Who owns GP Consortia?

Pardon my ignorance, but I have been trying – and I confess failing – to try and get my head around a simple question: who owns (or rather will own) GP consortia? The legal status of these bodies may seem a bit pedantic, but it could have a fundamental affect on the dynamics of the New Model NHS. And finding out, from the 367 pages or whatever it is of the Health and Social Care Bill is nigh on impossible. Continue reading

Localisation and the Blame Game – heads we win, tails you lose

Andy Coulson may have gone, but the evidence of the spin-s dark arts at work permeates the Coalition government’s strategy. Before the election both Tories and Liberal Democrats made much of the fact they were going to be open and honest with voters about the effects of the cuts they were proposing (as opposed to Labour, and especially Gordon Brown, who were clearly in denial). Since the election, the tone has changed dramatically and now any cuts to ‘front-line’ services is clearly someone else’s incompetence and not the result of their dash to slash. Continue reading

10,000 Reasons for the Coalition to be Worried?

The Oldham and Saddleworth by-election is intersting for all sorts of reasons: the first since the general election; the first where two Coalition parties have fought each other (or not); the first sitting MP to be expelled by an Election Court for lying about an opponent (and let’s hope that doesn’t catch on or we’ll have no MPs left); and so on.

By-election results are most usually analysed by commentators in terms of “share of the vote” because they usually attract far fewer voters than a General Election – and indeed turnout was down from 61% to 48.6% since last May. But, and here the election is unusual, the fall in the vote is entirely accounted for by the fall in the votes of the two Coalition parties. Continue reading

Manchester Mayhem

A crazy day after Manchester City Council confirmed that it was to make 2,000 staff redundant. A few minutes after I’d heard about on the Today programme just after 7am, they rang up to ask me to comment! Apart from a Today interview, which you can listen to here, I’ve done interviews for BBC Radio Manchester, BBC TV North West Tonight, Manchester Evening News, BBC TV News channel and a blog post for The Daily Telegraph which you can read here. Continue reading

Quangos (again)

Last week the Public Administration Select Committee published a hard-hitting, extremely blunt, report criticising the way in which the Government’s (non) bonfire of the quangos has been conducted. Well worth a read – one of the most intriguing suggestions was that many quangos should be turned into executive agencies, which for those of us who have studied these things is a very interesting suggestion. (see my two books on the quangos and agencies here and on agencies here.

My own written contribution appears in the report here, and there’s oral evidence and several references to my two-pence worth in the body of the report..