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The Maynard Doctrine: Confronting sacred cows: why are big hospitals more costly?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE reviews the validity of the idea that teaching hospitals have higher running costs

Traditionally, it has been argued that university teaching hospitals are more costly to operate. The primary argument to support this assertion is that they have a more complex case-mix.

Is this argument tenable, or is it a case of special interests defending their inefficiency?

Economics teaches us that larger units may have lower costs due to economies of scale and economies of scope. Why are these hospitals exceptions?

The Maynard Doctrine: £200 million National Cancer Drugs Fund - nice price for Big Pharma; nasty for NICE

Professor Alan Maynard reviews the reasoning behind government proposals for spending another £200 million on new cancer drugs not recommended by NICE health technology appraisal

The Conservative manifesto pledged an additional £200 million to fund cancer drugs, which the previous government and NICE had been reluctant to fund.

Is this a good idea?

The answer to this simple question is it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

The Maynard Doctrine: So what now after the election?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE reviews the post-electoral options available to the next secretary of state for health

The votes are in, and the British electorate has proved unable to choose between the devil they know and the uncertainty of the deep blue Tory sea. Possible coalitions look potentially frail.

So what now?

Imagine no recession …

A radical, unavoidable future for the NHS, whoever wins: Health Policy Today 6 May 2010

Publish Date/Time: 
05/06/2010 - 18:50

Tom Smith, associate director of Health Policy Insight and chief executive of the British Society for Gastroenterology, discusses the impact of whatever election result ensues.

What will the election result mean for the NHS in the next few weeks?
Every year, starting at the end of November I start talking about things I am going to next year. Paradoxically as I move forward into December and the Christmas distractions next year seems even further away . I promise to do lots of things next year when everything will be different.

The Maynard Doctrine: How to turn a crisis into an opportunity

Professor Alan Maynard OBE emphasises the high value of avoiding business as usual after the election.

Business as usual involves the following thought processes amongst politicians and their admirable civil servants

Step One “We must do something”

Step Two “This is something”

Step Three “Therefore we must do this”

(The Politicians’ Syllogism, Yes Minister, volume 2 [1987])

Within the week, there may be a new Secretary of State for Health. Like all secretaries, the purpose of their work is to keep secrets.

The Maynard Doctrine: 'Our Mutual Friend' - another wannabe solution; but to which NHS problem?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE warns that faith in mutuals as commissioners is not supported by any actual evidence

The rule of thirds
Since 1997, we have had the Blairite rhetoric of the ‘Third Way’ (based partly on Etzioni), as refocused recently on the use of the ‘third sector’ of charitable and non-profit-making organisations as an alternative to NHS and commercial provision of health care.

The Maynard Doctrine: Time to get real: “protecting” the NHS budget is impossible

Professor Alan Maynard OBE wonders whether the politicians vowing to protect NHS budgets are deceitful or stupid. He outlines the main options for the NHS to save some money.

Two of the main political parties have managed to keep the NHS off the election agenda by saying that they will protect and continue to grow its funding.

Is this downright deceit? Or merely the misguided hopes of optimists?

Safe hands holding the legacy of Tredegar bedpans

Andy, Norman or Andrew; which Health Secretary wannabe to make omelettes without breaking eggs? Health Policy Today 22 April '10

Publish Date/Time: 
04/22/2010 - 23:47

Health Policy Insight welcomes back associate director Tom Smith, with this timely and thoughtful instalment of Health Policy Today considering the health secretary wannabe election debate

"Andy", "Norman" or "Andrew"? Which Health Secretary wannabe can make omelettes without breaking eggs?

The men who would be health secretary gripped adjacent lecterns on a stage at the King's Fund yesterday. It took place nine hours before the party leaders kicked off a debate with a much greater influence on the outcome of the election.

The Maynard Doctrine: Faith-based policymaking: dear God, when will it end?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE suggests that reforms to improve and incentivise commissioning should be based on evidence. What is not going to help is a faith-based cut-and-paste from Holland.

There is universal concern over - if not condemnation of - the quality of ‘commissioning’ in healthcare.

The Maynard Doctrine: the poetic determinants of health

Professor Alan Maynard OBE examines the determinants of lifetime health through the prism of the ‘Bard of Hull’ Philip Larkin’s best-known poem.

The ‘experts’ are predicting that many children born in 2010 will live for a hundred years and more provided the population is not cropped by Malthusian war, diseases and famine (and earthquakes and volcanic eruptions!).

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