90% of patient care in the NHS happens in general practice and yet general practice only receives around 10% of the NHS budget. This cost efficiency is what allows the NHS to consistently be among the best healthcare systems in the world (as independently assessed by the US based Commonwealth Fund year after year) on a relative shoestring.
I haven't blogged for a while. The reason will shock our esteemed Prime Minister. It's because I've been a bit busy - see Mrs May, I'm a GP. So waking up on Saturday to hear your briefing to the press suggesting that I am to blame for the current crisis in the NHS, and that you will 'order' me and all my colleagues to be open 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm, made me pick up my laptop.
NHS workforce planners need to act now to reduce the impact of 'worse case' scenarios, post Brexit. Even if the worst case does not materialise, this research reveals enough about how difficult things might get to warrant serious investment in our nursing workforce to ensure we can meet future demand.
I would not advocate privatising the NHS or trying to charge people for its services. There is little to be gained and much to be lost. There is no perfect health system on this planet and the NHS is the UK's own grand version of an imperfect system.
We cannot continue to allow decisions about future funding of health and care to be put in the 'too difficult to deal with' pile. It is incumbent on our generation of Labour politicians to have an honest debate and come up with the solutions that will protect the NHS for our children and for our children's children. And it's a debate I want to lead.
When the practical and economic feasibility of a routine 7-day NHS has been roundly debunked by senior doctors, service providers and analyists, it is only natural to ask how this is going to happen. Maybe, we ought to be thinking a little more naturally ourselves, and prepare for our complementary secretary of state for health to give us a very complementary 7-day routine NHS.
The government's mental health strategy, like its 'plan' for a seven-day NHS, amounts to telling the NHS to do more work without the finance to implem...
The Government has initiated 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) for the NHS in England. Under this innocuous-sounding title lies a major threat the continued existence of the NHS... The effects will be equally devastating, with the closure of beds, of key units including paediatric, maternity and cardiovascular and of whole A&E departments which are now bearing the brunt of the cuts elsewhere in the NHS. Entire hospitals will close in The Black Country and in Leicestershire, while many others including Cheshire and Merseyside will have 'fewer beds'. The plans are based on wilful self-delusion.
What do pop stars, chocolate bars and Prime Ministers have in common? No, it's not a dodgy one liner. All three have all been subject to the mighty ...
Labour should welcome the way place-based planning can draw people together to find solutions, as a potential means to resolve some of problems caused by the Health and Social Care Act.
Based on their track record, would they have hesitated to legally challenge the UK government: particularly on Jeremy Hunt's early assertion that we do not already have a seven-day emergency NHS, a proclamation which has already led to well-documented patient harm?
Be in no doubt the Government have amassed a huge range of tools to reshape the NHS by hook or by crook but because they have passed responsibility onto the 44 STP footprint areas, you won't see Jeremy Hunt or Theresa May standing up in Parliament to announce or even to defend hospital closures or the further creeping privatisation of health services.
Whatever is happening in the Labour Party, we cannot lose our focus on fighting for the investment that the NHS needs and tackling any attempts to use the current financial crisis as a Trojan horse for privatisation.
The NHS is one of our most beloved institutions with principles that people value and admire but like any public service it must adapt. We need to find long term solutions. Our inquiry will get to the core of the challenges that the NHS will face over the next two decades and beyond. We hope that it will lead to a cross-party consensus on a sustainable approach to better healthcare for all.
Yet for the last six years the Conservative Party had sold the myth of austerity, promising that that cutting public services would "save money", rather than simply put our poorest citizens through unnecessary misery - or worse -and chock off a sustainable economic recovery. The NHS has been biggest casualty of his this ideologically-driven slash and burn of the public sphere.
The NHS absolutely cannot handle the closure of up to 3000 pharmacies in addition to its already enormous problems. Officials should get around the table with pharmacists and patients to discuss, from first principles, a future in which the pharmacy sector is vibrant and efficient, and fulfilling its full potential on the health service front line.