National newspapers recently reported that Polish is now the second language in the UK. This fact inspired a lot of articles written from numerous viewpoints: the problem of the influx of migrants to Great Britain, pressure on public services like education and healthcare, positives and negatives posed to the job market, the changing nature of local communities and cultural tensions to name but a few. (more…)
As well as saving the NHS billions of pounds a year through better use of IT, this is part of a move to give people access
to their health records online. (more…)
We recently published a brief report into price variation with Peto, the product and price comparison website for the NHS. The results showed trusts across England are paying over the odds for everyday products, costing the taxpayer an unnecessary £500 million each year.
The conclusion we drew was that for long-term efficiency the NHS needs to be assured of ‘fair prices’ (among other things). (more…)
Tucked away in Tuesday’s publication by Francis Maude MP of the latest Civil Service Reform Plan was an apparently innocuous proposal in chapter two about improving the quality of policymaking. The government is planning to spend £1 million in a three-year pilot starting next month on “contestable” policymaking, whereby ministers can “commission external policy development (for example, by academics and think-tanks)”. (more…)
I had the pleasure to attend the second day of Procurex National in Birmingham, at which the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP set the scene for the next few years in public sector procurement. And what a scene he set. A powerful speaker with a lot of charisma, he sounded like he meant business in more than a figure-of-speech way. (more…)
Dr Hamish Meldrum, head of the British Medical Association (BMA), said in a New Statesman article in January that said he “is anxious that the principle of ‘universality’ and ‘comprehensiveness’ on which the NHS was founded, are imperilled by the fantasy of The Health and Social Care Bill and the creation of a utopian marketplace in which private providers compete with state care”. (more…)
At Barts and The London NHS Trust we constantly try to ensure best value in everything we purchase, but it is a mammoth task.
While 87 per cent of our influenceable non-pay spend of £195 million is covered by contracts, we need to do much more to ensure we have value for money. (more…)
Just before Christmas, the EU sneaked out proposals for a new public procurement directive. You could lose the will to live in trying to digest the hundreds of pages of draft new laws. While some of it sounds good, the devil is in the detail. But the net effect will be to sink a series of flagship policies from the coalition government. For instance: (more…)