Britain Imbalanced lists a series of ideas to promote physical activity and prevent the rise of obesity. Double Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell proposes that schools should provide parents with advice linked to encouraging more sleep, physical exercise and eating nutritious meals. He also says Public Health England needs to do more to explore the issue of underweight children as evidence suggests people are more likely to die when clinically underweight than overweight.
Perverse incentives in NHS funding structures have greatly increased the number of unnecessary admissions to hospitals over the last ten years by failing to encourage GPs and consultants to work together in the best interests of the patient. The NHS pay and performance system needs to move away from considering each of their professional groups as an isolated case and encourage them to work together.
Implementing GP Commissioning suggests that the Health and Social Care Bill’s proposals to abolish every Primary Care Trust (PCT) by 2013 could lead to the new structure replicating the existing system in all but name. The report says that by slowing down the proposed reforms, the potential to deliver real and lasting transformation in the NHS is enormous.
Careless argues that introducing free personal care funded by general taxation is far too expensive. The report instead recommends that three specific funding models be considered by the Coalition's Commission on the funding of care and support long-term.
It is a popular myth that smoking is a net contributor to the economy – our research finds that every single cigarette smoked costs the country 6.5 pence. In order to balance income and costs, tobacco duty should be progressively increased until the full societal cost of smoking is met through taxation.
The report argues that the continuing obsession at the top of Government with ‘being seen to do something’ means that ministers think and act if they were responsible for almost all significant operational decisions, in effect undermining the independence that was at the heart of creating Foundation Trusts.
The report highlights late diagnosis, poor survival rates for older people and those in deprived communities, and relatively poor take up of new treatments and technologies as being the most likely causes behind the UK’s comparatively high mortality rate for cancer patients.
Our research, which included a roundtable discussion with a number of senior academics and business leaders with expertise in the NHS, considers some of the options for the NHS in a period of tight funding.
Which Doctor? proposes a radical new framework to tackle the inequality of primary health care provision. The proposals recommend that the majority of NHS funding (£84.4 billion in 2010–11) be distributed on the basis of a patients’ age and postcodes, and that GPs be financially incentivised to set up practices in areas of most need through a ‘patient premium’.