Whether or not you subscribe to the ‘evolution, not revolution’ mantra, there is no doubt that the Coalition Government’s reforms to health and social care services are shaking up the policy environment and the healthcare market-place to an unprecedented extent.
We have a new lexicon – senates, outcomes frameworks, Any Qualified Provider, value-based pricing… new structures – Public Health England, PCT clusters, Health and Wellbeing Boards… new priorities – The Nicholson Challenge and patient experience… and, not least, new decision-makers – the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
Can mental health policy ever deliver its objectives?
In February 2011, the Coalition Government published its first mental health strategy No Health Without Mental Health. One year on, Jennifer White and Helen Johnson ask if this strategy was simply the latest in a series of well-meaning strategies in mental health that fall short of their objectives when implemented.
The New Health Order
The Health and Social Care Bill: Where are we now?
The organisational structure of the NHS is both changing and has already changed. The Health and Social Care Bill will enshrine in law how the NHS is structured although there is still considerable uncertainty as to how the “new” structure will actually work. As the Bill continues its passage through the House of Lords, Jenny White bravely attempts to explain how the different organisations within the NHS will fit together using the analogy of a Roman temple.
Where Are We Now?
The Health and Social Care Bill
As the Health and Social Care Bill continues its passage through the House of Lords, Jenny White explains the journey of the Bill so far, the key changes to the NHS arising from it and what the next stages are likely to mean.
Are we nearly there yet?
Can mental health policy ever deliver its objectives?
In February 2011 the Government published “No Health, Without Mental Health”, the mental health outcomes strategy. Its ambition was to bring mental health provision and care into the mainstream and achieve “parity of esteem” with physical health. In “Are We Nearly There Yet?” we seek to explore if, after years of successive government strategies, mental health will finally be of equal importance as physical health.
Losing our religion:
Does NHS reform mean the end of free healthcare?
When it comes to discussing the reform of the NHS, it’s practically a national sport to be parochial. Perhaps Baron Lawson of Blaby was right when he famously called the NHS “the national religion”. In this article, John Spoors explores some of the reasons why there is widespread opposition to reforming the NHS and suggests that we need to challenge our traditional views about the NHS if we are to safeguard the fundamental principles on which it was founded.
Issues in Healthcare Access
Highlights from the WCG Access Round Table
In July 2011, HJCL’s Helen Johnson was a panellist in a round table event run in partnership by WCG, an integrated communications company, and the Holmes Report.
Chaired by Paul Holmes of The Holmes Report, the aim of the event was to bring together different stakeholder perspectives and to have an open and informal discussion about evolving issues in the access landscape: value for money or money for value; the looming economic crisis; who are the access stakeholders?; and how is access in today’s healthcare environment being redefined by social and digital media?
Our job is to help our clients and partners navigate this complex and dynamic environment, make sense of it, understand it and anticipate and respond to the challenges and opportunities it presents.
‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’:
Public Health Workshop
Aim: To share and discuss the implications of the Public Health White Paper and the (at that time unpublished) Health and Social Care Bill with a small group of voluntary sector organisations; to explore possible avenues to effectively engage with the immunisation and vaccines agenda.
- Held at Royal Society of Public Health head office with Chief Executive Professor Richard Parish as key speaker
- Workshop discussion facilitated by HJCL
- HJCL presented an overview of public health policy landscape and a ‘top tips’ guide to responding to government consultations
Aim: To organise a parliamentary debate with speakers for and against a motion relating to a particular aspect of the controversial healthcare environment before summer recess 2011
- Devised the debate subject-matter around the use of financial incentives in the NHS; identified potential speakers and discussion points
- Secured 6 high-quality panel members: Nick de Bois MP (Chair), Professor Paul Corrigan, Professor Andy McKeon, Andrew Haldenby (Director of Reform), Dr Daniel Poulter MP and Debbie Abrahams MP
- Positioned the client as a thought-leader in the health reform debate as well as supporters of open, serious and balanced discussion on topical issues
- 45 confirmed attendees, including parliamentarians and several senior figures from organisations such as the Royal College of GPs, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, Diabetes UK and the Royal College of Nursing.
Making sense of the Cancer Drugs Fund
Aim: To monitor and shape the evolution of the Cancer Drugs Fund and to track its implementation and delivery on the ground.
Results: This has been an ongoing project topic throughout 2011. To date, we have:
- Monitored and tracked parliamentary, patient, industry and clinical comment on the design, principles and operation of the Cancer Drugs Fund and interim fund
- Undertaken a comparative analysis of the different funding processes and procedures adopted by each of the Strategic Health Authority regions
- Advised upon and helped draft responses to relevant Government consultations
- Researched and produced a report detailing the history of access to oncology medicines in the UK over the last ten years, including an analysis of pertinent recommendations by NICE and media reaction to those recommendations
- Designed, planned and facilitated a half-day client workshop on the use of patient access schemes in England and Scotland.