheme for the organisation’s staff to experience t... more >
Hawking-backed fight against ‘unlawful’ NHS privatisation reaches High Court

23/05/2018Hawking-backed fight against ‘unlawful’ NHS privatisation reaches High Court

Legal proceedings will begin today at the High Court with a campaign group challenging the government over plans to implement accountable care or... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, that the NHS is inadequately funded. Even the secretary of state has argued that it will need more mon... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Data sharing to improve care: the GP potential

18/05/2018Data sharing to improve care: the GP potential

As sharing data across organisations becomes the norm in the NHS, will general practice embrace its potential to improve the care we deliver to patients? Rebecca Fisher, a GP and policy fellow at the Health Foundation, investigates. “I just assumed your computers talked to each other” is a phrase not infrequently heard in my g... more >
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The NHS is at a crossroads, on a precarious path to a future yet unknown

11/05/2018The NHS is at a crossroads, on a precarious path to a future yet unknown

Niall Dickson CBE, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, gives NHE readers an exclusive preview of what to expect at this year’s editio... more >
A different kind of medicine

02/05/2018A different kind of medicine

Could literature improve the quality of life of those with mental health conditions? According to Jane Davis, founder and director of The Reader,... more >
Is the NHS ready for another WannaCry?

02/05/2018Is the NHS ready for another WannaCry?

NHE’s Seamus McDonnell on the plans put in place to protect trusts and other NHS organisations from potential future cyber-attacks. In... more >
Janet Davies: Our future workforce

02/05/2018Janet Davies: Our future workforce

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), says ministers must accelerate progress to make nursin... more >

health service focus

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interviews

Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >
Tackling infection prevention locally

04/10/2017Tackling infection prevention locally

Dr Emma Burnett, a lecturer and researcher in infection prevention at the University of Dundee’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and a boar... more >
Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

02/10/2017Scan4Safety: benefits across the whole supply chain

NHE interviews Gillian Fox, head of eProcurement (Scan4Safety) programme at NHS Supply Chain. How has the Scan4Safety initiative evolved sin... more >