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The Maynard Doctrine: The Empress has no clothes

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard calls Mayday on Number 10's health and care policy position

Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of the Emperor being tricked by two weavers into selling a magic set of clothes that did not exist led to their victim being “naked as the day that he was born”, and subject to universal ridicule.

After six months in office, Prime Minister May appears to have no clothes and is subject to increasing ridicule. Admittedly, her agenda is broad and dominated by bewilderment about how to manage Brexit.

Editorial Thursday 15 December 2016: The three deals to be done

Publish Date/Time: 
12/15/2016 - 10:25

Connoisseurs of U-turns are going to have some fun with Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration. The Teflon determination on absolute control that served Mrs May well at the chaotic Home Office is a poor approach to running the whole of government.

Today's U-turn isn't surprising. Following the Autumn Statement, I wrote on Twitter ”there will be quite a few Conservative MPs who are surprised and uncomfortable that nothing new was done for social care today”.

Editorial Thursday 1 December 2016: Interview with NHS Improvement chair Ed Smith on 'Developing People, Improving Care'

Publish Date/Time: 
11/28/2016 - 07:37

NHS Improvement chair Ed Smith talks to Health Policy Insight about the new ‘Developing People, Improving Care’ framework

Health Policy Insight: What is the main aim of the new ‘Developing People, Improving Care’ framework?

Editorial Friday 25 November 2016: Top trolling, Team Brexit!

Publish Date/Time: 
11/25/2016 - 14:37

Just when you thought this week couldn't get any sillier, Team Brexit have smashed all records for sheer bare-faced political lying.

I'm not making this up, unfortunately: Change Britain stalwarts Michael Gove, Steve Baker and Gisela Stuart have demanded that Theresa May spend a £200 million a week "Brexit bonus" on the NHS.

Editorial Thursday 24 November 2016: Five thoughts about yesterday

Publish Date/Time: 
11/24/2016 - 09:58

1. Social care got less than nothing
Not only were the sector-wide representations that social care needed more funding ignored (to the point where the Chancellor didn't even let councils raise the local precept), the hike to the national minimum wage next April (from £7.20 an hour to £7.50) will increase the labour costs of a sector that is seeing high levels of provider exit due to unprofitability.

Editorial Wednesday 23 November 2016: Stuck outside the Treasury with the funding blues again

Publish Date/Time: 
11/23/2016 - 12:07

Well. Wasn’t that a bracing few weeks?

Let’s start with the money, shall we? NHS Improvement’s Q2 financial report shows the NHS provider sector gamely struggling its way back towards financial balance.

The Maynard Doctrine: How to fund the NHS - zombie policies rise yet again

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard would much rather not have to write this article again, but evidently it's still necessary. Sigh.

After six years of inadequate funding of the NHS, waiting lists are worsening. Workforce problems are acute, and 65 per cent of hospital trusts were in deficit at year end 2015-16.

It is remarkable that service provision has maintained such reasonable levels when health and social care funding has been so parsimonious.

Editorial Sunday 16 October 2016: The Incredible Shrinking Imperial Phase and "the NHS's own plans for itself"

Publish Date/Time: 
10/16/2016 - 15:11

The Imperial Phase in 10 Downing Street just keeps getting shorter.

Tony Blair's lasted just over a Parliament (though he won another general election after the Iraq war).

Editorial Saturday 15 October 2016: The bed of nails, leaking from the top and sucking it up

Publish Date/Time: 
10/15/2016 - 09:53

In the world of health policy, life imitates art: the first time as tragedy, the second time as Yes, Minister.

'The Bed Of Nails' is an iconic 'Yes, Minister' episode, in which civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby observes that "the ship of state is the only one that leaks from the top".

Editorial Friday 23 September 2016: The Two-Year Forward View - STPs, the exam question and playing 'Chicken'

Publish Date/Time: 
09/23/2016 - 16:11

HPI readers with elephantine memories will remember that there was a time before NHS England's boss was Sun King Simon Stevens.

It seems improbable, but it's true. In the BS Era (Before Stevens), the NHS Commissioning Board's previous Comrade-In-Chief Sir David Nicholson asked the sector to deliver their three-year plans. It was called 'A Call To Action'.