The Scalpel's Daily 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.

Communication in the NHS: Who has control?

08.02.17: On behalf of the Patients Association, Nic Hart has recently penned an open letter to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman in an attempt to keep pressing for answers around the 2012 death of his teenage daughter, Averil, whilst in the care...

Developing sustainable later-life care

25.01.17: Design Council’s Chris Finnegan explains how an innovative new partnership between health and social care professionals, social entrepreneurs and the public could help tackle the growing concern of how best to develop sustainable later-lif...

Winter NHS – Leadership at the most critical time

18.01.17: Clare Price-Dowd, a registered nurse and senior programme lead at the NHS Leadership Academy, looks at the importance of leadership on the frontline during the challenging winter period when pressures are intensified.   Winter is...

Niall Dickson named new NHS Confederation chief executive

11.01.17: NHS Confederation has announced the appointment of the former head of the General Medical Council (GMC) as its new chief executive. Niall Dickson led the GMC for seven years before stepping down last year, and was previously chief executive...

GM contract promotes healthcare for LGBT community

09.01.17: LGBT patients in Greater Manchester will be able to access appropriate primary healthcare following a new contract offered by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSC). GMHSC has awarded a three-year contract to loca...

Health and social care leaders recognised in New Year’s Honours

04.01.17: Several prominent health and social care figures have been acknowledged in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list, with the chief executive of the CQC, David Behan, receiving a knighthood. Others knighted or made dames included David Sloman...

Over 80% of healthcare workers say ‘no’ to British values oath

21.12.16: Plans to require public sector workers to swear an oath of allegiance to British values have been strongly opposed by NHS workers, according to a poll from the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM). Dame Louise Casey suggested the idea i...

Framework to focus on compassionate and inclusive leadership

09.11.16: Professor Michael West, senior fellow at The King’s Fund, who has been involved in the development of the National Improvement and Leadership Development Framework, explains why compassionate and inclusive leadership will be core to the fr...

Improving palliative care for children in Scotland

02.11.16: Dr Pat Carragher, medical director at the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS), explains how Scotland is becoming a leader in palliative care.  Leaving an unseasonably warm Scotland behind, I travelled to Montréa...

Regional winners for Our Health Heroes revealed

31.10.16: The men and women who keep the NHS running behind the scenes and improve the lives of patients are recognised today by the Our Health Heroes Awards, created by Skills for Health, the National Skills Academy for Health and UNISON. The awards...

A personal story of Black History within the NHS

26.10.16: As Black History Month comes to an end, Morvia Gooden, senior programme lead at the NHS Leadership Academy, talks about her personal experiences of racial inequality in the health system and how the Academy is working to change this culture acro...

The six barriers to making leadership development in health a priority

19.10.16: Chris Lake, head of professional development at the NHS Leadership Academy, considers the barriers to making leadership development a priority in health.  It could be argued that when it comes to investing in leadership development, th...

Black history for diverse futures

12.10.16: Tracie Jolliff, head of inclusion and systems leadership at the NHS Leadership Academy, talks about Black History Month and the importance of racial equality across the health system. Many of you will have seen the short video which has bee...

Making difficult decisions to transform local NHS services

05.10.16: Dr Amanda Doyle, NHS Clinical Commissioners co-chair and chief clinical officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, discusses the need for strong stakeholder engagement to deliver changes to local NHS services. Prioritisation and proposed changes to loca...

On the road to becoming ‘a truly inclusive employer and service provider’

03.10.16: Jackie Daniel, CEO at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, discusses the organisation’s journey to becoming an inclusive employer. As a trust board, becoming a truly inclusive employer and service provider is really import...

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latest healthcare news

Mackey hails ‘tremendous’ effort as trusts slash £1bn off agency staff bill

01/03/2017Mackey hails ‘tremendous’ effort as trusts slash £1bn off agency staff bill

Major agency controls across the health service have so far succeeded in saving £1bn since they were introduced in October 2015, latest NHS... more >
Major NHS ambition to shift to community care ‘elusive’ without extra cash

01/03/2017Major NHS ambition to shift to community care ‘elusive’ without extra cash

A report released today by the Nuffield Trust has revealed that STPs are working towards “undeliverable expectations”, warning that S... more >
Murphy steps down as Patients Association CEO

01/03/2017Murphy steps down as Patients Association CEO

The CEO of the Patients Association (PA) Katherine Murphy, who wrote for the most recent issue of NHE, is set to relinquish her role after nine y... more >

editor's comment

07/02/2017Handling the pressure

Although NHS trusts have been feeling the pressure this winter, as demand on A&E services continues to rise and the financial challenge deepens, it is worth noting and applauding the professionalism, determination and resilience of the workforce in still delivering world-class healthcare.  However, as you’ll read throughout... read more >

last word

Lessons from Finland for NHS mental health

Lessons from Finland for NHS mental health

While many countries across Europe struggle to deal with a rising demand for mental health services, Finland is successfully improving service provision via a new online portal. Professor Grigori Joffe, medical director at Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa (HUS) and a member of Mental Health Hub’s founding team, explains how the ... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Communication in the NHS: Who has control?

08/02/2017Communication in the NHS: Who has control?

On behalf of the Patients Association, Nic Hart has recently penned an open letter to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman in an attempt to keep pressing for answers around the 2012 death of his teenage daughter, Averil, whilst in the care of Cambridge and Peterborough NHS FT. Here, he writes about the importance of communication and co-... more >
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Transforming community care

23/02/2017Transforming community care

Chris Gregory, head of clinical systems for LGSS Local Health and Care Shared Service — a public sector organisation providing back-office ... more >
Maximising the value of public engagement

20/02/2017Maximising the value of public engagement

Jane Mordue, the newly appointed permanent chair of Healthwatch England, explains why listening to feedback from the public is much more likely t... more >
Time to value ambulance staff

20/02/2017Time to value ambulance staff

Alan Lofthouse, Unison's national ambulance officer, discusses the need for policymakers to address the rising rate of ambulance staff leaving th... more >
Technology at the bedside: The benefits of mobile

20/02/2017Technology at the bedside: The benefits of mobile

Aaron Powell, chief digital officer at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), explains why the organisation sees mobile very much as the future. ... more >

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interviews

Improving the flow

13/02/2017Improving the flow

Glen Burley, chief executive of South Warwickshire NHS FT, explains how his organisation has been able to improve patient flow through its emerge... more >
Leadership development should be for all in health and care

07/12/2016Leadership development should be for all in health and care

Back in August, Stephen Hart joined Health Education England (HEE) as the organisation’s new director of leadership development, which incl... more >
The powerful link between staff and patient satisfaction

03/10/2016The powerful link between staff and patient satisfaction

David Behan CBE, chief executive of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), talks to NHE about the correlation between high rates of staff satisfactio... more >
Dame Fiona Caldicott: We’re not quite ready for sharing back-office function on data security

07/07/2016Dame Fiona Caldicott: We’re not quite ready for sharing back-office function on data security

NHE’s David Stevenson talks to Dame Fiona Caldicott following her much-awaited Review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs. In the f... more >