How are political parties promising to take healthcare into the 21st century?

By Carl Packman on April 23, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments

Sometimes what isn’t said is as important as what is. Many of us political geeks have had time to absorb the messages contained in the party manifestos and we know that in order to really get an idea of what’s being said, we must do more than just read between the lines.

Back in 2002 the NHS was gifted the National Programme for IT, launched and deployed in order to revolutionise the way in which the health system used information technology. The ambition for it was impressive – with costs to match.

According to the National Audit Office the estimated total cost of the NPfIT has changed since a 2011 report from £11.4bn to £9.8bn which took into account the number of system implementations. Some have called it a vanity project; what has resulted is big IT projects are a political no-go area, but haven’t necessarily resulted in a start-up revolution in digital contracts within the NHS. Read more …

The language of the manifesto is key to political PR

By Hugo Greenhalgh on April 16, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

With three weeks to go till the 2015 General Election, the launch of manifestos allows for some reflection on how far the parties will prioritise the NHS.

It has been portrayed as one of the major issues in this election for some time now, with the key players keen to stress their commitment to the NHS and present themselves as the most capable of handling the UK’s healthcare system.

The Labour Party gave their health manifesto a special launch on Saturday, a clear statement of how highly it ranks in Labour’s priorities and an opportunity to air some of their flagship health policies. Read more …

Do philanthropists need to improve their PR?

By Hugo Greenhalgh on April 2, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Should philanthropists be allowed to support development however they see fit, or should their altruism be under greater scrutiny?

That was the central theme of a panel discussion at UCL on Monday evening.

The event focused on the ethics of global philanthropy and saw Clare Matterson, Director of Strategy at the Wellcome Trust and Andre Heller Perache of Medicins sans Frontiers (MSF) engage in a lively debate with Professor Rob Reich, Associate Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a leading authority in the field. Read more …

Jeremy Hunt needs a lesson in PR

By Carl Packman on April 1, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Yesterday the Health Service Journal exclusively “revealed” that a leading report has called for NHS board members to be paid up £1m in bonuses. Anyone quicker than me at spotting anagrams will guess the nature of the article on April 1st by the new author Alf Poorli.

I hold my hands up. It fooled me (I had to re-edit this part for a start). But the best April Fools’ are the most believable.

What the HSJ has done very cleverly, though, is produce a joke that seems almost believable in a world where nothing is shocking anymore. It’s also very clever because of the controversy of the report it quotes from. As many will know, there have been a lot of guessing games about what will feature in the Lord Rose report on NHS management, and lots of questions asking why the Department of Health has yet to publish it. Read more …

Positive PR for whistleblowers can help solve NHS recruitment woes

By Rob Preston on March 12, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Chair of the Health Select Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP spoke passionately about the importance of empowering professionals with the ability to share their opinions during last night’s Health Chat with Roy Lilley at the King’s Fund.

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Is social media the answer to integrated care?

By Rob Preston on March 2, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

NHS professionals’ twitter capabilities were given a boost last week at the ‘Developing your skills in Social Media’ interactive event and its concurrent #TwitterNHS live discussion.

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Other major cities will soon be demanding their own health devolution plan

By James Tout on February 26, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

First published in Health Service Journal on 26 February 2015.

Greater Manchester’s town hall politicians were doubtless popping the champagne corks to news that they are to be handed the entire NHS budget for the region.

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Communicating the Five Year Forward View with the NHS frontline

By Rob Preston on February 18, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Today’s King’s Fund event ‘The Five Year Forward View: from grand design to frontline’ focused on the challenges facing NHS leaders now to communicate the messages of change to their workforce.

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Jeremy Hunt’s PR challenge

By Rob Preston on February 12, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

Last night, health secretary Jeremy Hunt MP faced off against one of his fiercest critics – health commentator Roy Lilley – at a packed Healthchat event at the King’s Fund.

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Francis review, whistleblowing and owning criticism

By Carl Packman on February 5, 2015 | Category: Blog | No Comments

After months of anticipation, a major review of NHS whistleblowing carried out by Sir Robert Francis QC will be published on February 11, 2015.

But it strikes me that the NHS’ relationship with complainants could have been mended some time ago if learning a few lessons from the world of PR.

Read more …