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Author Archives: Adrian Mercer

3 challenges to the NHS on its 70th birthday. NHS embodies a set of key principles and values which are increasingly under attack. In an age of austerity, with widening social and economic inequality, and increasing intergenerational division, I argue that these principles are more relevant and necessary than ever. In this talk for a meeting of the East Dartmoor Labour Party, I look at threats to three of the underpinning principles of the NHS, and considers how we might respond . . . NHS celebrates its 70th birthday on 4 July. Timely to look at the challenges it faces, why it is important to be aware […]
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The case against PFI grows stronger as the repayment costs rise, NHS finances deteriorate, and international interest rates fall. There is an alternative. PFI is sometimes seen as yesterday’s battle. For over 20 years, capital funding for major public service schemes has been available predominantly only through PFI. Contracts have been tendered, partners selected, and the schools, hospitals, and prisons built. Even many on the left now view PFI as a given. Passim Allyson Pollock’s and John Lister’s excellent work on this subject, what is left to say? The most recent data for NHS PFI schemes should remind us why […]
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To implement STPs fully, the NHS will have to be transformed. From what we know about organisations that have transformed themselves, is the NHS capable of this? Viewed from a systems perspective, the NHS is perfectly designed to achieve what it achieves: an (imperfect) reconciliation of competing goals. There is explicit and implicit conflict built into the design of the NHS system. For example, it is a national service yet encourages commissioning/postcode variation; it is publicly-funded and pursues PFI and privatisation; it manages a fixed budget unrelated to demand and yet runs deficits; and it offers a bottom-up vision but […]
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The transformative effects of the world-wide-web and the digital revolution are everywhere. Lives of citizens have been revolutionised as access to the web has completely altered how people connect and communicate with each other. The information technology revolution continues to challenge traditional ways in which human beings trade, communicate, organise, investigate, learn, and how they project themselves. The current political landscape is characterized by at least two interesting developments: political problems such as those surrounding the economy and environment are becoming more transnational, and citizens now have a capability to operate on their own terms rather than as members of traditional […]
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