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Nick Triggle

Nick Triggle Health correspondent

This is my take on the issues affecting the NHS and social care, from the way we live our lives to the impact of government policies

Nick added analysis to:

Breast cancer drug price reduction urged

23 April 2014

Democracy, it is said, is the worst form of government - except for all the others.

The same could - and is - claimed about the way the NHS assesses drugs.

News that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is planning to reject a new cancer treatment has disappointed many.

Assessing which treatments the NHS should pay for is clearly an emotionally-charged business.

NICE looks at how much a drug would cost to add a year of good life - and allows for up to £30,000 for this; more for end of life treatments, like trastuzumab emtansine. But the drug was assessed at costing £180,000.

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Routine operations: Is a crisis brewing?

17 April 2014
Woman in a hospital gown

The Department of Health and NHS England has been a happy place this month.

Confirmation that the A&E system in England met its four-hour target for the January to March quarter brought a quiet sense of satisfaction. After all, it was only a few months ago that a winter crisis was being predicted.

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So which nation has the best NHS?

11 April 2014
Generic medical scene

The review of the four UK health systems by the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation has been a painstaking piece of work.

Researchers have been working on it for the best part of four years, grappling with different data sets on topics as diverse as spending, waiting times and death rates.

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Why cigarette packs are the 'silent salesmen'

3 April 2014
Smoking kills warning

Make no mistake, the move to introduce plain packaging is just the latest front in the war against smoking.

Over the past decade, there has been a ban on smoking in public places and moves to restrict displays in shops.

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Nick added analysis to:

Government to move ahead with standardised cigarette packets

3 April 2014

Make no mistake, the move to introduce plain packaging is just the latest front in the war against smoking.

Over the past decade, there has been a ban on smoking in public places and moves to restrict displays in shops.

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What's in the new NHS boss's in-tray?

1 April 2014

Simon Stevens is starting his first day as chief executive of NHS England.

It marks his return to the NHS fold after a decade with the US firm United Healthcare where he has been overseeing its global arm.

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Did the NHS get lucky this winter?

29 March 2014
Ambulance outside hospital
Overall this winter the NHS has hit its waiting time target

In the months leading up to winter, there was real concern within government about the damaging headlines it might bring.

Last year the health service in England saw A&E waiting times hit their highest levels for nine years, leading to the four-hour A&E target being missed from January to March.

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Is water fluoridation the next big thing?

26 March 2014
Teeth
Adding fluoride to water helps protect teeth, say public health experts

It is easy to understand why public health chiefs are keen on adding fluoride to water supplies.

It is cheap, costing about 40p per resident per year in areas where it is done, and, according to Public Health England, effective at preventing tooth decay. And yet there has been no new scheme for 25 years. Why?

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Nick added analysis to:

NHS fraud and error 'costing the UK £7bn a year'

24 March 2014

By its very nature, it is difficult to say just how much the NHS loses to fraud. Last year NHS Protect with its local investigators oversaw nearly 150 successful criminal cases. There were also 435 civil or internal disciplinary actions. But this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.

Just like the Crown Prosecution Service, NHS Protect only proceeds with the cases it has a reasonable chance of winning - and cuts to its budget has made it even more difficult to gather evidence than it used to be.

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Nick added analysis to:

Family doctor services 'under threat of extinction'

23 March 2014

Spending less on something is not necessarily bad if it is a sign a service is becoming more efficient.

The figures quoted by the Royal College of GPs include funding for areas such as pay, IT and drugs. Arguments could be made that squeezing all three is justifiable.

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About Nick

Nick started working for the BBC in 2003. His first two years were spent in general news, after which he started covering the health beat.

As health correspondent, he has reported extensively on the NHS and social care as well as how the UK is dealing with challenges such as obesity, the ageing population and health inequalities. Nick has also worked on the Gerry Robinson TV documentaries on the NHS.

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