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Editor's Blog

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


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.

Editorial Wednesday 21 May 2014: Notes from Simon Stevens & Jeremy Hunt's speeches at NHS Clinical Commissioners

Publish Date/Time: 
05/21/2014 - 08:51

Below are my semi-finished notes from the NHS Clinical Commissioners conference appearances by Simon Stevens and Jeremy Hunt. Drawn from my tweets, so a bit rough in places, but hopefully of interest.

Simon Stevens live at NHS Clinical Commissioners Annual Conference
NHS England’s new chief executive was introduced by NHSCC president Charles Alessi, who told delegates “Simon Stevens has come home”. (Like football in 1996?)

Editorial Monday 19 May 2014: Freaking out about Levitt and Dubner's hog-whimperingly silly health policy proposals

Publish Date/Time: 
05/19/2014 - 15:59

I bought, read and enjoyed the book 'Freakonomics' by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Pithily-written, fun and with some interesting analysis, it made a good read. I didn't get its successor 'Super-Freakonomics', because I suspected that its trailed thesis on using a stratoshield to solve global warming was nonsense.

Editorial Monday 12 May 2014: Text of Ed Miliband's speech on Labour health policy

Publish Date/Time: 
05/12/2014 - 19:18

Commentary to follow: for the time being, here is the copy of Ed Miliband's speech today setting out the latest glimpse of Labour's health policy.

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party: A few weeks ago, I did something unusual for a politician.

I spent two nights with the staff and patients of an NHS hospital in Watford, a few miles outside London.

Sitting in on the clinics.

Spending time on the wards.

Going out with the paramedics.

Talking to the staff and to the patients.

Not a visit where you swoop in and out.

Editorial Wednesday 16 April 2014: Working smarter - National Hunt winter racing, and horses for courses

Publish Date/Time: 
04/15/2014 - 20:30

My Lords, Ladies and gentlemen, NHS comrades (and regulators),

I have received some comments about the relative infrequency of Health Policy Insight posts of late. Thank you for your concern. I am fine, and indeed still hold opinions and do analysis about the NHS. It's just a question of time available.

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