Articles on NHS

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Computer says “not on your nelly, mate”. quinn.anya

Just another few billion down the drain in government IT

A report from the Public Accounts Committee has revealed that the National Programme for IT in the NHS has cost the taxpayer close to £10 billion, despite having been abandoned. The committee’s chairman…
Patients are more likely to complain about food than treatment. A hobo dancing barefoot

British attitude to the NHS – quite satisfied, actually

The NHS in the UK has come in for a lot of bashing of late, especially from politicians and the media. The former do so for largely ideological reasons, while I fear the latter often report the exceptions…
Digital health is a daunting task. juhansonin

Patient privacy will not be lost in a digital NHS

The government has announced an extra £1 billion is being channelled into efforts to make the NHS “paperless” by 2018. Central to this aim are plans to make patient health records digital. The goal is…
Mind the gap: health services in trouble if we continue to expect too much. PA/Carl Court

Developed world can’t have it all or health will hit the buffers

Health services are under constant scrutiny and rarely out of the news. But discussions about how and even whether they can continue are likely to exercise the whole developed world in the near future…
Being sectioned in a mental hospital may not mean the best care. Truester

Patients sectioned for beds, but hospitals not the best place to be

Claims that doctors are sectioning mental health patients in order to get them access to beds on psychiatric wards amount to “more than anecdotal evidence”, according to a committee of MPs who have just…
This won’t work for never events. Marsmet548

Explainer: what are surgical ‘never events’?

The point of surgical procedures is to save or improve the quality of our lives, but things can and do go wrong because of system or human errors. In too many cases patients are failed because of so called…
Our man from Boston: Don Berwick (left) has had some things to say about the NHS. Wikimedia Commons/HHSgov

Creating new criminal offences won’t help NHS patients

One of US President Barack Obama’s key health advisers has just published a review in the aftermath of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal. Don Berwick’s review is both thoughtful and reflective but…
The idea that mental health services are getting better is just smoke and mirrors. Flickr/Erika Linds

Mental health is in no fit state, whatever the politicians say

Foundation essay: This article on the state of mental health services is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the UK. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis…
Glasses, check. Passport, check. Cheque for £200? Flickr/Justin Vidamo

NHS levy for health tourists - a good deal for migrants

Another argument has broken out between the government and doctors over a proposal to charge immigrants to use the NHS. The government claims a levy will make the NHS more fair and sustainable and stop…
Not carpet bombs, but competition.. Pixabay/LoboStudioHamburg

If anything, the NHS should be carpeted with more competition

David Nicholson, the retiring Chief Executive of NHS England, has warned against what he called “carpet bombing” the NHS with competition. For him, and others, less focus on competition is a good thing…
Getting the green light for NHS treatment - but who pays? Flickr/Martin Kliehm

Distinction between ‘sick’, ‘frail’ and ‘disabled’ has to go

Since the 1940s our welfare state has been built around the assumption that it’s possible to distinguish between people who are “sick” and people who are merely “frail” or “disabled”. While we consider…
Everyone seems to prefer a big punch up. Flickr/Peacay

Doctors bashing Jeremy Hunt is just a Punch and Judy show

It’s a traditional part of the theatre of health policy for trade unionists to give secretaries of state for health a hard time. The latest example of this was the vote of no confidence in Jeremy Hunt…
Competition and integration in the NHS are chalk and cheese. Flickr/Foomandoonian

Integrating health and social care needs cash as well as talk

Foundation essay: This article on the relationship between health and social care in the UK by Bob Hudson, Professor of Applied Social Science at Durham University, is part of a series marking the launch…
A game of two halves: publishing performance can improve services but could also affect who surgeons choose to take on. PA/Gareth Fuller

Publishing surgeons’ performance could lead to gaming

Data on hospital performance often shows a wide variation and this poses the question of whether it should be available to the public or kept confidential. The government wants more transparency and announced…
Bum deal: people in poorer inner city areas tend to get worse services, such as less access to GPs. PA/Gareth Fuller

A&E visits research needs more careful scrutiny

A new study shows an association between less access to GPs and high rates of attendance in nearby accident and emergency (A&E) units. It’s an interesting piece of work but risks inflaming an already…

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