Health Policy Insight
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Editorial Thursday 1 December 2016: Interview with NHS Improvement chair Ed Smith on 'Developing People, Improving Care'

Publish Date/Time: 
11/28/2016 - 07:37

NHS Improvement chair Ed Smith talks to Health Policy Insight about the new ‘Developing People, Improving Care’ framework

Health Policy Insight: What is the main aim of the new ‘Developing People, Improving Care’ framework?

Editorial Friday 25 November 2016: Top trolling, Team Brexit!

Publish Date/Time: 
11/25/2016 - 14:37

Just when you thought this week couldn't get any sillier, Team Brexit have smashed all records for sheer bare-faced political lying.

I'm not making this up, unfortunately: Change Britain stalwarts Michael Gove, Steve Baker and Gisela Stuart have demanded that Theresa May spend a £200 million a week "Brexit bonus" on the NHS.

Editorial Thursday 24 November 2016: Five thoughts about yesterday

Publish Date/Time: 
11/24/2016 - 09:58

1. Social care got less than nothing
Not only were the sector-wide representations that social care needed more funding ignored (to the point where the Chancellor didn't even let councils raise the local precept), the hike to the national minimum wage next April (from £7.20 an hour to £7.50) will increase the labour costs of a sector that is seeing high levels of provider exit due to unprofitability.

Editorial Wednesday 23 November 2016: Stuck outside the Treasury with the funding blues again

Publish Date/Time: 
11/23/2016 - 12:07

Well. Wasn’t that a bracing few weeks?

Let’s start with the money, shall we? NHS Improvement’s Q2 financial report shows the NHS provider sector gamely struggling its way back towards financial balance.

The Maynard Doctrine: How to fund the NHS - zombie policies rise yet again

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard would much rather not have to write this article again, but evidently it's still necessary. Sigh.

After six years of inadequate funding of the NHS, waiting lists are worsening. Workforce problems are acute, and 65 per cent of hospital trusts were in deficit at year end 2015-16.

It is remarkable that service provision has maintained such reasonable levels when health and social care funding has been so parsimonious.

Editorial Sunday 16 October 2016: The Incredible Shrinking Imperial Phase and "the NHS's own plans for itself"

Publish Date/Time: 
10/16/2016 - 15:11

The Imperial Phase in 10 Downing Street just keeps getting shorter.

Tony Blair's lasted just over a Parliament (though he won another general election after the Iraq war).

Editorial Saturday 15 October 2016: The bed of nails, leaking from the top and sucking it up

Publish Date/Time: 
10/15/2016 - 09:53

In the world of health policy, life imitates art: the first time as tragedy, the second time as Yes, Minister.

'The Bed Of Nails' is an iconic 'Yes, Minister' episode, in which civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby observes that "the ship of state is the only one that leaks from the top".

Editorial Friday 23 September 2016: The Two-Year Forward View - STPs, the exam question and playing 'Chicken'

Publish Date/Time: 
09/23/2016 - 16:11

HPI readers with elephantine memories will remember that there was a time before NHS England's boss was Sun King Simon Stevens.

It seems improbable, but it's true. In the BS Era (Before Stevens), the NHS Commissioning Board's previous Comrade-In-Chief Sir David Nicholson asked the sector to deliver their three-year plans. It was called 'A Call To Action'.

The Maynard Doctrine: What efficiency is

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard teaches Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt a little about efficiency.

What is efficiency?

On September 11th, I tweeted: "Health care that is delivered inefficiently is unethical as it deprives potential patients of care from which they could benefit".

On September 15th, a young chap called Jeremy Hunt tweeted in reply "This is why safe, high quality and efficient care must go hand in hand”.

Editorial Monday 12 September 2016: Interview - Simon Stevens, chief executive, NHS England

Publish Date/Time: 
09/12/2016 - 12:19

Health Policy Insight: Do you agree that hospital A&Es are currently under real pressure?

Simon Stevens: Definitely. The NHS holds itself to a very high standard. No other major industrialised country in the world over the past year has managed to treat 9 out of 10 of its patients within four hours in an A&E department, but we have. The same with providing 9 out of 10 of our citizens with routine surgery within 18 weeks.

But that doesn't mean we can just carry on as we are.