Health Policy Insight
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Editor's Blog

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 ...

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.

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.

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