The good ship SS DevoManc: full steam ahead?

SS DevoManc has now set sail after a six weeks stopover in port during the general election. Dr Lawrence Benson tries to plot its course. Let’s recap on DevoManc. It’s about the devolution of power and resources from Westminster to the city region of Greater Manchester (GM), including for health and social care. This marks […]


We are deBono, we are Devo

Laurence Benson routinely uses the lateral thinking techniques of the original thinker Edward deBono to review new and old policy for public services. As a teaching focused academic at Manchester Business School here Laurence runs the recent devomanc policy through deBono’s Six Thinking Hats technique. Each hat has a different colour to represent a different […]


How the high cost of PFI has added to the deficit

The debate on the deficit has been dominated by the cost of bailing-out the banks and the affordability of the welfare state. The impact of expensive PFI contracts should not be overlooked, explains Dr Anne Stafford. No matter who wins the General Election, the next government will have to deal  with the growing cost of […]

The Sun

Statistics, the Sun and government press offices

Reporting the relationship between mental illness and homicide and suicide must be handled sensitively. When it is not, a social media firestorm can follow, explains Professor Louis Appleby. It was about 18 months ago, late at night, when I checked my Twitter timeline for news. What I found took me by surprise. The mental health […]


Reorganising the NHS: Never again?

As we approach the election, the  prospect of yet more organisational restructuring for the NHS fills Kieran Walshe with dismay.  The next government needs to focus more on changes which make a difference to patients, and which are founded on good evidence about what works. The ability to hold two conflicting positions in your mind […]


Can performance pay in primary care reduce mortality?

Government policy assumed that incentives for general practice through performance-related-pay would improve mortality rates and other outcomes. Its scheme for doing this appears not to have worked as intended, explains Evangelos Kontopantelis. Primary care has enormous potential for improving population health outcomes – including mortality from common chronic conditions – through early intervention in the […]


DevoManc: does the future of health and social care start here?

Devolving health and social care in Greater Manchester is an attractive idea.  But will the practical challenges undo it ask Kath Checkland, Julia Segar and Anna Coleman. Devolution has been coming to Greater Manchester (GM) for some time. The recent announcement that the total health and social care budget for GM  – £6bn – is […]


Paying for retirement – the phrase politicians are afraid to say

The starting gun for the General Election has been fired, with less than 100 days to go before we vote. But, asks John Read, will the parties have the courage to discuss how future governments will pay for workers’ retirement? Financing the state pensions of the next generation of retired workers is a key challenge […]

hospital scene

An unhealthy partnership?

MPs have just had a bitterly divided debate on what the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will mean for the NHS. Neil Perkins and Jonathan Hammond consider the evidence. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade deal currently being negotiated between the European Union  and the United States. If TTIP goes ahead, […]


Changing the ties that bind

Clinical Commissioning Groups were introduced by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act. The role of GPs within the NHS and their relationships with NHS managers are changing as a result, explains Julia Segar.  The NHS is dealing with severe challenges at present, with A&E in crisis and bed blocking preventing the release of some […]