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.

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...

Our Health Heroes celebrates the overlooked workers in the sector

22.11.17: Sacha Rowlands, NHE’s London correspondent, reports from this year’s iteration of the Our Health Heroes awards, which seeks to give due recognition to the countless support staff that work tirelessly to keep the wheels of the healthcar...

A new paradigm for public health

10.11.17: Heather Henry RN MBA, Queens nurse and chair of the New NHS Alliance looks into the issue of health inequality in the NHS. Health inequality is like the many-headed hydra of Greek mythology: no matter how many heads you cut off, the beast...

Consultation opens on NHS pension changes

08.11.17: The Department of Health announced today that it is consulting on proposals to change NHS pension scheme regulations. Plans would involve the removal of a nomination form for unmarried or cohabiting partners to claim survivor pensions. ...

Welsh hospitals making huge progress in tackling superbugs

01.11.17: Deaths involving superbugs in Wales have hit a 15-year low according to the Office of National Statistic (ONS). MRSA, C. difficile and staphylococcus aureus were all recorded at lower levels, with MRSA deaths at their lowest in the last 22...

Our Health Heroes: NHS awards ceremony unveils shortlist

18.10.17: With the NHS facing unprecedented demand and difficult working conditions, it’s incredible that the workforce across the country still delivers great care to patients every single day. Requiring care is never a pleasant experience, but hav...

Fight the flu: how can your organisation prepare for winter?

16.10.17: Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, urges health and care bodies to fight the consequences of a potential flu epidemic by getting involved with national campaigns throughout the cold season. The words “winter crisis&rdqu...

Supporting chief executives to build a better NHS

04.10.17: We can spend years nurturing and supporting leaders to develop and progress into a chief executive role, yet a report by the King’s Fund found that the average tenure is just 18 months. What’s making people think about moving on so s...

Ensuring quality in the new NHS

11.09.17: Dr Marion Andrews-Evans, member of the NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) Nurses Forum steering group and executive nurse & quality lead at NHS Gloucestershire CCG, sings the praises of CCG quality leads who are working in often unseen roles...

We need your Health Heroes!

21.08.17: We are once again delighted to be the official media partner for the Our Health Heroes Awards, working alongside Skills for Health to celebrate those in our healthcare workforce who go above and beyond the call of duty. It’s important...

Turbo-boosting STPs? It’s time we got serious about ‘partnership’

27.07.17: Merron Simpson, chief executive New NHS Alliance, argues we’re missing the point of what ‘partnership working’ truly means if we refuse to recruit help from those outside the health service. Jeremy Hunt and Simon Steven&rs...

Is it right to label antidepressants ‘a prescription for murder’?

26.07.17: As the stigma about mental health decreases and more come forward to be treated for various illnesses, the number of antidepressants that are prescribed to sufferers will be set to increase. But tonight, the BBC will air a documentary argui...

Why diversity and inclusion are critical to leading much-needed change in the NHS

12.07.17: Despite 30 years of investment, the equality and diversity agenda hasn’t moved forward at anywhere near the pace we would have liked. Indeed, many colleagues have lost sight of the value this work brings. Tracie Jolliff, head of inclusion...

Confed17 open its doors in Liverpool today

14.06.17: Confed 17, the major annual NHS Confederation conference, has kicked off today in ACC Liverpool, inviting in more than 1,000 health and care leaders to discuss and review the long-term demand patterns needed in the sector. Highlights of the...

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latest healthcare news

Winter pressures mounting as A&E attendances creep up by 4.4%

14/12/2017Winter pressures mounting as A&E attendances creep up by 4.4%

NHS England’s latest figures show that although the health service is responding well to growing pressure, it is close to “full stretch... more >
Kent trust appoints NHSI director as new chief executive

14/12/2017Kent trust appoints NHSI director as new chief executive

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells (MTW) NHS Trust has appointed Miles Scott as its new chief executive. Scott joins the trust from his position ... more >
CCGs must move towards strategic commissioning to improve local care

14/12/2017CCGs must move towards strategic commissioning to improve local care

CCGs in the UK should move towards strategic commissioning if the healthcare system is to embrace a move toward integrated local care, claims a n... 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

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

The Refugee Doctor Initiative

Terry John, co-chair of the BMA & BDA Refugee Doctors and Dentists Liaison Group and chair of the union’s international committee, talks about a brilliant initiative that is proving mutually beneficial for overseas doctors and NHS patients alike. People say that once you’re a doctor, you’re always a doctor. Unfortuna... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Ten lessons to support new care models locally

29/11/2017Ten lessons to support new care models locally

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 social care services across traditional boundaries is not easy. Making change in complex environments, ... more >
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Strategic investment planning

13/12/2017Strategic investment planning

Paul Turton, head of solutions development at NHS Supply Chain, looks at how trusts can unlock investment in medical equipment to alleviate finan... more >
A fight worth fighting

13/12/2017A fight worth fighting

Professor Wendy Burn, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), laments the current lack of public understanding about severe me... more >
Developing a wellness workforce

13/12/2017Developing a wellness workforce

The entire health and care sector needs to come together to prepare for a shift towards health creation, writes Merron Simpson, chief executive o... more >
The future of the nursing workforce: what next?

13/12/2017The future of the nursing workforce: what next?

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), argues that the evidence of the importance of prioriti... more >

health service focus

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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 >
Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

25/09/2017Simon Stevens: A hunger for innovation

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, knows that the health service is already a world leader when it comes to medical advances – ... more >