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Beating the blues


Blog headlines

  • Cultural change at the heart of integrated care systems
    8 April 2021

    The blog this week, by Helen Northall, looks at the changes needed to make integrated care systems a reality.

  • Bluelight Cycling Club
    1 April 2021

    We are a cycle club that is dedicated to the Police Service, Fire Service , NHS, Coastguard, RNLI, Prison Service, NCA, Search and Rescue community and Armed Forces.

  • Enabling Integrated End of Life Care with a population data dashboard
    25 March 2021

    The guest blog this week is by Dr Karen Chumbley MBBS FRCGP MSc, North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance Lead for End of Life Care.

  • The new proposed NHS legislation and where this fits in the jigsaw of changes
    18 March 2021

    In the blog this week William Greenwood, chief executive of Cheshire Local Medical Committee, looks at the implications of the White Paper on general practice.

  • Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all
    11 March 2021

    Professor David Colin-Thomé shares his thoughts on the White Paper in this week’s blog.

  • UK’s National Health Service teams up with the Radio Society of Great Britain to improve health and wellbeing
    4 March 2021

    This week's blog is by Paul Devlin, Emergency Care Improvement Support Team (ECIST), NHS England and NHS Improvement.

  • Structuring a PCN Social Prescribing Service for the post COVID world
    25 February 2021

    This week we have a blog by Nick Sharples.

  • Community-Oriented Integrated Care
    18 February 2021

    The blog this week is a short extract from a paper considering an approach primary care networks could use to move towards community-oriented integrated care.

  • Strategy Unit releases opensource model for planning vaccine centre capacity
    11 February 2021

    This week's blog is from The Strategy Unit who are sharing an opensource model to help with vaccine centre capacity planning.

  • Time to talk day
    4 February 2021

    A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

  • Supporting Staff: the emergence of ‘long-covid’
    28 January 2021

    As we are now well into a second, or is it now the third, wave of Covid-19 it is becoming apparent that Covid is something we have not experienced before and it has unique implications for staff management. It is not just the possibility that staff may become acutely ill with the virus, but that for some they may go on to develop persistent debilitating symptoms that will affect their ability to go back to work. This article looks at the implications of long-covid for HR and service managers when looking to support health care professionals (HCPs) return to work.

  • Link of the week: Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR)
    21 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a link to the Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR) site that is funded by Health Education England.

  • So much more than an extra pair of hands
    14 January 2021

    The introduction of the additional roles reimbursement scheme for primary care networks has started to grow capacity in general practice to address the unsustainably high workload that has put so much pressure on GPs.

  • Primary Care Networks – how did we get here?
    7 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a blog by PCC’s chairman David Colin-Thomé.

  • A year like no other
    17 December 2020

    On 5 July 1948 the NHS was born, over the last 72 years challenges and changes have been remarkable but the service has probably never been tested as much as in the last nine months. There have previously been numerous re-organisations, multiple changes to hospitals, mental health services and a shift from the family doctor towards more integrated primary care services delivered by a range of professionals. However, rapid transformation of services to embrace digital technologies, and a shift change to work differently has been forced upon all areas of the health service this year.

  • Guest blog: David Hotchin
    11 December 2020

    This week we have a guest blog that was submitted to us by David Hotchin, written by a retired friend....obviously, he's used a little poetic licence.

  • What now for commissioning?
    3 December 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What White people don’t see
    26 November 2020

    This year’s Black History Month (BHM) has, unfortunately, in its shadow another example of why campaigns like this exist.

  • Primary Care: Why don’t we talk about Racism?
    20 November 2020

    Rita Symons is an ex NHS leader who is now a leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Her work is mainly in the NHS and she is an associate for PCC offering facilitation, coaching, strategy development and team development activities. She is a concerned but hopeful world citizen and combines work in the NHS with a board role in a non for profit organisation and an interest in writing.

  • Primary Care and the Health of the Public
    12 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Beating the blues

No blog this week, as the editor has gone for his annual mini-break at the Blithering Wellbeing Experience, a joint venture between NHS Blithering and Center Parcs. While he soaks up some fairly powerful tranquilisers, he leaves you to wrestle with some of the questions he has been unable to answer in the run-up to the holiday season.

In the Librium-induced spirit of a kinder, gentler blogging, the questions have been submitted by ordinary people. They are reproduced here without the original capital letters.

Is the government trying to privatise the NHS?

Owen from Wales wants to know if the government has a secret plan to sell off the NHS. It’s a great question, Owen.  Who wouldn’t want to put their money into hospitals, general practice, care homes, mental health and other highly-leveraged, low-return businesses? Health is a super-attractive investment opportunity, of course, because everyone needs it and demand just keeps on growing. Add to that a gigantic bureaucracy, an enormous salary bill, loads of fixed costs and multibillion pound PFI debts just begging to be turned into a junk bond market. You may well be on to something, Owen. Have you considered a career in politics?

Why do we have a duty of candour?

Anonymous (no address supplied) asks how the duty of candour will make the NHS safer. Well, Anon, we need to know who to punish when the unthinkable happens and someone tries to cover it up. The new duty is designed to protect the indignant from an unsatisfying lack of public lynchings. Will it improve safety? Clearly not for everyone, but it will make for much greater transparency, which is the next best thing.

Why is it called NHS Improvement?

Jim from the north-east wants to know why he’s been saddled with an organisation with such an ironic name. We know exactly what you mean, Jim. It’s embarrassing for everyone. We can see why you’re not smiling.

What can we do about all the gloom and doom?

Theresa from London has just started a new job and she’s appalled by the defeatist attitude of some junior colleagues. She has made some excellent suggestions for cheering everyone up.

They include “resetting” NHS England, which will be renamed NHS Awesome and tasked with developing a new optimism framework.

So called sustainability and transformation plan (STP) areas are to become “group-hug zones” or “positive mental outlook areas”, each with its own team leader or “collaboration buddy”. A new duty of can-do will make naysaying an offence and a whistler’s charter will guarantee protection for those who try to keep their spirits up, however tuneless or irritating their efforts.

Keep the great ideas coming, Theresa. We feel better already.

Duty editor: Frank Patterson