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.

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...

Manchester emergency services praised as city unites against attack

24.05.17: Praise has been heaped on Manchester’s emergency services and wider community as the city came together around the worst terrorist attack in its history. On Monday evening a suicide bomber, who has been named as Salman Abedi, a Libyan...

End of life care planning: why it should be everyone’s concern

10.05.17: To mark Dying Matters Awareness Week (May 8-14), Michelle Brown, deputy head of department for healthcare practice at the University of Derby’s College of Health and Social Care, explains why everyone – young or old – should ma...

Labour’s pledge to raise wages for ‘underpaid and overworked’ NHS staff

26.04.17: Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth will today outline a major campaign pledge to axe the NHS pay cap, saying that staff are “underpaid and overworked”. The change is predicted to cost the NHS around £1bn, however La...

NHS England expands commissioning for ‘game-changing’ stroke treatment

12.04.17: Stroke patients are set to benefit from the expansion of a ‘game changing’ treatment which has the capacity to decrease the risk of long-term disability and save the NHS millions in long-term health and social care costs. Treati...

Developing sustainability and transformation plans

29.03.17: Lisa Robertson, HFMA research manager, discusses the emerging governance arrangements being developed to support the delivery of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs). STPs are the current focus for those working in NHS finance. Th...

The future of clinical commissioning

13.03.17: Dr Graham Jackson, co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and chair of NHS Aylesbury Vale CCG, discusses the changing landscape facing commissioners.  Since they were set up more than three years ago, CCGs have demonstrated a g...

As a black woman you have to work twice as hard to get to where you want to be

08.03.17: On International Women’s Day, Morvia Gooden, former nurse/midwife and senior programme lead at the NHS Leadership Academy, shares her personal experiences of being a black woman living and working in the NHS.    My parents c...

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...

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latest healthcare news

King’s Fund launches programme to grow third sector leadership skills

23/06/2017King’s Fund launches programme to grow third sector leadership skills

The application process for a support programme to enable charity leaders to help one another through sharing expertise and developing skills has... more >
NHS England launches £640m test sites to redesign mental health services

23/06/2017NHS England launches £640m test sites to redesign mental health services

A new tranche of sites to redesign mental health services, with plans to cut out-of-area placements, has been revealed by NHS England. The 1... more >
Mortimer welcomes PM’s promise to keep EU staff in UK after Brexit

23/06/2017Mortimer welcomes PM’s promise to keep EU staff in UK after Brexit

Co-convenor of the Cavendish Coalition and CEO of NHS Employers Danny Mortimer has today welcomed guarantees from the government that EU citizens... more >

editor's comment

13/06/2017Tackling the major challenges facing the NHS

As you will have gathered from the front cover, a theme that runs throughout this edition of NHE is about empowering and involving the workforce in order to deliver innovative change across the system.  Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, highlights on page 16 the importance of sustainability and trans... read more >

last word

A clear strategy for change is needed for health and social care

A clear strategy for change is needed for health and social care

Nigel Edwards, CEO at the Nuffield Trust, argues that it would be a lost opportunity if the next government does not seek to put both health and social care funding on a more sustainable footing. Just over two years ago the 2015 general election loomed, and all parties scrambled to pledge upfront funding increases for the NHS. Fast-forwar... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Confed17 open its doors in Liverpool today

14/06/2017Confed17 open its doors in Liverpool today

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 two-day conference will be a keynote address from NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens... more >
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A hub for healthy communities

23/06/2017A hub for healthy communities

Mark Robinson, New NHS Alliance pharmacy lead, discusses why pharmacy is at the heart of healthy living in communities – and explains how p... more >
Do something different

23/06/2017Do something different

Jill DeBene, chief executive of Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM), considers what workforce optimisation really means and the importance o... more >
The now and the future of infection prediction

23/06/2017The now and the future of infection prediction

Marco-Felipe King, an infection control postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Public Health and Environmental Engineering at the Universit... more >
Prime for transformation?

20/06/2017Prime for transformation?

The sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) programme should harness and drive digital innovation as a positive force to help overc... more >

health service focus

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interviews

Working collectively to improve cancer outcomes for patients

20/06/2017Working collectively to improve cancer outcomes for patients

Last year, the cancer vanguard established the Pharma Challenge. Rob Duncombe, pharmacy director at the Christie NHS FT, gives NHE an update on t... more >
A great place to work

16/06/2017A great place to work

The Walton Centre NHS FT has been identified by NHS England as one of only 12 exemplar organisations in the NHS for its work in health and wellbe... more >
A fork in the road for the NHS

06/06/2017A fork in the road for the NHS

Niall Dickson, chief executive of NHS Confederation, talks to NHE’s Josh Mines ahead of Confed2017 about the organisation’s 10-p... more >
Tight timetable for nursing associate  regulation

28/03/2017Tight timetable for nursing associate regulation

Jackie Smith, chief executive at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), talks to NHE’s David Stevenson about the challenges her organisat... more >