14 episodes

Interviews with experts and high-profile guests discussing the most important issues affecting the future of health and care for people in the UK.

The Health Foundation podcast The Health Foundation

    • News
    • 4.9 • 18 Ratings

Interviews with experts and high-profile guests discussing the most important issues affecting the future of health and care for people in the UK.

    Are we seeing the decline of general practice, or its rebirth? – with Professor Katherine Checkland, Dr Rebecca Fisher and Shaun Lintern

    Are we seeing the decline of general practice, or its rebirth? – with Professor Katherine Checkland, Dr Rebecca Fisher and Shaun Lintern

    For years public satisfaction with the NHS has been highest for general practice. 




    But even before the pandemic, rising workloads and workforce shortages had left many GPs dissatisfied and stressed. Then add a pandemic into the mix, with GPs instructed to move rapidly from face-to-face consultations to telephone or digital advice as a first step. As the pandemic eases, signs of public frustration are now spilling over to the tabloids, MPs’ in-trays and adding to demand to hospital A&E departments. 




    Is this a sign of general practice crumbling or are we seeing its rebirth as the old model of care enters the digital age? Do we need a fuller vision for the future of primary care? And what are the government and the NHS doing to manage the fallout from growing frustration among the public and GPs?

    Our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon discusses with three expert guests: 






    Professor Katherine Checkland is Professor of Health Policy and Primary Care at the University of Manchester and until recently was a practising GP in rural Derbyshire. 

    Shaun Lintern is Health Correspondent at The Independent. 

    Dr Rebecca Fisher is Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, leading policy work on primary care, and is a practising doctor, working two days a week as a GP in an area of high urban deprivation.




    Useful links

    Rebecca Fisher (2021) 'Levelling up' general practice in England 
    Rebecca Fisher, Ruth Thorlby and Hugh Alderwick (2019) Understanding primary care networks

    Martin Roland, HEE Primary Care Workforce Commission (2015) The future of primary care

    NHS England (2014) Five Year Forward View

    • 34 min
    How can the green agenda help the health agenda? – with Dr Fiona Godlee and Professor Andy Haines

    How can the green agenda help the health agenda? – with Dr Fiona Godlee and Professor Andy Haines

    Climate change is a global health emergency. What can we learn from how ‘green’ has gone up the agenda? And how might we apply useful lessons to getting further improvements in another complex and difficult challenge – improving the health of the UK population and reducing inequalities? 
     

    The increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves, floods, droughts and storms is already devastating lives and livelihoods around the world. While other countries are far more vulnerable to the health risks of climate change, the UK is not immune.
      

    The UK government and the health and social care system must actively contribute to climate change solutions as part of our global responsibility. In the weeks ahead the UK (along with Italy as a partner) will host COP26, and countries will be showing what action they are taking towards the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming.




    Making progress on climate change will be very challenging. Like improving health, it is a complex problem needing long-term policy commitment and action. What can we learn from efforts and progress so far? And can going greener actually improve the health of people in the UK?

    In the latest episode of our podcast, our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon discusses these issues with two expert guests:






    Dr Fiona Godlee is Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal, a post she’s held since 2005. Fiona is on the board and executive committee of the Climate and Health Council and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change. 

    Professor Andy Haines is Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Andy is a member of several major international and national committees, including the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.




    Useful links:

    The Health Foundation (2021) What do the public think about the NHS and climate change?

    UN Environment Programme (2021) The production gap 2021

    Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society (2021) Climate change and health

    HM Government (2021) Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener 
    HM Government (2020) The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution

    Council for Science and Technology (2020): Achieving net zero carbon emissions through a whole systems approach

    • 38 min
    The most challenging job in the country: Being chief executive of the NHS – with Sir Alan Langlands

    The most challenging job in the country: Being chief executive of the NHS – with Sir Alan Langlands

    Being chief executive of the NHS is one of the most challenging jobs in the country. 
     

    Since the role started in 1985 there have been nine postholders, with Amanda Pritchard taking over from Sir Simon Stevens this year. Like her predecessors she faces formidable challenges ahead: managing the pandemic’s impact, tackling waiting lists, boosting technology, managing a growing population of older people with multiple conditions and dealing with workforce shortages to name a few.
     

    The role means being a leader and a national figure, working with the NHS itself as well as with government, the media and the wider health sector.




    The bandwidth needed to do the job is huge. How is it doable?

    Our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon discusses with Sir Alan Langlands, NHS chief executive number four, from 1994–2000. After leaving the NHS, Alan went onto a number of roles including Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Dundee, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council, Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds and chair of the Health Foundation (2009–2017).
     

    Related content


    Listen to our podcast episode on the Wanless Review and read the related publication, The most expensive breakfast in history

    Listen to our podcast episode with Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

    Read more about the role of health secretary in Glaziers and window breakers

    Explore NHS policy developments in the Thatcher years, Major years and Blair years in our Policy Navigator

    Read more about 'targets and terror'

    Read more about the NHS internal market (see 'the context' by Jennifer Dixon)

    • 46 min
    We are what we eat: Food, health and inequality – with Anna Taylor and Sarah Hickey

    We are what we eat: Food, health and inequality – with Anna Taylor and Sarah Hickey

    Food is crucial to our health, but it is also a driver of ill health, health inequalities, and damage to the environment. 




    The second part of the National Food Strategy, led by Henry Dimbleby, was published in July 2021. It is the most comprehensive review of the entire food and drink system in the UK for many years. It recognises the upsides of the food system in providing affordable, convenient food for a growing population. But it is strong on the downsides – the current system is unsustainable and the food produced and consumed is injuring health and the environment.




    The strategy made 14 radical recommendations for England’s food system – many requiring legislation. The government is currently reviewing the report and is due to produce a White Paper in early 2022. 




    In this podcast, we discuss two areas covered by the review – reducing the amount of junk food, and diet-related inequality – as well as viewing this alongside the government’s 2020 obesity strategy. What should the government do next to make a difference to these large and complex challenges?

    Our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon discusses this with two expert guests:



    Anna Taylor is Executive Director of the Food Foundation, where she’d been since 2015, and is a national and international expert in nutrition. She’s advised the Mayor of London and the GLA, on the food matters that affect Londoners, and also served as Chief Independent Adviser to Henry Dimbleby for the development of the National Food Strategy.

    Sarah Hickey has been leading the childhood obesity programme at Guys and St Thomas’s Foundation as Programme Director since 2016. This programme aims to close the inequality gap in childhood obesity in Lambeth and Southwark working with communities, schools business and others on the ground. She previously worked as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Cabinet Office.




    Related content

    Find out more about the National Food Strategy
    Find out more about the government's obesity strategy
    Listen to our podcast episode on the government's approach to tackling obesity
    Find out more about our podcast

    • 35 min
    Low life expectancy in Glasgow, and what to do about it – with Dr David Walsh and Sir Harry Burns

    Low life expectancy in Glasgow, and what to do about it – with Dr David Walsh and Sir Harry Burns

    If you think of health in the UK as a fabric, it is the most threadbare in Glasgow.




    Here, life expectancy is lowest, and one in four men will die before their sixty-fifth birthday. But even after adjusting for poverty and deprivation, next to comparable deindustrialised cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, Glaswegians have a 30% risk of dying prematurely. That’s from cancer heart disease stroke as well as deaths of despair: suicide, drugs alcohol. It isn’t getting any better, and that’s not even taking into account the pandemic.




    In this episode, we explore:


    What is fraying health to this degree in Glasgow?
    What is being done to help?
    And what can we all learn from Glasgow’s longstanding efforts to try to mend the health fabric, as we all attempt to build back better after the pandemic?

    Our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon discusses this with two expert guests who have for many years been central to this story:



    Dr David Walsh is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, and a senior academic at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Over the years David has carried out a large body of work aimed at understanding Scotland’s (and Glasgow’s) high levels of ‘excess’ mortality, deindustrialisation and health across European regions, and the impact of government ‘austerity’ measures on mortality. 

    Sir Harry Burns is the Professor of Global Public Health, University of Strathclyde. Harry was the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland for almost ten years from September 2005 to April 2014, and is well known for his tireless work on health inequalities. He is a member of the Council of Economic Advisers in Scotland.

    Recommended reading:

    Walsh D, Bendel N, Jones R, Hanlon P. Investigating a 'Glasgow effect'. Glasgow Centre for Population Health; 2016.
    Walsh D, McCartney G, Collins C, Taulbut M, Batty GD. History, politics and vulnerability: explaining excess mortality in Scotland and Glasgow. Glasgow Centre for Population Health; 2016.
    Walsh D, Lowther M, McCartney G, Reid K. Policy recommendations for population health: progress and challenges. Glasgow Centre for Population Health; 2016.
    Dixon J, Everest G. The government’s levelling up agenda: An opportunity to improve health in England. The Health Foundation; 2021.
    Suleman M, Sonthalia S, Webb C, Tinson A, Kane M, Bunbury S, Finch D, Bibby J. Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery: The COVID-19 impact inquiry report. The Health Foundation; 2021.

    Useful links:


    Wising up to levelling up - with Professor Diane Coyle and Sir Howard Bernstein [Episode 7]

    'Deaths of despair': A tale of two countries - with Professor Sir Angus Deaton and Sarah O'Connor [Episode 4]
    Find out more about the Health Foundation podcast

    • 35 min
    Is it time for another Wanless Review? – with Anita Charlesworth and Nick Macpherson

    Is it time for another Wanless Review? – with Anita Charlesworth and Nick Macpherson

    It’s easy to forget the state the NHS was in 20 years ago – long waiting lists, heartrending delays in care, winter crises – and heated debate on whether the NHS model was obsolete.  




    But the Wanless Review set the NHS on course to receive record catch up funding. So in this episode, we ask, given the pandemic and the mounting challenges facing the NHS to deal with a huge backlog of care, is it time for another Wanless?

    Our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon discusses this with two expert guests and former Treasury officials, who were very close to the original Wanless Review:






    Anita Charlesworth, Director of the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre and our Director of Research. Anita led the secretariat for the original Wanless Review within the Treasury, where she was Director of Public Spending from 1998 to 2007.

    Nick Macpherson, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury from 2005 to 2016. Nick was Permanent Secretary to three chancellors, and managed the department through the financial and wider economic crisis which began in 2007. Nick joined the House of Lords in 2016 as Baron of Earls Court.

    Useful links:


    The most expensive breakfast in history. The Health Foundation, 2021.
    Find out more about the REAL Centre
    Find out more about our podcast

    A note on audio quality in this episode
    Unfortunately, we were unable to record this episode using our normal recording platform, so the audio quality is lower than we would like. We'll be back recording the podcast in our normal way next episode.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Cambette ,

Excellent

Now’s the time to learn the lessons from the pandemic and this podcast does just that. Clear, informed experts debating rationally in a well-produced podcast. A rarity and just what the doctor ordered!

msty1 ,

Beyond Good

This podcast is incredible. The quality of guests, questions and production is beyond good. Particularly enjoyed Jeremy Hunt’s reflections as former Health Secretary.

Look forward to more episodes!

- Mustafa Sultan

Wardroper ,

Excellent podcast

As a nurse of 35 years in the NHS I’m not a fan of Jeremy Hunt or the Lansley Reforms. But this was a fascinating insight into his time as Health Secretary. Excellent questions well presented.

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