Can the NHS learn the lessons from Sir Robert Francis’ inquiries?

By Hugo Greenhalgh on May 19, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments

The latest HealthChat event welcomed Sir Robert Francis QC, a name which has “redefined the future of healthcare”, as host Roy Lilley eulogised. Throughout his career, Sir Robert has dealt with cases of mismanagement in healthcare and striven for further review and reform.

In a packed King’s Fund lecture room, Sir Robert reflected on his early career and the significance of cases such as that of gynaecologist Richard Neale, the Alder Hey organ scandal and the Bristol heart surgery inquiry. These cases gave Sir Robert his first major insights into the NHS but he also noted the difficulties he experienced in finding doctors to come forward as expert witnesses, for fear of being ostracised from the health profession.

Lilley then guided the discussion onto Sir Robert’s most famous work, his inquiry into the shocking mistreatment of patients – which led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths – at Stafford Hospital, better known by the now infamous shorthand of ‘Mid Staffs’, after the trust which governed the hospital at the time. Read more …

The Election has been won – what now for the NHS?

By Hugo Greenhalgh on May 8, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments

With talk of a hung parliament or Labour/SNP coalition already today’s chip paper, the reality of a Conservative majority is just beginning to set in. Labour’s anticipated gains did not come through, while high-profile figures were ousted. And would the last MP left in the Lib Dems please switch off the lights?

For the healthcare community, attention will quickly turn to what the new government will mean for the sector. This was supposed to be the election of the NHS, with the final IPSOS MORI poll ranking the health service as the main concern among potential voters. It was a stark contrast from 2010 in which the economy was the clear priority.

Yet it was the Labour Party who ran with the NHS as one of their main manifesto themes but ultimately came a cropper. In their own words, the NHS was “one of Labour’s proudest achievements” and the Party rhetoric put itself forward as the only capable of “rescuing” it. Read more …

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 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 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 …

Jeremy Hunt needs a lesson in PR

By Carl Packman on April 1, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , | 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 | Tags: , , , , , , | 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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Jeremy Hunt’s PR challenge

By Rob Preston on February 12, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , | 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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Holly Sutton MCIPR

By Holly Sutton on November 27, 2013 | Category: Who we are | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off


With a career spanning several NHS organisations, health trade unions, public policy think-tanks, political journalism and the European Parliament,  Holly has an in depth knowledge of her clients’ industries and networks.

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Healthcare for South West London

By Phil Reid on July 7, 2012 | Category: Clients | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments
Healthcare Hotwire HTML newsletter

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Healthcare for South West London commissioned Journalista to create and launch a digital strategy to engage local people and clinicians; manage crisis communications; provide media relations services and carry out a series of advanced media training sessions for all the medical directors and leading GPs working across South West London.

This week’s media round up

By Daniel Saunders on January 19, 2012 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments

A war of words erupted between Westminster and Holyrood this week with the battle lines being drawn over a referendum on Scottish independence. Having already agreed on the principle of holding a vote, the debate was focused on many of the key details and terms behind it.

Timing has emerged as a major sticking point with the coalition government looking for a decision to be reached within 18 months. This contrasts the SNP who are focused on an Autumn 2014 vote, a date that happens to coincide with the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn – a historic Scottish victory.

Mitt Romney took another step forward in securing the Republican Party’s nomination after winning the New Hampshire primary by a comfortable margin and joining an elite group of candidates to win their first two contests not as an incumbent. His victory speech took the tone of a man challenging the White House rather than his own party rivals, indicative of his commanding position in the contest.

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