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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.

Editorial Monday 13 October 2014: Tory NHS reform mea culpa - 'what Lynton entertainment the players shall receive'

Publish Date/Time: 
10/13/2014 - 11:31

Today's Times leads with a well-briefed story about how senior Tories (no names, obviously) now regard having gone ahead with their NHS reforms.

The piece is unambiguous that the chaotic, hugely disruptive nature of the reforms was understood before the party's MPs supported what became the 2012 Act in vote after vote after vote.

It is, however, silent on why they went ahead with them regardless.

Folly or knavery?

Editorial Wednesday 1 October 2014: The Curious Case Of Conservative Health Policy

Publish Date/Time: 
10/01/2014 - 19:22

With the delivery of Secretary Of State Jeremy 'Bellflinger' Hunt's conference speech yesterday and Prime Minister 'That Nice Mr' David Cameron's speech today, health policy fans have much to digest.

Let us start with Mr Hunt.

Editorial Wednesday 24 September 2014: Some reflections on Labour's election health policy

Publish Date/Time: 
09/24/2014 - 16:31

Mascara Kid Andy Burnham's speech to the Labour Party conference today told us little that had not been extensively trailed in his previous speeches and in the party's policy review led by Sir John Oldham.

Editorial Tuesday 23 September 2014: Labour leader Ed Miliband's health policy announcements today

Publish Date/Time: 
09/23/2014 - 13:18

Well, I have this from a very good source. "£2.5 bn fund (mansion tax, fags) to fund 20,000 nurses, and 8,000 GPs, 5,000 social/community care workers and 3,000 midwives by 2020".

There are problems with going down the workforce number target route. Not because it isn't important to have the right workforce - skill mix and numbers. It is important.

Editorial Friday 19 September 2014: The NHS is Russia (and postmodernism), basically

Publish Date/Time: 
09/19/2014 - 09:00

Many people don't really understand the NHS, which might be OK if they didn't also try to run it or make policy about it.

So in the interests of helping people understand it a bit better, I'm going to let you in on a secret: the NHS is Russia, basically.

Notoriously big and populous; notoriously hard to govern; and notoriously difficult to conquer.

Obviously, there are a few minor differences. The NHS doesn't drink vodka for breakfast, or have fairly significant oil reserves.

And it's not as if neo-liberal governments are trying to trash the NHS's economy ... oh, hang on ...

The Maynard Doctrine: Religion and the privates

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard explores the connections between religion and the privates

Competing religions
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition believes in small government, and has hacked public sector budgets in order to make the poor poorer and to undermine the social infrastructure.

Editorial Friday 12 September 2014: Well done, Monitor

Publish Date/Time: 
09/12/2014 - 17:32

Well done, Monitor: nice work.

Yes, you read that right. I typed it out loud, in the real world. I even meant it. Open code bracket; forward-slash irony, close code bracket.

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