23rd October 2015

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19th November King's Fund 5.30pm

Lord Philip Hunt - shadow deputy leader House of Lords - former Trust Chair

What is the inside story of the H&SCAct,

What is Labour's health policy under Jeremy Corbyn? 

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What spring looks like
News and Comment from Roy Lilley
There is a moment, each year, when you look up and realise the apple greens, the mint, the pistachio, the olive, the viridian and Dartmouth Greens have given way to gold, burgundy, rust and Tuscan Red.
Autumn is when every leaf throws off its camouflage and becomes a flower. Each one a miracle, a work of art. Unseen, summer is orchestrated into the flame that melts the trees and hedgerows into winter.
I find it a melancholy beauty. The time to stop and think; another year slipped through my fingers. The dark days of winter rain; the days we draw our coats tight around us and the evenings when curtains are drawn across black windows, ever earlier. Autumn is a mellow time. Time to catch our breath; steady ourselves for the barren darkness to come.
I am writing this the morning after meeting an exceptional man. A man who has left his fingerprint on my soul. A man with whom I discussed the future, aware of the fact he has already made history. A man I will remember with all the melancholy of the season.
A man who keeps a pair of ballet shoes in his office.
He keeps the shoes to remind himself of what he regards as the mistake of his life. They belonged to a young girl who needed a lung transplant that he wasn't able to make happen. The complications of hierarchy and resource defeated him. The shoes call out their story, every day; push harder, do more, achieve more... it's all about the patients.
This man is no dreamer. This man is a trained killer, having served with Special Forces, SBS and the SAS. A weapons expert who survived interrogation training, depravation and stress testing.
A man destined to fill his years with more achievements than most could hope for in ten lifetimes.
An expert in the fields of lung transplantation and pulmonary vascular disease; two years as a senior transplant fellow at Papworth Hospital; five years working as a cardio-pulmonary transplant and respiratory physician.
There is more; in 2007 he ran the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, a 980 bed tertiary teaching hospital, one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2008; Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland and CEO of Metro North Health Service, one of the largest health services in Australia.
In November 2012 he was appointed CEO of the world famous Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. A week or two ago he left. The man is Professor Keith McNeil.
The CQC said McNeil's Trust was inadequate, patients put at risk and plunged it into the abyss of special measures.
McNeil admits it is not perfect and is like every other Trust in the system; battling staff shortages, an overheating health economy, a predicted 64m activity above plan and a busted social services network. 
The CQC's Mike Richards said... "Senior management had lost its grip on the basics."
I think Richards has lost his grip on reality.
Richards said; "[Patients]... are being put at risk." Although he added, "...it is not that we necessarily saw actual unsafe practice but we did see they would be put at risk if you don't, for example, have sufficient numbers of midwives for women in labour."
Richards can't seem to articulate when a risk is a risk, or a risk is at risk of becoming a risk?
The facts are; there have been no maternal deaths since 2007 and the Trust has the lowest still-birth rate in the country. Like all Trusts, they can't pop down the road and buy a box of midwives. 
In my opinion it is Richards who is the greater risk.
Who is the most dangerous man in the NHS? The trained killer or the box ticker? The devastating damage wreaked by the CQC to this organisation and its international reputation is incalculable.
The chill fingers of winter are reaching into the NHS and their frost freezes the words on the lips of those who are bullied into a dangerous silence.  The growing band who whisper, privately, of the utter futility of Richard's work.
This winter, above all others before it, every mile we travel will feel like two, every step a burden.  I am in utter despair at the foolishness the NHS has heaped upon it.
Right now, I can't remember what spring looks like.
Have a thoughtful weekend.

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1st December
King's Fund 5.30pm 
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 Health Chat
21st October
King's Fund - 5.30pm
Keith McNeil
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19th November
King's Fund 5.30pm
Lord Hunt
Labour's Health Leader in the Lords.
A remarkable career; from leader of NAHAT (a forerunner of the Confed) and Trust Chair to the front-line of politics.
This will be an absorbing evening of politics, policy and no few insider secrets (we hope).  In conversation with Roy Lilley; come and hear from the heart of Westminster.
Philip Hunt writes here
Guest Editorial
the NHS in crisis and Monitor's new clothes.
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>>  I'm hearing - the number of GP practices applying to close is more than double the 48 in 2012.
>>  I'm hearing - Bart's new boss; Alwen Williams.
Guest Editorial
Hilary Jenkins
writes on the travails
of Wiltshire CCG
and will no doubt strike a chord across England
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