Health Policy Insight
Healthcare management online analysis and intelligence
The home of UK health policy

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The Maynard Doctrine: Simple Simon says

The new chief executive of the NHS in England is rightly challenging his one million plus employees. They consume £110 billion of scarce public resources providing care for a population exhibiting complex co-morbidities.

Patients are often poorly managed in a fragmented system of provision where unwarranted variation in practice and quality is the norm.

Doctors and evidence

Editorial Friday 18 July 2014: Commissioning - Schrodinger's Cat bred with the Norwegian Blue

Publish Date/Time: 
07/18/2014 - 15:40

In a time of political choices to give the NHS no more money, commissioning has become the Schrodinger's Cat of the NHS: simultaneously dead and alive.

Commissioning is basically two things: planning and reviewing the quantity and quality of services, and buying them (or not).

The planning and reviewing function is the alive bit. The buying ... you can work it out; you're smart people.

The dead hand of finance
Why is buying dead?

Editorial Thursday 17 July 2014: Neil Young and the wabi-sabi NHS

Publish Date/Time: 
07/17/2014 - 13:10

The Japanese aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi strikes me as a useful one for thinking about how the NHS is going to have to be to get through the oncoming mess.

Wabi-sabi works on the basis that
Nothing lasts,
Nothing is finished,
Nothing is perfect.

Editorial Wednesday 15 July 2014: Baudelaire, the Devil's finest trick and tax rises in the next Parliament

Publish Date/Time: 
07/16/2014 - 13:16

"The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist" - Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen

Editorial Monday 14 July 2014: A modest proposal on NHS and public sector funding

Publish Date/Time: 
07/14/2014 - 13:13

This denial of an imminent NHS funding crisis, courtesy of health minister Dr Daniel 'Pecs Dance' Poulter, on top of The Buttle Of Britain's response to the Nuffield Trust's funding report, offers perhaps the clearest confirmation yet that we are near to an expli

Editorial Friday 11 July 2014: The liberation of Jeremy Hunt

Publish Date/Time: 
07/11/2014 - 16:34

Rumours swirl of a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday. Health Policy Insight has no great form in correctly calling the likely fate for health secretaries under this coalition’s reshuffles, and I’m sure you’re not holding your breath now.

’Keep smiling through, just like you always do …’

Editorial Tuesday 1 July 2014: What if everything you planned turned out to be wrong?

Publish Date/Time: 
07/01/2014 - 17:59

Stephen Dorrell's thoughtful speech to the Reform conference on integration today invites the policy sphere to think about the health and care continuum in a different way.

It follows on from the NHS England imperative for providers and commissioners to send in their longer-term plans over a two-year and five-year timescale.

If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans

Editorial Tuesday 1 July 2014: Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell speech to Reform integration event

Publish Date/Time: 
07/01/2014 - 10:56

Co-ordinated health and social care: What would it take to really make it happen?

FACTS AND FABLES IN HEALTH

“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden”.

So said Phaedrus, the Thracian slave, who was freed by Augustus and was responsible for translating Aesop’s fables into Latin.

Not a bad place to start when trying to disentangle truth from fable in health policy.

Editorial Friday 20 June 2014: Byrne, baby, Byrne (disco inferno)

Publish Date/Time: 
06/20/2014 - 15:27

Among the stupidest jokes of recent times is the former Treasury secretary Liam Byrne's note to his successor in 2010 after the general election. It read 'there's no money left'.

There are deeply, hog-whimperingly stupid things to do, and then there's something like this.

Editorial Thusday 12 June 2014: Monty Python's Life Of Simon (Stevens)

Publish Date/Time: 
06/12/2014 - 10:36

With apologies to Monty Python, a short Life Of Brian tribute.

EXTERIOR

SCENE: A LARGE CROWD HAS GATHERED TO HEAR FROM NHS ENGLAND CHIEF EXECUTIVE SIMON STEVENS, WHOM THEY HAVE MISTAKEN FOR THE MESSIAH.

THE CROWD ARE CHANTING HIS NAME IN UNISON (AND POSSIBLY OTHER TRADES UNIONS).

CROWD: Si-mon! Si-mon! Si-mon! Si-mon! (etc)

SIMON STEVENS: Good morning. I've got one or two things to say to you.

CROWD: Yes! Tell us both of them.

SIMON STEVENS: You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anyone.

CROWD: Yes! We don't need to follow anyone.