Richard Vize on CCGs – notes from #reportinghealth

Carol Miers wrote up her notes on the speech by health expert Richard Vize at Help Me Investigate Health’s #reportinghealth event – we’ve reproduced them below with permission:

“GPs tend to be self employed business people, they hate NHS bureaucracy and hate being told what to do, now they are taken away from patient contact, they have to work on committees, they have their business interests compromised, they have become a cog in the bureaucracy and are subject to control from the Department of Health.”

This, added Richard Vize, opens up health reporting because there is now oversight from the Health and Wellbeing board which – given that GPs are vocal – will bring in an area of openness and debate. Continue reading

BBC College of Journalism teams up with Help Me Investigate for health reporting event

We’ve teamed up with the BBC College of Journalism for an event on reporting the new health system that comes into force this year.

Journalists and the new health system‘ is bringing together the people who will be scrutinising the new clinical commissioning system – journalists, bloggers and councillors – with the new players making key decisions.

It will discuss what are likely to be the important issues, as well as providing an opportunity for building new contacts with bodies such as CSUs and CCGs, hyperlocal bloggers and health experts.

The event is taking place at Birmingham’s Margaret Street on March 26. Sign up and get more details at http://reportingccgs.eventbrite.com/

Follow the money: financial incentives for CCGs

If you’re curious about what incentives might be guiding the new health system, this update from the NHS Commissioning Board provides some essential context:

“Financial incentives (quality premium) will be paid to all CCGs that improve or achieve on four national measures and three locally-agreed measures, set with Health and Wellbeing Boards. National measures include: potential years of life lost from causes considered amenable to healthcare; avoidable emergency admissions; the friends and family test; and incidence of healthcare associated infections.”

The ‘friends and family test’ is about whether individuals would recommend services to friends – in other words, a form of customer satisfaction. You can read concerns about it here, and analysis here.

Continue reading

The structure of the NHS – link

One of the initial barriers to investigating health issues is getting your head around the apparent complexity of the UK health system and its jargon. Over at National Health Service History, however, Geoffrey Rivett has put together one of the clearest guides I’ve seen on its various parts and how they connect together, regularly updated to boot (the latest being in November 2011).

The page on A guide to the NHS is worth reading in full for those looking at health issues for the first time, setting out some of the key distinctions (such as that between primary and secondary care), how money flows, and where responsibility sits. Continue reading

Paper Trail: Accounting Officer, Department of Health

Stumbled across on the Department of Health website, this statement:

The Permanent Secretary and Principal Accounting Officer at the Department of Health (DH) is accountable to Parliament for the proper use of the resources allocated to the Department. Continue reading