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Health Policy Today

Health Policy Today 3rd October 2011: Labouring over late diagnosis

Publish Date/Time: 
10/03/2011 - 17:57

Health Policy Insight associate editor Dr Tom Smith continues his series from the party conferences, reporting on the debate from Labour on late diagnosis.

Would direct access to specialists result in earlier diagnosis of health problems and save money, or would it swamp the system and cost us a fortune? Would it weaken the ability of the NHS to manage patients in a co-ordinated fashion? These were the issues at the heart of a fringe debate at the Labour Party conference.

Health Policy Today 26 September 2011: Responsibility for early diagnosis

Publish Date/Time: 
09/26/2011 - 08:54

Dr Tom Smith, associate director of Health Policy Insight, returns to the fray with this report on the first of the three events at the main party conferences, which asked delegates 'whose responsibility is it to ensure early diagnosis of health problems?'

Although delegates weren't allowed to vote on health resolutions at the Liberal Democrat conference last week there was plenty of associated debate in the halls, conference rooms and bars of Birmingham. Some of the best debate took place at fringe meetings organised at the Health Hotel.

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.

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.

Obama’s political prose puts the wheels back on health reform and lead in the pencil of House legislators: Health Policy Today

Publish Date/Time: 
09/10/2009 - 06:15

HPI associate director Tom Smith puts the Obama healthcare speech into its political and social context

Last night, US President Barack Obama delivered his most political speech since taking office. Despite positioning himself between left and right, blue and red, his prose was less purple than usual and much more political.

David Cameron, NHS ladies' man: Health Policy Today 28 July 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
07/28/2009 - 16:32

David Cameron is trying to woo NHS woman.

Women are the section of the electorate that are moving to the Conservatives, and the Tories now want to ensure they gain the support of women who care about the NHS.

An A-Z of US healthcare politics: Health Policy Today 25 July 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
07/24/2009 - 15:00

HPI associated director Tom Smith looks at the battleground of US healthcare reform - a totem to the Obama presidency, and a target for Republicans and large parts of the US's mighty healthcare industry. This could make the Boston Tea Party look sedate ...

After months of discussion, the battle is accelerating and the key disputes are becoming clear. The politics are ‘messier than ever’, the FT says, while The Economist says the next few weeks are critical for how the politics play out.

Make tough choices? They won't even write them down. Health Policy Today, 9 July 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
07/09/2009 - 11:04

HPI associate director Tom Smith discusses the reclusive green paper on social care.

This week, the Telegraph reported that internal rows in the Department of Health are delaying the publication of the green paper on social care. The story is that Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper cannot agree on the options it should contain and whether their release makes political sense so close to the Norwich North by-election.

Back to Griffiths and management basics - manage the money, manage the medics: Health Policy Today 9 June 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
06/09/2009 - 12:35

Tom Smith, associate director of Health Policy Insight and chief executive of the British Society for Gastroenterology, looks at the silver jubilee of the Griffiths Report and clocks Andy Burnham's potentially record-beraking tenure as health secretary.

Reading the Health Service Journal this week made me think that NHS management is going retro: it's all about managing the money and managing the medics.

A lot of the news reports suggest the Department of Health is interesting in conflating the two into a single priority.

To laugh or cry about 'iGP' proposals? Health Policy Today 12th March 2009.

Publish Date/Time: 
03/10/2009 - 17:44

Guest contributor James Gubb, director of the health unit at Civitas (, reflects on the new proposals for publishing public feedback on NHS services

The dangers of 'iGP'
I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at the Government’s latest gimmick in public service reform: government-sponsored websites on which people can rate their school, GP practice or nanny.

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