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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

NHS strike: A walkout with a difference

  • 24 November 2014
  • From the section Health
Picket line outside the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke

The words strike and NHS are enough to send a shudder down the spine of any patient.

But many of the people using the health service in England or Northern Ireland on Monday morning may not have noticed a huge difference.

Why? Walkouts in the NHS are quite different from other sectors. When tube drivers, council staff or teachers strike the aim is to cause disruption. It is the first rule of industrial action: make your contribution count.

However, the terms of engagement are somewhat different when NHS workers take part. While unions members want to make a point, they commit to not harming urgent and emergency services.

Ahead of this week's action local union officials held talks with managers to plan services - as they did before the walkout on 17 October. It means there are likely to have been many staff in work who supported the strike but have agreed to keep working.

Read full article NHS strike: A walkout with a difference

Why the NHS is facing a tricky winter

  • 14 November 2014
  • From the section Health
Winter scene

This is the time of year that NHS bosses - and their political masters for that matter - start to look at the weather forecasts.

A bad winter can make a huge difference to the health service. A cold snap increases the number of falls and amount of respiratory illness, while the vomiting bug norovirus can take hold on hospital wards.

Read full article Why the NHS is facing a tricky winter

Is there really a crisis among GPs?

  • 4 November 2014
  • From the section Health
Stethoscope

GPs should have it all, shouldn't they?

A decade ago they got a new contract that allowed them to give up night and weekend cover, while seeing their pay shoot through the £100,000 a year barrier.

Read full article Is there really a crisis among GPs?

Joined-up care: The elephant in the room

  • 30 October 2014
  • From the section Health
Elephant in room

Encouraging greater integration between the NHS and social care systems - as the government has set out on Thursday - is like motherhood and apple pie. No-one would argue against it.

The line where NHS-funded healthcare ends and council-funded social care begins has always been blurred and failings on one side undoubtedly have an impact on the other.

Read full article Joined-up care: The elephant in the room

The NHS plan: Five things we've learned

  • 23 October 2014
  • From the section Health
Nurses

The unveiling of the NHS Forward View has been anticipated for some time.

Six key national health bodies have put their name to it, but it is hard not to see it as the vision of the new leader of the health service in England, Simon Stevens.

Read full article The NHS plan: Five things we've learned

NHS strike: A walkout with a difference

  • 24 November 2014
  • From the section Health
Picket line outside the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke

The words strike and NHS are enough to send a shudder down the spine of any patient.

But many of the people using the health service in England or Northern Ireland on Monday morning may not have noticed a huge difference.

Read full article NHS strike: A walkout with a difference

Mental health: A start of a long journey?

  • 8 October 2014
  • From the section Health
Depressed man

Playing devil's advocate, you could say the government is setting its mental health targets in the areas and at the levels it knows the NHS can achieve.

Already nearly two-thirds of patients get access to talking therapies within 28 days. So asking the NHS to ensure 95% are seen within 18 weeks does not seem a big ask.

Read full article Mental health: A start of a long journey?

NHS budget: What we aren't being told

  • 1 October 2014
  • From the section Health
Money

Last week Labour was promising extra money for the NHS in England. This week it's the Tories' turn - and no doubt the Liberal Democrats will have something to say when they gather in Glasgow next week.

With all these pledges, the NHS should be in fine fettle shouldn't it? Well, no, not necessarily.

Read full article NHS budget: What we aren't being told

The battle over GP opening

  • 30 September 2014
  • From the section Health
spl

GPs are often referred to as the gateway to NHS care. It is easy to understand why - nine in every 10 patient contacts are at GP surgeries.

So it should come as no surprise that the state of services should be providing such an important battleground between the political parties in England.

Read full article The battle over GP opening

Labour bares its teeth on the NHS

  • 24 September 2014
  • From the section Health
Nurses on a ward
Labour is promising 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and 3,000 more midwives

There has been a feeling in Labour circles for some time that the NHS could be the government's weak spot.

The picture emerging from the party's annual conference confirms that. With Ed Miliband making the health service such a key part of his speech, he has signalled his willingness to go toe-to-toe with the other parties for hearts and minds when it comes to the health service.

Read full article Labour bares its teeth on the NHS

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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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