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  • Greater Manchester: A trailblazer for health and social care

    Greater Manchester is set to become the first English region to get full control of its £6 billion budget for health and social care. The move is a smart one by George Osborne, positioning the Tories on the side of devolved local powers whilst splitting Labour who are torn on the deal. Despite broad consensus […]

    Labour: mixed signals on health reform?

    As we draw closer to the General Election, Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham delivered key campaign speeches on Labour’s plans for the future of the NHS yesterday. As a result, Labour officials will survey the latest polling with satisfaction, succeeding to place health at the top of the political debate, which Labour feel comfortable on […]

    Osborne’s big NHS giveaway: is it enough?

    This week saw a turn in the long running pre-election political arms race over NHS funding, as Chancellor George Osborne announced a £2 billion a year cash injection and a one off £1.1 billion payment to improve GP services. The additional funding was again described by Osborne as a ‘down payment’ on the ‘Five Year […]

    EHI Live 2014: Are we on the brink of an eHealth revolution?

    This week E-health Insider (EHI) held their seventh annual EHI Live conference at the NEC in Birmingham, bringing together the UK’s growing digital health community. I was lucky enough to go along to meet the innovators and entrepreneurs filling this space and hear industry leaders talk about their commitment to paving the way for a […]

    Burnham reaches for Labour sweet spot on health reforms

    Among the narratives to have emerged so far from this strangely quiet and flat Labour Party conference has been job security and pay. Beyond the leading Sunday announcement on minimum wage, it has been scarcely possible to leave a fringe without some mention of in-work poverty and zero-hour contracts. As Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham […]

    New health select committee chair spells trouble for pharma

    This week has laid bare one of the great long term difficulties facing the major political parties, as polling published in the Guardian show voters thought all politicians look and sound the same. A suspicion then partially confirmed by a follow up showing the extent of centrally selected candidates for the upcoming General Election. This […]

    Near or far: the cyclical debate about what hospitals are actually for

    In an interview for the Telegraph last week, NHS England CEO Simon Stevens set out the unfashionable case for smaller hospitals – citing they would do a better job for elderly people at the end of their lives. In doing so he was making another contribution to a debate that has constantly swung back and […]

    Is health trailblazing the return of pledge card politics?

    Last week brought back memories of the 1997 Tony Blair highly effective pre-election pledge card as Labour made a raft of policy announcements in health. Back then the focus was on reducing waiting lists for hospital treatment – 15 years later the party offer guarantees for GP consultations and the end of 15 minute care […]

    Integrated care: making it a reality

    The NHS is currently making sense of the sweeping changes that took place on 1 April 2013. Former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s NHS Act introduced greater fragmentation to the health service.  NHS England, regional teams, commissioning support units, clinical commissioning groups, clinical senates, clinical networks and health and wellbeing boards need to decide when to […]

    Making social media work in the NHS

    At the heart of the NHS reforms is the mantra, ‘no decision about me, without me’. To enable this new culture of patient-centered decision-making, the Department of Health sparked a so-called “information revolution”. This means giving patients easy access to high quality, personalised information that will help them on their way to making the right […]

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