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Editorial Friday 29 May 2015: Is Monitor's Dr David Bennett the new Jim Morrison, Shia LaBoeuf or Michael Heseltine?

Publish Date/Time: 
05/29/2015 - 07:58

Health Policy Insight spoils you, I know. Firstly, you got exclusive understanding of how Simon Stevens' NHS strategy is derived from Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds.

Now we can exclusively reveal that Dr David Bennett is the reincarnation of leather-trousered rock god and Doors frontman Jim Morrison.

The Maynard Doctrine:: Time for scepticaemia

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard suggests that it’s time for a little definition of what we actually mean by policy goals

Ministers continue to assert, in the true Thatcherite tradition, that they are interested in “value for money”.

However, when it comes to short-term political gain and favourable publicity in the press, they squander society’s scarce resources by funding schemes where evidence of cost-effectiveness is absent.

Likewise, they fail to ensure scientific evaluation of their usually evidence-free innovations.

Editorial Friday 8 May 2015: What the new Conservative government will do on health

Publish Date/Time: 
05/08/2015 - 11:33

1. Celebrate. They had no clue they were going to win an overall majority. They have one. It is not large, and that will create evident challenges in due course. But basically, they will be very happy indeed with a remarkable electoral achievement.

2. Order DH to welease The Wose Weview. Or maybe not.

The Maynard Doctrine 6 May 2015: Pre-electoral reflections - is the NHS going to hell in a handcart?

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard wonders what the bloody hell’s going on with electioneering health policy, and is mildly sceptical about the reality of £22 billion efficiency gains

Aneurin Bevan smashed through a myriad of institutional obstacles to create the NHS in 1948. His underlying concern was income protection: ensuring that citizens were not bankrupted by unpredictable life events that required medical care. Bevan’s NHS was to remove the price barrier to use of medical care, removing fear of the financial consequences of ill-health.

Editorial Wednesday 6 May 2015: Simon Stevens' 'Pet Sounds'

Publish Date/Time: 
05/06/2015 - 11:55

As some light relief after a heavy piece about NHS finances, I think it’s time to explain that Simon Stevens has a secret strategy for the NHS.

It’s not the Five-Year Forward View.

It’s not privatisation.

It’s Brian Wilson’s masterpiece ‘Pet Sounds’.

Editorial Tuesday 5 May 2015: It's raining cash: hallelujah! Why the NHS needs a double-Steve Austin and The Builder’s Message

Publish Date/Time: 
05/05/2015 - 16:19


"And here I sit so patiently,
Waiting to find what price
You have to pay to get out of going
Through all these things twice"

Bob Dylan, 'Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again'

I wasn't into football as a young man: I'm still not now that I'm less young. Still, football culture was a reality of the 1970s and 80s, with hooliganism, tribalism and affordable standing terraces.

Editorial Monday 27 April 2015: RIP Professor Aidan Halligan

Publish Date/Time: 
04/27/2015 - 20:11

Some things you want to write much less than others; some you don't want to write at all. This one is in the second such category.

Professor Aidan Halligan has died unexpectedly, aged 57. A friend and mentor to many, he was the NHS's first director of clinical governance, and also deputy chief medical officer to Sir Liam Donaldson.

Editorial Thursday 27 February 2015: Four questions about the Greater Manchester SHA structural solutioneering

Publish Date/Time: 
02/26/2015 - 09:25

The revelation by the Manchester Evening News that there is to be a Greater Manchester health and care authority, to which the region's entire £6bn annual budget will be devolved, is a spectacular one.

It involves the creation of a new statutory body by April 2016 to assume the budget, sitting above a supervisory commissioning body formed of the area's councils, CCGs and NHS England.

This is clearly in no way adding new bureaucracy and complexity into the NHS system.

The Maynard Doctrine: Productivity, produce or production? The £22 billion challenge

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard casts doubt on the £22 billion efficiency challenge

Editorial Tuesday 17 February 2015: Market mechanisms in today's NHS: the highest-maintenance imaginary girl/boyfriend ever

Publish Date/Time: 
02/18/2015 - 00:22

There are five basic questions worth asking yourself when setting out to tackle a problem.

They are as follows:
1. Do I understand this problem and its root causes?
2. Is it a big problem?
3. Is it an important problem?
4. Is it a wicked problem?
5. Is it a real problem?

Step one is self-explanatory, although a lot of people (in health policy and politics and beyond) do tend to skip it.