News, PPP in the News

The crucial mistakes the government has made in the NHS crisis – Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell for The Independent

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As health secretary, it was my responsibility to keep the NHS out of the headlines. The current government seems to have forgotten how to do that. When John Major asked me to be health secretary he made it clear that my job was to keep the NHS out of the newspapers. That reflected his view that patients aren’t interested in sweeping […]


As health secretary, it was my responsibility to keep the NHS out of the headlines. The current government seems to have forgotten how to do that.

When John Major asked me to be health secretary he made it clear that my job was to keep the NHS out of the newspapers.

That reflected his view that patients aren’t interested in sweeping promises of “NHS reform”; they support the principles of the NHS, they value the commitment and professionalism of those who work in it – and they expect the politicians to find ways to work with the NHS to deliver the principles on which the service was founded.

When the NHS is in the headlines, it is usually because the politicians have forgotten these cardinal principles.

It has been clear for months that every part of the NHS would be working under unsustainable pressure during the current winter season as it grapples with the combined effects of lengthening waiting lists, staff shortages and collapsing social care. These trends were, sadly, well established before the pandemic but have all been exacerbated both by the pandemic and this year’s flu epidemic.

It has also been clear that Pay Review Body recommendations which were based on evidence submitted by the government on 23 February 2022 would not be regarded by NHS staff as providing a fair basis for a pay settlement for this winter – with inflation running at virtually double the rate of 12 months ago.

Against this background the government made several crucial mistakes:

1.    It allowed itself to be challenged by staff across the traditional public sector; it should have recognised that NHS staff are seen differently by most people – particularly in view of the pressures and risks which they accepted during the pandemic;

2.    It should have prioritised a settlement with NHS staff in order to maintain services during an unprecedented winter crisis;

3.    It could easily have done so by asking the review body, in the exceptional circumstances of 2022 to make an interim recommendation for the current year – reflecting the practice of many employers across the private sector;

4.    The health secretary should never have refused to discuss pay – the very issue which lies at the heart of the dispute;

5.    It is simply extraordinary to waste parliamentary time by introducing legislation which removes the right of NHS staff to withdraw their labour in a future dispute at a time when ministers and MPs should be focusing on resolving the current dispute.

These mistakes have led to a protracted dispute with staff who enjoy widespread public support and whose primary ask is that their employers recognise that their living standards had already fallen when they gave unstinting service during the pandemic – and now face further decline as a result of inflation.

The worst insult to these staff was the endless repetition by ministers of the assertion that “the taxpayer can’t afford a 19 per cent increase for the nurses” when the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) leadership was making it crystal clear that it was simply seeking a negotiation.

While ministers chanted from the grandstand, NHS staff were dealing with unprecedented pressures and seeking recognition of the pressures on their families.

It is good news that the prime minister finally had the sense to tell his ministers to engage with the issues; his mistake was not to do so on the day he appointed them.

Stephen Dorrell is a Liberal Democrat politician who served as health secretary under John Major from 1995 to 1997. He was also chairman of the House of Commons Health select committee from 2010 to 2014

 

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/government-nhs-crisis-nurses-strike-b2260048.html

PPP in the News

The Social Care Workforce: Averting a Crisis | In the news

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Social Care workforce in desperate need of ‘Nightingale Shift’: change in status, pay and recognition, says new report by Public Policy Projects, chaired by The Rt Hon Damian Green MP


A new report by Public Policy Projects (PPP) has called for a ‘Nightingale Shift’ in the social care workforce.

The report, The Social Care Workforce: averting a crisis, explores the extent to which the sector has been suffering from high staff turnover rates, chronic recruitment and retention issues, and low morale, finding that pre-existing workforce issues have been exacerbated by the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic on the care sector.

The report was chaired by former Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Damian Green MP, and was co-produced with individuals with lived experience of the social care sector. It finds that social care staff do not enjoy the same status in the minds of the public as their NHS counterparts, despite the similarity in roles and skills required.

The report and its recommendations has been covered by The Independent:

The Independent

In a report published on Tuesday, Damian Green called for the minimum wage for care workers to be increased in line with NHS pay and said there needed to be a shift in public opinion similar to the boost in status that nurses received following the work of Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.

Mr Green, who served as deputy prime minister under Theresa May, said: “We need more care workers, we need them to stay longer in their jobs, and we need them to be better paid and more highly regarded.”

 

Caring Times

“The Social Care Workforce: averting a crisis”, published on 26 July, states that some carers are paid less than dog walkers and calls for urgent action from the government to improve the recruitment and retention of care professionals and volunteers in the adult social care sector.

Damian Green, who served as First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office from June to December 2017 in the Second May government, said the minimum wage for care workers should be increased in line with NHS pay. He added a shift in public opinion similar to that received by nurses following the work of Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War was needed for care workers.

Wandsworth Guardian

Anne Pridmore, who receives 24/7 social care and contributed to the report, said: “We must recognise and appreciate the skills of the workforce, and pay workers a decent wage.

“I get to pay my carers £10 an hour in a town where you can get £15 for dog walking. How can this be conducive to good recruitment and retention?”

The report, published by centre-right think tank Public Policy Projects (PPP), comes as the Conservative leadership debate focuses on tax cuts.

LocalGov

A think tank has called for an ‘elevation in the status of care work’ in order to fix the social care workforce crisis.

A new report from Public Policy Projects sets out a number of measures aimed at improving staff recruitment and retention in the social care sector.

Among its key recommendations, the report argues that the Government invest in a positive advertising campaign to raise the profile of those working in care. It cites the boost in public sentiment towards nursing that followed Florence Nightingale’s work during the Crimean war, and stresses the need for a similar shift to take place for care work.

What’s next for PPP

PPP looks to publish its final report in the social care series – The Future of Social Care: digital opportunities and the arrival of caretech – in Autumn of this year. This report will again be informed by the lived experience of individuals either using or working in the social care sector.

About Mary Brown

Mary Brown is a Policy Analyst at PPP focusing on social care, health inequalities, and the digital divide. Mary leads on the social care reports chaired by former deputy prime minster The Rt Hon Damian Green MP, and on PPP’s health inequalities report for 2022 – The Digital Divide: reducing inequalities for better health – chaired by Richard Stubbs, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire and Humber AHSN.

PPP in the News

The climate crisis and its health impacts report | In the news

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Francesco Tamilia

PPP report “The climate crisis and its health impacts” was launched in March 2022. Soon after the publication, the report’s findings and its recommendations were widely covered by many major national and international media outlets, as well as on Twitter.


Public Policy Projects (PPP) policy report on the intersection between climate change and health – The climate crisis and its health impacts.

Climate change and health impacts

The first four chapters of the report comprehensively address some of the most threatening health impacts of climate change, including heatwaves, infectious diseases, mental health and poor air quality. Each of the chapter analyses the relation between climate change and the given impact and, through a series of case studies, showcases best practise on how we can tackle this. The report serves not just to highlight the extent of the link between climate change and health, but also to demonstrate that there are many actions can be taken and that solutions are in our grasp to prevent and mitigate the health consequences of climate change.

In the final chapter of the report, PPP explains the rationale behind its ambitious decision to urge World Health Organization (WHO) to revise the narrow disease-specific definition of public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) to include climate change.

Media coverage of the report includes:

RTL 102.5 NEWS

PPP Policy Analyst and author of the report Francesco Tamilia was interviewed by Italian radio station RTL 102.5 NEWS – April 2022

Francesco Tamilia news interview RTL105


La Repubblica

L’italiano che da Londra lotta contro il cambiamento climatico

10th April, 2022

ITALIAN

“Se vogliamo salvare il pianeta i governi nazionali devono affrontare la crisi climatica con la stessa urgenza ed efficacia vista durante la pandemia di Covid-19. Le azioni proattive ed efficaci quando si affronta il cambiamento climatico devono essere messe all’ordine del giorno sia a livello governativo che di organizzazioni internazionali. Il cambiamento climatico e la salute sono due facce della stessa medaglia.”

Translation

“National governments must deal with the climate crisis with the same urgency and effectiveness seen during the Covid-19 pandemic. Proactive and effective actions must become the ordinary ones when tackling climate change. By taking actions on climate, such as switching to clean energy, we are also protecting people’s health. Climate change and health are two sides of the same coin.”

 

la republica

The Independent

Climate change should be in medical school curriculum as it affects health, report says

31st March, 2022

“Climate change should be included in medical schools’ curriculums to help doctors understand how the climate emergency impacts health, a global policy report has recommended.”


British Medical Journal

Medical schools should include climate change in their curriculum, says report

30th March, 2022

“The report by Public Policy Projects,1 an independent institute that advocates global policy reform, says that despite some good progress at the COP26 conference in 2021, the health implications of the climate crisis need to be a bigger part of the climate policy agenda and will only worsen without “swift and meaningful interventions” across the board.”


Lampoon Magazine

Heatwaves, viruses, eco-anxiety: threats coming from climate change. In conversation with Francesco Tamilia

30th June, 2022

“People still feel distant and cannot relate to climate change, simply because it does not (yet) have an impact on their health or those of loved ones. Confronting the damages we already experience might help increase a sense of urgency.”


BusinessGreen

Should the WHO ‘declare climate change a public health emergency’?

29th March, 2022

“The report by Public Policy Projects,1 an independent institute that advocates global policy reform, says that despite some good progress at the COP26 conference in 2021, the health implications of the climate crisis need to be a bigger part of the climate policy agenda and will only worsen without “swift and meaningful interventions” across the board.”


Environment Journal

WHO should declare climate change a public health emergency

29th March, 2022

“The World Health Organization (WHO) should consider revising the narrow disease-specific definition of public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) to include climate change, says new report by Public Policy Projects (PPP).”


Air Quality News

WHO should declare climate change a public health emergency

29th March, 2022

“The new report, chaired by Deputy Mayor of London Seb Dance, showcases the devastating impacts of climate change on people’s health.”


Econai

Why WHO should declare climate change public health emergency— Report

30th March, 2022

“A new report by Public Policy Projects (PPP) suggests that the World Health Organization (WHO) should consider revising the narrow disease-specific definition of public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) to include climate change.”

 

Follow up articles and commentary

Green Alliance

Why we have to involve health professionals in the climate debate

25th April, 2022

Green Alliance Blog


The Independent

‘Unbearable’: Blistering heat threatens lives and livelihoods in India

29th April, 2022

Independent coverage

Further Twitter coverage of the report

We are delighted to see so much engagement with our report, including from The BMJ, The Independent, Green Alliance, AirQualityNews, Environmental Journal, Climate Cares and Grantham Imperial.

What’s next for PPP

Building upon the Public Policy Projects (PPP) report The climate crisis and its health impacts, in 2022/2023 PPP will run the Global Climate & Health Coalition (GCHC) Consultations Series which will bring together the scientific and policy communities with representatives of private and public sectors to address key areas of discussion in climate change and health.

About Francesco Tamilia

Francesco Tamilia is PPP Policy Analyst who has written and authored of “The climate crisis and its health impacts” report. He has also projected managed all the activities that have contributed to the report, including interviews, webinars and roundtables.

At PPP, Francesco specialises on climate change, environment and energy transition. He is currently leading another framework on the role of carbon capture and carbon removals in the race to net zero.

PPP in the News

The Future of GB Rail report findings | In the news

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PPP in the news rail

Net Zero Industries: The Future of GB Rail was launched on 27 January 2022. The first in a series covering net zero industries from Public Policy Projects, the report has generated significant media coverage.


PPP report “The Future of GB Rail” asks how to maximise rail’s potential as a low-carbon form of transportation. Offering recommendations for regulating towards carbon neutrality within the industry, and better utilising existing rail infrastructure to support decarbonisation efforts in other industries, the report offers a vision for how a closer relationship between industry and policymakers can efficiently deliver a net-zero future. The Future of GB Rail also discusses the pivotal role of the consumer and offers insight on how passengers can be incentivised to maximise rail’s utility.

The report and its recommendations – drawn from the expertise of our webinar speakers and the project’s partnering organisations (Hitachi Rail, Siemens Mobility, and The Trainline) – have been covered by a number of major news outlets, including:

Daily Mail

“The report by Public Policy Projects last week calls for more investment in new technologies, including hydrogen and battery-powered trains. It also expressed concern over the move to scale back electrification after the blueprints for HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail were heavily revised last year.”


Evening Standard

“Chris Skidmore, who signed the UK’s net-zero target into law, said recent decisions had seen the UK ‘go backwards’ on plans to reduce emissions.”

Rail Professional Magazine

Rail report in the news


The Times

“Delivered by PPP in association with Hitachi Rail, Siemens Mobility, and Trainline, The Future of GB Rail seeks to highlight the needs of a rail network rather than offering prescriptive guidance.

Providing clear and actionable recommendations, PPP hopes that stakeholders can use the document to create a path for their route or region.

The report also deals with the issues of the pre and post-Covid-19 franchising system, discussing the impacts of obstacles such as the length of TOC contracts and the persistent problem of overprescription.”


The Independent

“The report by Public Policy Projects calls for more investment in new technologies, including hydrogen and battery-powered trains, and expressed concern over the move to scale back electrification ambitions after the blueprints for building HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail were heavily revised last year.”


Rail Technology Magazine

“The latest report published by Public Policy Projects (PPP) “The Future of GB Rail” sets out recommendations on how the Government can achieve net-zero rail by 2050.”


More from the report chair

Further coverage from the report chair Stephen Hammond MP.

“The decarbonisation of travel, and greening our growth, are now imperatives in everyone’s policy formulation. Public transport is still going to be the back bone for economic growth, but within it will be important to improve access and interconnectedness between modes to maximise opportunity.”

 

Stephen Hammond MP

 

What’s next for PPP

Building upon the The future of GB Rail report, Public Policy Projects (PPP) will be continuing its work on sustainable transportation with upcoming series’ discussing the role of hydrogen in sustainable fuel mixes, and the needs of the UK’s rapidly expanding mobility grid. These series will bring together experts from industry, academia and policymaking to provide actionable recommendations that will provide value to government and clarity on the future of transport in the UK.

About Eliot Gillings

Eliot Gillings is a Policy Analyst at PPP who led the delivery of The future of GB Rail, and writes extensively on industrial strategy, green infrastructure and sustainable finance.

At PPP, Eliot specialises in horizontal and sectoral net zero strategies. He is currently leading PPP’s work on AgriTech strategy, transportation policy, and domestic efficiency.