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Editor's Blog

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.

Editorial Tuesday 10 June 2014: Tin hats on - Lord Ashcroft's national polling finds NHS a high priority for voters

Publish Date/Time: 
06/10/2014 - 09:48

News versus not-news can be defined very simply: 'dog bites man' is not news; 'man bites dog' is news (or possibly a result of overstretched food banks).

So why is the finding of Tory squillionaire Lord Ashcroft's latest national opinion polling vaguely worthy of comment, I hear you ask?

We know the NHS is important, but ... this is going to be an economy general election, isn't it?

Editorial Thursday 5 June 2014: Thoughts on NHS Confederation conference, day two

Publish Date/Time: 
06/05/2014 - 10:03

You can say (or indeed sing what you like about Care Services Minister Norman Lamb, but he's honest about his desire for the Lib Dem manifesto to commit to a top-down redisorganisation of the NHS when the inevitable electoral landslide next May sweeps a triumphant Prime Minister Nick Clegg into Downing Street with a majority of 53.

Editorial Wednesday 4 June 2014: Thoughts on NHS Confederation conference, day one

Publish Date/Time: 
06/04/2014 - 15:24

Some quick reactions to the first day of the conference.

Rob Webster gave a human, personal and well-judged speech in his first conference as Confed CE, warning that the time has come for burning ambition to replace burning platforms. Praising colleagues' success in the achievements of sustaining care quality over years of flat funding,

Webster called for ambition, determination and realism among the political leaders in the lengthy trundle to the next general election.

This isn't just a crap speech; it's an ex-M&S boss crap speech

Editorial Wednesday 4 June 2014: Text of NHS England CE Simon Stevens' speech to NHS Confederation conference

Publish Date/Time: 
06/04/2014 - 10:52

THINKING LIKE A PATIENT, ACTING LIKE A TAXPAYER – FROM NHS CHALLENGES TO NEW SOLUTIONS?

Simon Stevens, CEO, NHS England

A link to the version with key graphics on NHS England's website is here.

We meet here in Liverpool at a defining moment in the history of our National Health Service.

Editor's blog Tuesday 3 June 2014: Norman Lamb: The Song

Publish Date/Time: 
06/03/2014 - 19:11

Unsurprisingly, The Simon Burns Song provoked a Twitter request for a companion piece dedicated to Care Services Minister Norman Lamb.

Politicians are, after all, only human.

Norman is a man I like, and this is a request I was happy to take.

Norman Lamb

The glasses channel Michael Caine, back in The Ipcress File.

Editorial Monday 2 June 2014: Evolve faster, NHS! On Ian Birrell's curious commentary.

Publish Date/Time: 
06/02/2014 - 10:53

'The NHS must evolve - or face a painful death' is the title of perhaps the worst commentary I've recently seen by a supposedly serious commentator on the NHS. It is by Ian Birrell, a journalist and former speechwriter for David Cameron.

Editorial Wednesday 21 May 2014: Text of Simon Stevens' speech to Kings Fund leadership summit

Publish Date/Time: 
05/21/2014 - 09:28

I said on my first day in this new job that five years in to the longest period of austerity the Health Service has ever seen, the stakes for the NHS have never been higher.

So far our main response to NHS budget pressures has been an enormous and successful collective effort to keep the show on the road, doing what we’ve mostly always done, but considerably more efficiently.

That’s been vital in sustaining the results that matter for our patients. So we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the staff of the NHS for what has been achieved, under often difficult circumstances.

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