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Gap analysis, a hearty meal and A&E back on track


Blog headlines

  • 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.

  • What now for primary care
    4 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.

  • Boosting your resilience
    30 October 2020

    The last year has been a difficult one, who would have imagined last Christmas that we would have been in lockdown, with the NHS seriously tested by a global pandemic. So much change has happened and the resilience of people working in and with health and care services has been seriously tested. Resilience is our ability to deal with, find strengths in and/or recover from difficult situations. Its sometimes referred to as “bounceabiliy” – but bouncing in what way?

  • Link of the week: National Cholesterol Month
    23 October 2020

    Every month or week of the year seems to be an awareness week, October has more than its fair share.

  • New redeployment service offers talent pool of motivated, work-ready individuals
    15 October 2020

    People 1st International have shared some of the work they are doing to support people displaced from industries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity for health and care services to benefit from this workforce.

  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    2 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Gap analysis, a hearty meal and A&E back on track

It has been another busy week for health news. Julian Patterson casts a critical eye over the week’s events and unpicks the stitches from the stories that have dominated the headlines.

Health pioneer attacked

The Syrian rebel leader captured on video biting into the heart of a dead government soldier is protesting that his actions have been misrepresented by the world’s media.

Depicted as a brutal war criminal, Abu Sakkar prefers to describe himself as a public health pioneer with a special interest in the prevention of heart disease.  In a widely circulated YouTube video he appears to say: “I swear to God we will eat out your hearts and your livers.“

Mr Sakkar claims that this was the result of a translation error or “mischievous overdubbing”. His actual words, he says, were: “This is what can happen to members of the government forces who fail to look after themselves properly. Thanks to my timely intervention, there is now no risk that he will develop coronary heart disease in later life.”

Tucking into a large plate of human organs, the rebel commander added that similarly pro-active measures could be used to wipe out the threat of liver and kidney disease “or anything else standing in our way”.

Builders to blame for health and social care gap

The government has discovered a structural fault in health and social care which it says is responsible for most of the problems experienced by patients and the public in recent decades.

What appeared to be caused by a large and diverse population, increased life expectancy, growing numbers of frail elderly people, pressure on funding, unhealthy lifestyles, poor housing, failing education, social inequalities, deprivation, patchy service provision, lack of communication between agencies, drug and alcohol abuse, economic decline and uncoordinated government policy, now appears to be the result of a construction error by the original builders.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “It appears we overestimated the problem, which is the result not of complex socio-economic factors as previously thought, but a basic construction flaw. Because the health and care system is so large, the contractors built it off site in two parts. When the parts were brought together, they were not properly sealed. Over the years, the gap has widened causing large sums of money to leak out and creating a hazard for service users, who often fall into it hurting themselves or disappearing for years on end.”

Described by government sources as the “second most important national construction project after the high-speed rail link”, the gap between health and social care should be closed by 2018.

A&E crisis: end in sight

As the A&E crisis rumbled on like a high-speed train on a half-built track, the health secretary Jeremy Hunt went on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to clarify the situation. Quizzed about funding, Mr Hunt insisted that no “new money” would be made available to relieve pressure on A&E services.

However, he conceded that hospitals may have access to existing funds they would not otherwise have got, which is entirely different.

Drawing a contrast between health services in Sweden where A&E use has risen by just 1% in the past decade and the NHS in England where it has increased by 39%, Mr Hunt argued that prevention is the answer to A&E capacity problems in the long term.

Potential preventive measures the health secretary failed to mention include: rewriting signs in Swedish, letting down the tyres on ambulances, regularly changing the emergency number, erecting barbed wire fences and gun turrets on hospital boundaries, further increasing hospital car-parking charges and appointing Abu Sakkar as minister for emergency care.

Darren Whitehouse
Darren Whitehouse says:
May 17, 2013 09:59 AM
Good post, made me laugh, which is always a bonus :-)
Michael Lundberg
Michael Lundberg says:
May 17, 2013 11:18 AM
Rewriting signs in Swedish might lead to a flooding of A&Es by Scandinavians - God knows Swedish A&Es are up to bursting, and the reason for the 1% change is probably that with walk-in 24/7 service, this situation has been going on for years. There's significant lack of beds to put patients in there as well!
Dennis Donnelly
Dennis Donnelly says:
May 17, 2013 11:38 AM
Wish it wasn't funny, for the people who have to endure it and the colossal waste of money be abuse these issues have not been taken seriously. humour can defuse what should be a protracted and exacting process of articulating what the alternative might be, Wry smiles do not do it and are an excuse for passive irony which gets no-one no where fast,
Anonymous says:
May 17, 2013 02:00 PM
Thanks for the laughs, Julian!
Fran Husson
Fran Husson says:
May 17, 2013 04:18 PM
Thanks Julian for my weekly medicine: your blog is still the best anti hypertensive med. on the market!

Talking about medicines... have you thought of suggesting to Jeremy Hunt he introduces a simple but very effective A&E control guideline, which is to refuse treatment to anyone presenting at any emergency care point without their Medication Passport?? I think this would work much cheaper than replacing all current signage with Swedish equivalent. And this would also avoid any confusion with BBC 4 Scandinoir Programming.
Barry Moult
Barry Moult says:
May 20, 2013 07:56 AM
I thought it was all serious until I read the last line
"appointing Abu Sakkar as minister for emergency care" Please tell me your joking