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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

The secret to transforming a failing hospital

28 July 2014
Basildon Hospital maternity unit
Babies who have been born in the hospital's maternity unit

Each morning the staff of Basildon University Hospital gather in the canteen to discuss the pressing issues of the day.

It is open to anyone and on the morning I was there there were about 40 people attending - a combination of doctors, nurses, admin staff and managers. The key discussion was around a lack of available beds.

But despite the concerns, there was a definite spring in the step. The week before the hospital had been publicly praised by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt for its remarkable turnaround.

Last July Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was part of the first wave of 11 to be placed in special measures.

A year on and it is a completely different situation.

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Failing hospitals: Is the glass half-full or half-empty?

16 July 2014
Jug of water

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's glass was certainly half-full when he gave an update on Wednesday on how the special measures regime for failing hospitals has worked out.

A year to the day since the first 11 were placed in the failure regime, he said he was encouraged hospitals were on the "road to recovery".

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How many nurses short is the NHS?

15 July 2014

Publication of the new guidelines for safe nurse staffing levels on wards marks a key moment for the way hospitals are run.

While the recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence do not set an absolute minimum, wards in England are being encouraged not to go above a ratio of one nurse to eight patients.

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The NHS budget: Five things we've learned

10 July 2014

The NHS budget is under the microscope like never before. The coalition may have protected it, but that has not stopped problems mounting.

Earlier this week a host of medical organisations wrote a letter to The Times warning the NHS was "creaking at the seams".

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Should the NHS be more like the phone industry?

1 July 2014
Mobile phones

The pace of change in the telecommunications industry has been phenomenal.

From telephone exchanges to landlines in every home and - in the past 20 years or so - the advent of mobile phones and now smartphones, the way we communicate with each other has come a long way.

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Why the NHS must heed the lessons of Savile

26 June 2014
Jimmy Savile on Jim'll Fix It
Savile used his celebrity to gain access to NHS hospitals

Since the allegations about Jimmy Savile came to light, the police have looked into how many victims there may have been. An inquiry into why he was never prosecuted has also been carried out.

But the reviews into his conduct in NHS hospitals which have now been published are the most comprehensive account of how he was able to offend - and get away with it for so long.

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GP access: A story that is here to stay

25 June 2014
Demand on GP is rising, says the British Medical Association

Access to GPs is one of those touchstone issues in the NHS. About 90% of patient contacts take place in general practice.

That equates to about 1m people a day - or, to put that another way, 16 times the number that visit A&E units. So warnings from doctors that patients across the UK are facing longer waits for appointments will send a chill down the spines of ministers.

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Nursing: Are we facing a trade-off?

17 June 2014

Nurses are not happy. In fact, Royal College of Nursing general secretary Peter Carter says he has "never seen them so angry".

This much was plain before their annual conference even got under way in Liverpool this week.

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The hidden army of carers

10 June 2014
Some 6.5m people described themselves as carers in the last Census

The state of the NHS and social care system is never far from the headlines.

There are 1.4m people working for the health service and a similar number staffing care homes and providing vital home help. But these figures are dwarfed by a hidden workforce - the UK's army of carers.

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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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