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Editorial Thursday 29 January 2015: The future of tariff, the Corinthian spirit and the NHS as a political football

Publish Date/Time: 
01/29/2015 - 17:04

First, the good news: the 2014 British Social Attitudes survey found that satisfaction with the NHS has resumed its upwards trend, and is back to its second-highest level ever. This is a remarkable testament to the hard work of NHS staff.

(It will be instructive to see whether those who criticised the BSA's methodology when it found the massive drop in public satisfaction in 2010-11 change their tune now that its findings may be more convenient.)

Editorial Wednesday 28 January 2015: Text of NHS England's major incidence guidance

Publish Date/Time: 
01/28/2015 - 17:26

Here follows the short version of the text of NHS England West Midlands local area team's major incident guidance, which has made the news today.

Urgent Care Checklist/On–Call guidance
Purpose

The purpose of this checklist is primarily to assist both CCG and Area Team on-call managers and Directors when the system pressures across urgent care providers is significant.

* CCG On call

Editorial Wednesday 21 January 2015: NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens interview

Publish Date/Time: 
01/21/2015 - 21:45

Simon Stevens interview – Health Policy Insight, January 2015

Interview by Andy Cowper

Health Policy Insight: No healthcare system has yet achieved the level of productivity gain required in the 2015-20 period - though Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece have all made big cuts. Why will the NHS be different?
Simon Stevens: There are three main zones where we have to unleash major efficiency improvements. Number one, where most efforts to date have focused, is in individual NHS organisations and providers.

The Maynard Doctrine: Memo for Simon ‘Sir Galahad’ Stevens: a message from Merlin

Dear Sir Galahad,

Your noble intentions in pursuing the Holy Grail of increased productivity in the NHS have been noted. As you know, I am a ‘shape shifter’ (i.e. I can appear in a variety of forms). This has enabled me to attend covertly various meetings in Whitehall village and Quarry House, Leeds and listen to the often chaotic burblings and confused intentions of those in charge of NHS policymaking.

The cacophony (as you can imagine) has been considerable because the imminence of the election and the Stalinist efforts of the Coalition to curtail expressions of panic.

Editorial Friday 19 December 2014: Thoughts on A&E pressure from 2006

Publish Date/Time: 
12/19/2014 - 11:07

In 2006, I wrote up a conference report of an event on urgent and emergency care for my friend Rick Stern, now chief executive of NHS Alliance.

The hog-whimperingly unsurprising current demand pressures on A&E made me think it would possibly be useful to reopublish a couple of sections from that report, which appear below.

Integrating primary and secondary care
‘Cracked it?’ - Rick Strang, head of unscheduled care, Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

What are we trying to crack?

The Maynard Doctrine: NHS England And The Holy Grail (of NHS productivity gains)

Publish Date/Time: 
12/01/2014 - 15:53

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard gives a masterclass in the taxonomy of knights and productivity ruses

Sir Galahad (also known as Simon Stevens) is continuing his search for a means to bridge the £30 billion funding gap in NHS finances in period 2015-20.

Editorial Tuesday 18 November 2014: Filling the gulf between The Reid Code and the Five-Year Forward View

Publish Date/Time: 
11/18/2014 - 08:40

Denial is much more than a river running through Cairo. It's an understandable, if unhelpful, response to a fairly grim reality, such as the NHS's is currently.

A very smart friend recently observed that just now, the NHS is working to two planning strategies.

The Maynard Doctrine: Sir Galahad Stevens' quest for the Holy Grail of increased NHS productivity

The NHS “is a triumphant example of the superiority of collective action and public initiative applied to a segment of society, where commercial principles are seen at their worst”
Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear, 1952, page 85

Editorial Thursday 23 October 2014: A subtle subversion – NHS England’s Five-Year Forward View

Publish Date/Time: 
10/23/2014 - 15:50

‘Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.’ – Proverbs 29:18

Simon Stevens is a subtle subversive: a highly effective character type. NHS England’s Five-Year Forward View sets out his broad direction of travel. And it sends a neat, subtextual message to political and system leaders, which they may even at some point notice.