In preparation for the NHS’s 70th Birthday on July 5th 2018, NHS England has started work, with numerous partner organisations, on plans for celebrating the NHS’s past achievements and ongoing aims / philosophy.
About NHS 70. [Online]: NHS England, January 2018.
Background information on the NHS 70 celebrations:
Background. [Online]: NHS England, January 2018.
NHS 70: partner organisations joining in the celebrations:
Partners. [Online]: NHS England, January 2018.
The objectives of the NHS 70th birthday celebrations:
Objectives and narrative. [Online]: NHS England, January 2018.
Background NHS history:
The history of the NHS in England. [Online]: NHS Choices, circa July 2015.
NHS statistics, facts and figures in brief:
NHS statistics, facts and figures. NHS Confederation, July 14th 2017.
January 2018 Re-Shuffle: Integrated Challenges Deserve Integrated Solutions
Under-performance within the NHS has long been intricately linked to the state of social care. Accordingly, the Department of Health has been rebranded as the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), as it will have greater responsibility for social care.
“There will be no change to the funding stream which takes Treasury cash through the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government (itself renamed from the DCLG) and out to local authorities to provide social care in England. Town halls will continue to raise some of the money for social care from council tax. There will be no legislative or organisational changes [at present]”.
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, is now in charge of preparation for the government’s policy development and future green paper on social care – expected in Summer 2018. This is mostly about funding the longterm care of elderly people, including re-examining the Dilnot Commission’s recommendations for capping an individual’s lifetime care costs.
Pym, H. (2018). Will a rebranded Department of Health change anything? London: BBC Health News, January 12th 2018.
Progress Towards Future Elimination of the Dementia Tax?
The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has agreed that the financial burden on families, arising from social care in England, varies dramatically depending on the nature of their loved-one’s illness. He hopes to reduce such anomalies. There are hints at taking possible inspiration from international comparisons?
“Mr Hunt promised to learn from southern European countries like Spain and Italy which pay less for elderly care but have fewer problems”.
Bodkin, H. (2018). Dementia sufferers ‘wiped out’ financially in ‘unfair’ care system, says Jeremy Hunt. [Online]: The Telegraph. January 23rd 2018.
Plans for a Seamless System in Wales
Wales leads the way, again? The NHS, we are reliably told, was born in Wales; based on a model developed by the Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Wales has been first off the starting blocks in 2018 with a proposed “revolution” in how health and social care should be delivered in Wales
Observations on the Fine Blurred Lines Between Celebration, Informed Debate and Partisan Lobbying
There is no shortage of raging ongoing debate concerning the NHS’s funding, relationships with social care, and the balancing of priorities for the future. It will be interesting to observe how well (i) good-natured NHS celebrations, (ii) an open-minded search for fresh solutions, and (iii) the heavy-handed bludgeoning of public and political opinion by special interest groups, sit together in the coming year.
The time is right for a basic re-think – the question is who frames the debate?:
Pym, H. (2018). Funding the NHS: Is it finally time for a new approach? London: BBC Health News, January 6th 2018.
Further BBC political analysis:
Kuenssberg, L. (2018). Time for an answer on the NHS? London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, January 11th 2018.
Regarding recent claims of an imminent “watershed moment” for the NHS, from the NHS Providers chief and a letter, signed by 68 A&E consultants, addressed to the Prime Minister:
Triggle, N. (2018). Patients ‘dying in hospital corridors’. London: BBC Health News, January 11th 2018.
Light-touch persuasion is usually more conducive to rational thought. There is a recent King’s Fund compilation of insights on the state of the NHS:
NHS winter pressures. [Online]: King’s Fund, January 2018.
Boris will be Boris, re-starting a national conversation about NHS funding:
Kuenssberg, L. (2018). Why is Boris Johnson calling for more NHS cash? London: BBC Politics News / BBC Health News, January 22nd 2018.
The Wastefulness of Short-Term Horizons and Bailouts
The National Audit Office reported that sustainability and transformation funding had been misdirected into handling short-term financial pressures and service delivery problems. There is a need to re-consider how sustainability and transformation funding is allocated and used (instead of misused).
Therrien, A (2018). NHS bail-outs could become new normal, National Audit Office says. London: BBC Health News, January 18th 2018.
This relates to:
The Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office: Morse, A. (2018). Sustainability and transformation in the NHS. National Audit Office Report (HC 719). Session 2017–2019. London: The Stationery Office [Department of Health and Social Care / National Audit Office (NAO)], January 19th 2018.
Updated NHS Efficiency Map (HFMA and NHS Improvement)
The Health Finance Managers Association (HFMA) and NHS Improvement have updated the NHS efficiency map. This tool is designed to identify opportunities for cost-improvement programmes (CIPs), on numerous fronts, for the NHS.
NHS Efficiency Map. London: Health Finance Managers Association (HFMA) and NHS Improvement, January 2018.
Knowing Your NHS
Marking the NHS’s 70th birthday, a “Knowing Your NHS” lesson plan has been produced for use in secondary schools to promote understanding of the NHS, and to encourage young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.
TV doctors and senior NHS leaders head back to school to inspire young people to work in the NHS. [Online]: NHS England, March 30th 2018.