YEP Says, July 17: The critical need for solutions to aid our sick NHS

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If there’s one thing certain about our NHS it’s that it cannot continue in its current state.

If there’s one thing certain about our NHS it’s that it cannot continue in its current state.

Created out of an ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth, the service launched in 1948 is now, if not critically ill, then is certainly in intensive care. Indeed, it needs all the help it can get if it is to survive.

We report today how an American hospital, which is regarded as one of the safest in the world, is set to mentor medics in Leeds with the aim of eliminating waste and giving better, safer, more efficient care. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has been revealed as one of only five trusts nationwide selected to benefit from the programme led by experts from the Virginia Mason institute in Seattle, Washington.

Over the next five years, staff from the USA’s ‘hospital of the decade’ will mentor clinical and management teams on some of the core principles that have made it successful. While some might raise an eyebrow at the prospect of the US - where healthcare facilities are largely owned and operated by private sector businesses - this is an important and welcome initiative. Because we have a lot to improve on.

Sharing excellence and simple, common sense ‘why didn’t we think of that’ ideas could lead to practical changes that could make a world of difference to our healthcare workers and to their patients.

Thorny issue of an MP’s worth

THE timing could not have been worse: after a Budget that capped public sector pay increases at just one per cent, a 10 per cent increase in the basic pay of MPs is sanctioned. Once again, it creates the potentially toxic impression that Westminster’s elected politicians are back on the gravy train. While it may be that this increase is actually “revenue neutral” as a result of changes to the pension arrangements of MPs, until the “cost of politics” issue is grasped in its entirety, the question of pay will continue to lurch from one controversy to another – and that will not help with the task of restoring trust to the democratic process.