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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.

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.