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.

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...

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...

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latest healthcare news

London trust told to improve for third time in three years

17/08/2017London trust told to improve for third time in three years

A major London NHS trust has been told by inspectors that it needs to urgently improve after it received its third ‘Requires Improvement&rs... more >
Third of trainee GPs not planning to work in NHS general practice

17/08/2017Third of trainee GPs not planning to work in NHS general practice

Only two-thirds of trainee GPs are planning to go on to work in general practice in the NHS, a new study has today warned. The research carr... more >
Longest serving NHS chief executive sacked for ‘gross misconduct’

17/08/2017Longest serving NHS chief executive sacked for ‘gross misconduct’

The NHS’s longest serving CEO Sir Leonard Fenwick has been sacked by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS FT (NUT) for “gross misconduct... 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

Your personality, your leadership

Your personality, your leadership

Deirdre Wallace, clinical skills manager at UCL Medical School, discusses the importance of learning about leadership and self while at medical school. Approximately five years ago, I was charged with leading a team to introduce leadership and management in healthcare to the undergraduate curriculum at UCL Medical School. I am sure some r... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

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

27/07/2017Turbo-boosting STPs? It’s time we got serious about ‘partnership’

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’s recent announcement to ‘turbo-boost’ sustainability and transformation p... more >
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Changing our digital culture and safeguarding patient data

08/08/2017Changing our digital culture and safeguarding patient data

Joanna Smith, chief information officer at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS FT (RBHT), says that as the NHS becomes more digital it has to get ... more >
A centre for medicines optimisation research and education

04/08/2017A centre for medicines optimisation research and education

Dr Yogini Jani, a consultant pharmacist at University College London Hospitals NHS FT (UCLH), discusses a collaboration with UCL School of Pharma... more >
Unlocking the benefits of age-friendly cities

04/08/2017Unlocking the benefits of age-friendly cities

Stefanie Buckner, Calum Mattocks and Louise Lafortune from the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, alongside Melanie Rimmer from the School of ... more >
A community service

04/08/2017A community service

Louise Watson, NHS England director of the New Care Models programme, discusses the emerging success stories from the vanguard areas across the c... more >

health service focus

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interviews

Improving care at the touch of a screen

08/08/2017Improving care at the touch of a screen

When it comes to dementia, having a calm and safe environment can have a substantial impact on a patient’s quality of life. NHE’s Jos... more >
A new approach to talent management

25/07/2017A new approach to talent management

Martin Hancock, national lead for talent management at NHS Leadership Academy, and Gill Rooke, the organisation’s senior operations manager... more >
Enabling greater integration through ACSs

25/07/2017Enabling greater integration through ACSs

At this year’s NHS Confed, Simon Stevens revealed the first wave of accountable care systems (ACSs). NHE speaks to Ian Dodge, the director ... more >
How NHS organisations can protect themselves against cyber crime

25/07/2017How NHS organisations can protect themselves against cyber crime

On 12 May, a global cyber-attack occurred on an unprecedented scale. It affected organisations across the globe and, though it did not specifical... more >