My mission statement

The times we are working in now need a great deal of accelerated change and there must be no negotiating that down. So my mission statement for this part of my consultancy career is to be clear that there needs to be and will be a lot of change from the work that I do with individuals and organisations and if organisations don’t want that, then it is probably best to go somewhere else.

Read my statement in full »

How will Liberal Democrats reconcile their policy of keeping Britain in Europe with their policy of not using competition to improve the use of NHS resources?

Filed Under (Clinical Commissioning Groups, Coalition Government, Competition, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 11-03-2013

We have learnt that Coalition Governments get into a rhythm. Every year now, in early March, there is an attempt by the Coalition to change some or other policy just before the spring Liberal Democrat Party Conference so that party members can feel that they are having an impact on the Government. Read the rest of this entry »

Would 50+ doctors standing for Parliament at the next election have any impact?

Filed Under (Conservative party, Election campaign, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 20-03-2012

Last Sunday’s story in the Independent concerning at least 50 doctors standing at the next general election against members of Parliament from the Lib Dem leadership and Conservative marginals was an interesting one. Once again – as much of the campaign against the Bill has shown – it demonstrates the gap that exists between the detailed experienced of party politics and the detailed experience of medicine. Read the rest of this entry »

Was amending the Health and Social Care act to prevent European Competition Law applying to the NHS a pointless exercise?

Filed Under (Competition, Health and Social Care Bill, Liberal Democrat Party, Narrative of reform) by Paul on 16-03-2012

The Liberal Democrat spring conference saw a spectacular falling out between two powerful women of the left. Shirley Williams launched an attack upon Polly Toynbee because the latter had previously attacked her support for the Bill. The argument became quite heated – accusations of lying were made – and later in the week Polly Toynbee retumed the fray in a Guardian article. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Liberal Democrats – and the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill through Parliament.

Filed Under (Health and Social Care Bill, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 12-03-2012

I can understand why most doctors and nurses don’t understand the nuts and bolts of politics. Whilst people like me were sitting in at University and generally developing the darker skills of the way in which politics works, those clinical staff-to- be were buckling down to get great  ‘A’ levels and then working hard at both the theory and practice of medicine. Then when they qualify it’s a job and a half to apply all that learning to real patients. Most medical staff are in their mid-thirties before they take a breath. Read the rest of this entry »

There is a way the Liberal Democrats can prevent European Competition Law being applied to the NHS – tear up the Maastricht Treaty.

Filed Under (Competition, Liberal Democrat Party, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 01-03-2012

One of the apparent aims of the most recent Liberal Democrat amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill being discussed in the House of Lords is to ‘stop the application of European Competition Law to the NHS’. Read the rest of this entry »

Question: When is an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill both insignificant and important at the same time?

Filed Under (Coalition Government, Conservative party, Health and Social Care Bill, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 29-02-2012

Answer: When it’s being viewed by the two different Coalition political parties.

Monday saw the Government Health and Social Care Bill lurch further down the path of degeneration into farce.

Sunday saw publicity centred around another set of amendments to the competition aspects of the Bill. Placed by Liberal Democrat peers.

On Monday morning at 11, at the press briefing that takes place twice a day, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said two contradictory things. First he said that the Bill had been amended a lot so far, and that it was now in a fit state to be passed then he said that he was relaxed about these amendments because they were not significant. This is the Prime Minister playing down the amendments and  the possibility of defeat. Read the rest of this entry »

“The NHS reforms are a basket case. They haven’t been thought through”

Filed Under (Health and Social Care Bill, Health Policy, Liberal Democrat Party, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 09-05-2011

Every now and again you catch people who are not very interested in the detail of an issue that really matters to you, like NHS reform policy, encapsulating how the rest of the world sees that issue.

Last Friday and Saturday, following the pretty historic elections in Scotland and on voting reform (and less game changing elections in England and Wales and Northern Ireland) there was a lot of general political comment on the airwaves. There was an occasional mention of the NHS. Read the rest of this entry »

Has the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference caused any damage to the Government’s programme for NHS reform?

Filed Under (Coalition Government, Health and Social Care Bill, Health Policy, Liberal Democrat Party, Reform of the NHS) by Paul on 14-03-2011

Over the last weekend the rank and file of the Liberal Democrat Party chose the NHS reforms as the big issue around which to mobilise opposition to their leadership in their Coalition Government. Why they chose NHS reforms is an important issue, after all the Lib Dem membership had a range of policies that might be viewed as ones on which their leaders had ‘let them down’, however the one they chose was support for NHS reform. Read the rest of this entry »

Further evidence of post election changes from today’s Times

Filed Under (Conservative party, Election campaign, Health Policy, Labour Party, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 04-05-2010

The Times on May 4th picks up on the big issue of post election NHS politics by highlighting the coming significant changes in hospital services. As with my own posts of last week they recognise the significance of the advice from patients’ groups and doctors to bring about improvement and value for money.
Read the rest of this entry »

The Election and the NHS

Filed Under (Conservative party, Election campaign, Health Policy, Labour Party, Liberal Democrat Party) by Paul on 27-04-2010

Whilst the opinion polls  show that the electorate still see the NHS as the second or third issue of importance to them (Behind the economy and in some polls behind immigration), there is really no trace of the politics of the NHS in this election. Given my comments on the Conservative manifesto this is exactly what the Conservative Party would hope from the campaign. At the start of the campaign the Labour Party was trusted with the NHS more that the Conservatives and it would therefore be to the Conservatives advantage if there was not much discussion of the NHS.
Read the rest of this entry »