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The Maynard Doctrine

The Maynard Doctrine: Some friendly advice from Dave to Jeremy

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard imagines the contents of a memo from the Prime Minister to Jeremy Hunt

Dear Jeremy,

As you seem to be experiencing some local difficulties, I felt it was incumbent on me as your Prime Minister to offer some advice and how we might proceed with NHS and social care matters.

Social care problems
As you know, I am rather lazy and do not keep up with the minutiae of policymaking. Consequently, I was surprised to discover from local authority colleagues in Oxford about the scale of the cuts they are facing.

The Maynard Doctrine: Come on, Sir Galahad Stevens, lance the nonsense!

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard calls for Simon Stevens' digital extraction on non-evidence-based policy initiatives

Sir Galahad (aka Simon Stevens) is in an “interesting” position at NHS England. Post my Lord Lansley’s daft reforms, Galahad and his merry persons are supposedly independent arbiters of NHS policy, subject to the Department of Health annual contract.

The Maynard Doctrine: On Nero, and fiddling whilst the NHS burns

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard explores how workforce issues, funding and social care gaps amount to an NHS conflagration

On Nero and fiddling whilst the NHS burns
The Department of Health and NHS England continue to produce a plethora of what the charitable might call innovations. As the Comprehensive Spending Review progresses, ’bold’ notions, such as allocating more NHS funding to social care, echo through the corridors of Richmond House.

As ever, life in the real NHS emulates the old Chinese curse: “may you live in interesting times”!

The Maynard Doctrine: On Canute, mushroom management and digging holes

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard on tide-turning, mustroom management and hole-hollowing

The post-election logic of the Government NHS policy is as elusive as a piece of soap in the bath. But then, perhaps we are expecting too much of the Government’s attempts to keep the NHS show on the road.
Let’s review three areas of their post-election NHS “innovatory” activity.

The King Canute Problem of wishful thinking is no substitute for evidence based policy

The Maynard Doctrine:: Time for scepticaemia

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard suggests that it’s time for a little definition of what we actually mean by policy goals

Ministers continue to assert, in the true Thatcherite tradition, that they are interested in “value for money”.

However, when it comes to short-term political gain and favourable publicity in the press, they squander society’s scarce resources by funding schemes where evidence of cost-effectiveness is absent.

Likewise, they fail to ensure scientific evaluation of their usually evidence-free innovations.

The Maynard Doctrine 6 May 2015: Pre-electoral reflections - is the NHS going to hell in a handcart?

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard wonders what the bloody hell’s going on with electioneering health policy, and is mildly sceptical about the reality of £22 billion efficiency gains

Aneurin Bevan smashed through a myriad of institutional obstacles to create the NHS in 1948. His underlying concern was income protection: ensuring that citizens were not bankrupted by unpredictable life events that required medical care. Bevan’s NHS was to remove the price barrier to use of medical care, removing fear of the financial consequences of ill-health.

The Maynard Doctrine: Productivity, produce or production? The £22 billion challenge

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard casts doubt on the £22 billion efficiency challenge

The Maynard Doctrine: Memo for Simon ‘Sir Galahad’ Stevens: a message from Merlin

Dear Sir Galahad,

Your noble intentions in pursuing the Holy Grail of increased productivity in the NHS have been noted. As you know, I am a ‘shape shifter’ (i.e. I can appear in a variety of forms). This has enabled me to attend covertly various meetings in Whitehall village and Quarry House, Leeds and listen to the often chaotic burblings and confused intentions of those in charge of NHS policymaking.

The cacophony (as you can imagine) has been considerable because the imminence of the election and the Stalinist efforts of the Coalition to curtail expressions of panic.

The Maynard Doctrine: NHS England And The Holy Grail (of NHS productivity gains)

Publish Date/Time: 
12/01/2014 - 15:53

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard gives a masterclass in the taxonomy of knights and productivity ruses

Sir Galahad (also known as Simon Stevens) is continuing his search for a means to bridge the £30 billion funding gap in NHS finances in period 2015-20.

The Maynard Doctrine: Sir Galahad Stevens' quest for the Holy Grail of increased NHS productivity

The NHS “is a triumphant example of the superiority of collective action and public initiative applied to a segment of society, where commercial principles are seen at their worst”
Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear, 1952, page 85

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