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Author Archives: Steve Iliffe

It is difficult to know whether Secretary of State Hunt is deliberately promoting a fight, or has blundered into a conflict because he does not understand the undercurrents in the medical profession. He seems unprepared for a dispute. The economic modelling to show who would gain and who would lose from the new contract had not been completed, right up to the strike ballot. A little history may help clarify this. In 2007 the Blair government tried to introduce an electronic system for matching junior doctor applicants to training programme posts, the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS). The electronic system […]
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A bad few weeks for general practice. First came the MPIG scuffle in June, as the government announced unilaterally that subsidies that guaranteed general practitioners’ incomes would be phased out, over seven years. This government is no friend of a Minimal Practice Income Guarantee, which protects GPs from market discipline. The withdrawal of MPIG affects 60% of around 11,000 general practices, but in 98 mostly small rural or inner city practices it is an existential threat. The government seems to have calculated that the political fallout from all this should be manageable. The BMA has assisted by negotiating for the […]
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Is there more to this than meets the eye? Ed Miliband has promised to restore citizens’ rights to get appointments with general practitioners (GPs) within 48 hours. This makes sense. The 48 hour access rule was part of a set of targets introduced under Blair to reduce waiting time for investigations of cancer and time spent in hospital A&E departments. The NHS’s natural tendency is to grow waiting lists, which Labour knew and tried to counter, but the Tories abolished the 48 hour rule in their enthusiasm for small government. The problem for Labour is that this rule is unpopular […]
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How should Labour be approaching its future health policy? In this article we first briefly summarise some of the main developments likely to take place in the NHS in the run up to the 2015 general election, and then outline possible responses by a future Labour government. Developments in the near future Between now and the 2015 general election the NHS is likely to have a significant part of its community health services (and some hospital services) provided or managed by the private sector, even though the privatisation process is running more slowly than the government would like. Nearly a […]
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Steve Iliffe & Richard Bourne, for the Health Matters seminar group In the run up to the 2015 general election, the NHS is likely to have a significant part of its community health services (and some hospital services) provided or managed by the private sector, even though the privatisation process is running more slowly than the government would like. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which became the local purchasing organisations for the NHS in April 2013, will be struggling to balance rising demand for services and expectations and shrinking budgets, but will have limited powers. Despite the political rhetoric from government […]
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 This paper by Steve Iliffe & Richard Bourne, for the Health Matters seminar group is based on discussions about Future options for the NHS facilitated by Health Matters journal  and the Socialist Health Association in March and April 2013. Near future: In the run up to the 2015 general election, the NHS is likely to have a large part of its community health services (and some hospital services) provided or managed by the private sector. Mental health services, 30% of which  are currently provided by commercial or third sector organisations, may be the shape (although not necessarily the size) of things […]
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Notes from a Health Matters seminar at Kings College London  March 1st 2013 Steve Iliffe from Health Matters with help from SHA organised the seminar with academics, senior health managers and clinicians Near future:  In the run up to the 2015 general election, the NHS is likely to have: A large part of community services (and some hospital services) provided or managed by the private sector. Mental health services, of which 30% are currently provided by commercial or third sector organisations, are the shape of things to come. Clinical Commissioning Groups struggling with rising demand and expectations, and shrinking budgets, […]
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Notes from Health Matters seminars at Kings College London  on March 1st 2013 and University College London on April 26th 2013 Near future:  In the run up to the 2015 general election, the NHS is likely to have:  A large part of community services (and some hospital services) provided or managed by the private sector. Mental health services, of which 30% are currently provided by commercial or third sector organisations, are the shape of things to come. Clinical Commissioning Groups struggling with rising demand and expectations, and shrinking budgets, with limited powers. Some CCGs will manage these pressures better than […]
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