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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

Why are hospitals under so much pressure?

  • 13 December 2014
  • From the section Health
Screen

You need look no further than Salford Royal Hospital to realise the point the NHS has got to.

The trust is generally regarded as one of the best - if not the best - in the UK. It outperforms its counterparts on a whole host of measures from patient satisfaction to waiting times.

But last week it missed the four-hour A&E waiting time target - dipping below the 95% standard by the narrowest of margins. This is not a quirk. It's been dragged down along with the rest of the hospital sector.

Once you strip out the small units and walk-in centres, where the pressure is less intense, seven out of eight of England's 141 major units are now missing the target.

If this sort of performance continues for the rest of the month, the quarterly results for October to December will be the worst since the target was introduced in 2004.

Read full article Why are hospitals under so much pressure?

Why the care sector is green with envy

  • 8 December 2014
  • From the section Health
Money on scales

It has been enough to make those involved with social care green with envy. For the past year or so the NHS in England has been making the case that it is short of money.

So what happens? Chancellor George Osborne throws another £2bn its way to top up its £100bn-plus budget. Social care has been putting the case for even longer, but it was left empty handed by the Autumn Statement.

Read full article Why the care sector is green with envy

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

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

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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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