Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Scandal shows bullying harms patients 10 February 2018 The two most shocking revelations to emerge from the investigation into Liverpool community health NHS trust are that every part of the system failed, and it happened even as the trust was considering what it should learn from the Mid Staffordshire scandal. The independent review by Dr Bill Kirkup into events at the trust between 2010 and 2014 shows the root cause of the trust’s problems was an inexperienced and bullying leadership obsessed with achieving foundation trust status, irrespective of the effect on patients. This toxic culture seeped into every part of the organisation, breaking the morale of frontline staff and inflicting serious clinical harm. Those brave enough to raise concerns risked bullying, harassment and suspension. It was a dysfunctional organisation from the moment it was created in 2010 with an inexperienced and inadequate management team. Two clinical commissioning groups and NHS England pushed it to achieve significant savings, which had a serious cumulative impact, but the trust made matters far worse with self-imposed cost cuts in pursuit of its managers’ dream of foundation status. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________ Errors worsen nursing workforce crisis 26 January 2018 The health select committee’s report on the nursing workforce is a excoriating critique of the multiple errors in policy and practice that have created a recruitment and retention crisis. Indeed, it is difficult to identify a single aspect of nursing workforce management that is not being mishandled. The UK has relatively few nurses compared with many EU countries – yet there are still 36,000 NHS nursing vacancies in England. Around 33,000 of these are filled with bank and agency staff, which ramps up costs. While the headlines focus on shortages in hospitals, the rush by acute trusts to recruit nurses in the light of the Mid Staffordshire inquiry has fuelled shortages in other parts of the NHS. The result is that since 2010, the number of nurses in general, elderly, adult, children’s and midwifery services has grown by between 7% and 11% – while the numbers working in community services have dropped by a tenth, district nurses have fallen by almost a half, learning disabilities have lost almost 40% and mental health has lost 13%. So despite the rhetoric about “parity of esteem” for mental health, and commitments to move services into the community, in the desperate scramble for staff, the needs of acute hospitals are warping the entire system. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________ A Royal Commission would be a mistake 12 January 2018 As patients die in corridors and A&E performance drops to its lowest ever level, calls are growing for a royal commission to address the mounting problems facing the NHS. This would be a big mistake. This week the commission idea was raised in prime minister’s questions and the Centre for Policy Studies has published a remit for one. The attraction of a royal commission is that it offers a chance to cut through the party political noise to allow calm consideration of the issues. But the realities of setting one up far outweigh the potential benefits. Virtually everything about a commission would harm the NHS. If it was announced on the health service’s 70th anniversary in July, by the time the members had been approved, the remit agreed, evidence gathered and the report written, even the most nimble commission would have taken at least three years. (The last one on the NHS, set up under Harold Wilson, took four years.) That would put it within months of the 2022 general election. So legislation would have to wait until at least the first Queen’s speech of the next parliament, which means nothing would change before April 2024. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________ What will an NHS winter be like in 2020? 5 January 2018 What pressure will the NHS be under in the first week of 2020, and what will be the consequences? This winter, the NHS finally ran out of road. Among the deluge of data revealing the depth of the current problems, three shocking figures stand out. So far, 23 out of 152 acute hospital trusts have declared black alerts – this means a wet week in January is a “serious incident” preventing them offering comprehensive care. BBC analysis shows that, this winter, more than one in eight ambulances taking patients to hospital on an emergency call have had to wait more than 30 minutes to hand over to A&E staff. People who have had strokes are among them. In the last week of 2017, bed occupancy averaged 91.7%, with virtually every trust in the country exceeding the widely accepted safe threshold of 85%. The pressures are no less in general practice. So there is no safety valve, no reserve capacity, no underused resource. Old-style winter planning – such as opening extra wards – is largely redundant because hospitals need their entire capacity all year round. So in winter they have nothing left to give. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________
Richard Vize Public Policy Media Ltd
LATEST ARTICLES
CV
Scandal shows bullying harms patients 10 February 2018 The two most shocking revelations to emerge from the investigation into Liverpool community health NHS trust are that every part of the system failed, and it happened even as the trust was considering what it should learn from the Mid Staffordshire scandal. The independent review by Dr Bill Kirkup into events at the trust between 2010 and 2014 shows the root cause of the trust’s problems was an inexperienced and bullying leadership obsessed with achieving foundation trust status, irrespective of the effect on patients. This toxic culture seeped into every part of the organisation, breaking the morale of frontline staff and inflicting serious clinical harm. Those brave enough to raise concerns risked bullying, harassment and suspension. It was a dysfunctional organisation from the moment it was created in 2010 with an inexperienced and inadequate management team. Two clinical commissioning groups and NHS England pushed it to achieve significant savings, which had a serious cumulative impact, but the trust made matters far worse with self-imposed cost cuts in pursuit of its managers’ dream of foundation status. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________ Errors worsen nursing workforce crisis 26 January 2018 The health select committee’s report on the nursing workforce  is a excoriating critique of the multiple errors in policy and practice that have created a recruitment and retention crisis. Indeed, it is difficult to identify a single aspect of nursing workforce management that is not being mishandled. The UK has relatively few nurses compared with many EU countries – yet there are still 36,000 NHS nursing vacancies in England. Around 33,000 of these are filled with bank and agency staff, which ramps up costs. While the headlines focus on shortages in hospitals, the rush by acute trusts to recruit nurses in the light of the Mid Staffordshire inquiry has fuelled shortages in other parts of the NHS. The result is that since 2010, the number of nurses in general, elderly, adult, children’s and midwifery services has grown by between 7% and 11% – while the numbers working in community services have dropped by a tenth, district nurses have fallen by almost a half, learning disabilities have lost almost 40% and mental health has lost 13%. So despite the rhetoric about “parity of esteem” for mental health, and commitments to move services into the community, in the desperate scramble for staff, the needs of acute hospitals are warping the entire system. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________ A Royal Commission would be a mistake 12 January 2018 As patients die in corridors and A&E performance drops to its lowest ever level, calls are growing for a royal commission to address the mounting problems facing the NHS. This would be a big mistake. This week the commission idea was raised in prime minister’s questions and the Centre for Policy Studies has published a remit for one. The attraction of a royal commission is that it offers a chance to cut through the party political noise to allow calm consideration of the issues. But the realities of setting one up far outweigh the potential benefits. Virtually everything about a commission would harm the NHS. If it was announced on the health service’s 70th anniversary in July, by the time the members had been approved, the remit agreed, evidence gathered and the report written, even the most nimble commission would have taken at least three years. (The last one on the NHS, set up under Harold Wilson, took four years.) That would put it within months of the 2022 general election. So legislation would have to wait until at least the first Queen’s speech of the next parliament, which means nothing would change before April 2024. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________ What will an NHS winter be like in 2020? 5 January 2018 What pressure will the NHS be under in the first week of 2020, and what will be the consequences? This winter, the NHS finally ran out of road. Among the deluge of data revealing the depth of the current problems, three shocking figures stand out. So far, 23 out of 152 acute hospital trusts have declared black alerts – this means a wet week in January is a “serious incident” preventing them offering comprehensive care. BBC analysis shows that, this winter, more than one in eight ambulances taking patients to hospital on an emergency call have had to wait more than 30 minutes to hand over to A&E staff. People who have had strokes are among them. In the last week of 2017, bed occupancy averaged 91.7%, with virtually every trust in the country exceeding the widely accepted safe threshold of 85%. The pressures are no less in general practice. So there is no safety valve, no reserve capacity, no underused resource. Old- style winter planning – such as opening extra wards – is largely redundant because hospitals need their entire capacity all year round. So in winter they have nothing left to give. Read the full article at the Guardian Healthcare Network __________________________________________________________________