Archive for December, 2010

Health and geosciences links

December 9, 2010

Might move some of these over to the sidebar at some point, but they can go here for now:

Will add to this list as and when.

Lastly, my new blog on health and climate change. Not much to see yet.


UK coalition health plans in a nutshell [with commentary]

December 1, 2010

Scrapping primary care trusts (PCTs) [neutral-to-good], replacing them with GP commissioning consortia to make local health services more responsive to local needs [sounds good but a minefield of conflicting interests for GPs; making services locally responsive does not make them regionally or nationally equitable].

Removing regulatory powers of NICE so that consortia make decisions to fund treatments on a local basis [=removal of main justification for NICE’s existence and return to postcode lotteries, so bad].

Moving public health function into local authorities [good in principle- if allows health considerations to more effectively influence housing, transport, and environment policy, but bad if leaves the public health profession distanced from NHS with limited influence over consortia].

Scrapping the Health Protection Agency (HPA) quango, and absorbing its functions into a new Public Health Service directly answerable to the Department of Health [pointless politics, bad if only because expensive and disruptive- does the Health Minister really want or need a role in containing pandemics?]