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.

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...

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...

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latest healthcare news

Cancer Drugs Fund delivered ‘no meaningful value’ to patients

28/04/2017Cancer Drugs Fund delivered ‘no meaningful value’ to patients

The Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) set up by David Cameron to pay for medicine for over 100,000 people was not good value for money, despite costing the... more >
Health committee urges DH to draw up plan for post-Brexit uncertainty

28/04/2017Health committee urges DH to draw up plan for post-Brexit uncertainty

The Department of Health (DH) have been told to put contingency plans in place to prepare for the effect that Brexit could have on the health and... more >
STPs will not succeed where BCF has failed, warn MPs

28/04/2017STPs will not succeed where BCF has failed, warn MPs

MPs have slammed the government for the failure of the Better Care Fund (BCF) to achieve any of its objectives, arguing that they are unconvinced... more >

editor's comment

22/03/2017New additions and unexpected announcements

As NHE went to press, many of us were still recovering from the chancellor’s unexpected health announcements in his last Spring Budget.   While the sector welcomed Philip Hammond’s revelations, centered on capital funding for advanced sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and A&E triage schemes (page 24)... read more >

last word

Foreign patient charges are a distraction from the real issues

Foreign patient charges are a distraction from the real issues

Vivek Kotecha, research officer at the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI), explains why the charging of foreign patients distracts from our home-grown NHS issues.  The Department of Health’s (DH’s) PR team must be run ragged by now with the constant stream of negative news about the NHS. In early February, t... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

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

26/04/2017Labour’s pledge to raise wages for ‘underpaid and overworked’ NHS staff

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 Labour say that this is the price the government should pay to show hardworking NHS staff that they ar... more >
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A single approach for purchasing HCTEDs

11/04/2017A single approach for purchasing HCTEDs

Andy Leary, finance director of specialised commissioning (National) at NHS England, discusses the new system for buying and supplying high-cost ... more >
Filling the void and standardising security

07/04/2017Filling the void and standardising security

Jayne King, chair of the National Association for Healthcare Security (NAHS) and head of security, portering and reception services at Guy’... more >
Fear barriers to help-seeking in the UK

07/04/2017Fear barriers to help-seeking in the UK

Jon Paxman, 2020health senior researcher, explains why reducing fear barriers may be essential to promoting timely help-seeking, improving health... more >
Considerable scope for improving how local areas tackle smoking

07/04/2017Considerable scope for improving how local areas tackle smoking

Amanda Sandford, information manager at Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), discusses the need to strengthen local relationships in tackling smok... more >

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interviews

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 >
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 >