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Independent Healthcare Voices

Independent Healthcare Voices is a platform for healthcare and other industry leaders to share their views, observations and insight on the independent health sector and wider health and social care issues with the aim of sparking debates, spreading learning across the system and sharing solutions to tricky and common challenges facing local services.

Please note that all views expressed are those of the individual author, not of IHPN.

If you would like to discuss an idea for a blog or submit an article for consideration please email Megan Cleaver at [email protected]

The role of healthcare in tackling climate change - is the weather about to change?

Date of publication: 20th Dec 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Much has been written about climate change in the past few months as the great and the good converged on Glasgow in November for the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference. Many commentators more qualified than me have debated whether COP26 was a success or not and whether it delivered what it needed to. But regardless of your thoughts on this, what is clear is that organisations and industries need to be striving towards net zero sooner rather than later with...

Five key tips to improving workforce planning through data-driven rostering

Date of publication: 4th Nov 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Paul Walker, Chief Technical Officer at Skills for Health, looks at how data-driven rostering can help improve workforce planning The effective deployment of the workforce underpins all care services. The challenges of ensuring people are in the right roles, with the right skills, crucially at the right time, cannot be understated. To create flexible, sustainable services against the backdrop of the challenge to restore care services, meeting new demands and reducing elective backlogs, we must first understand how best to...

Should private providers sit on Integrated Care Boards?

Date of publication: 20th Sep 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Under the new Health and Care Bill working its way through Parliament, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will replace CCGs in planning and commissioning health care services in local areas. In a way that CCGs are not, ICBs will also be directly accountable for NHS spend and provider performance in their local area. The composition of ICBs is currently a matter of debate. And this debate matters because these Boards will have a really important job to do, both to meet...

IHPN marks third annual World Patient Safety Day

Date of publication: 17th Sep 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Patient safety remains the number one priority for independent healthcare providers, and IHPN are delighted to mark the third ever World Patient Safety Day – set up by the World Health Organisation to bring about global solidarity and concerted action to improve patient safety. Over the past few years the entire healthcare sector has seen a change in the approach and understanding of patient safety, with safety experts from across different industries coming together in the interests of patients and...

Community health services – are you ready for your close up? 

Date of publication: 10th Sep 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Much of what is written about healthcare in England understandably tends to focus on what is happening in hospitals and GP surgeries. We hear a lot less about the provision of community health services despite the fact that shifting more care out of hospital and into the community is one of the ambitions outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan. NHS England state that community health services will “meet the changing needs of the country over the coming decade”. It is fair to say that community health services are poorly understood - so, to correct that balance, here is a brief but close up look...

The right diagnosis? What will Community Diagnostics Hubs mean for local healthcare systems?

Date of publication: 15th Jul 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

It is almost nine months since Professor Sir Mike Richards’ report, Diagnostics: Recovery and Renewal, was approved by the NHS England & NHS Improvement Board. This report paved the way to reimagine what diagnostics provision could look like in England - not only to build up much needed capacity but also to take a more innovative and patient centred approach to service design. The subsequent strategic ambitions for NHS diagnostic services set this out clearly - to deliver services that...

Safety through regulation – how the independent sector is playing its role in improving patient safety and quality

Date of publication: 14th Jul 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Read IHPN's Director of Regulation, Dawn Hodgkins reflections on IHPN's recent "Safety through regulation conference"  With the covid pandemic unfortunately leading IHPN to delay our annual “Safety through regulation” conference in summer 2020, it was great to finally hold the event this year and share our experiences on how the independent healthcare sector can continuously improve patient safety and quality across the healthcare system. The event, attended by over 100 independent healthcare representatives, began with Prof Ted Baker, Chief Inspector...

The healthcare landscape is changing - can Interim Management help manage change and seize opportunities?

Date of publication: 12th Jul 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

Andrew Vaux, Head of Independent Health and Social Care  at Practicus, looks at whether Interim Management help independent healthcare providers manage change and seize opportunities in a changing healthcare landscape  Today’s reality is COVID is endemic and will need to be factored into healthcare planning such as prevention measures, capacity management and sustained vaccination programmes. Indeed, the response to the pandemic by healthcare providers is causing seismic shifts in how and where care is provided. This is reflected in the...

How can the independent sector support Sajid Javid’s burgeoning in-tray?

Date of publication: 30th Jun 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

IHPN's Policy Director, David Furness, takes a look at what the key priorities will be for the new Health and Social Care Secretary, and how the independent sector can help him to deliver them Becoming Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and ultimately overseeing a £120bn+ health service which treats over a million patients every 24 hours is always a daunting task. But with a global pandemic that “has not thrown its last surprise at us”, an elective...

RTT data - a window on elective care recovery

Date of publication: 11th Jun 2021

Categories: Independent Healthcare Voices

IHPN’s Head of Acute Care Policy, John Hopgood, looks at why this month’s Referral-to-Treatment waiting times data carries particular significance for the independent sector. The monthly publication of data from NHS England this week carries more significance than usual. Not only is it our first chance to have a detailed look at activity since the start of the 2021/22 financial year (and the end of the National Hospitals Contract), but it’s also the biggest indication yet as to where recovery...