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The Maynard Doctrine

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

The Maynard Doctrine: Religion and the privates

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard explores the connections between religion and the privates

Competing religions
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition believes in small government, and has hacked public sector budgets in order to make the poor poorer and to undermine the social infrastructure.

The Maynard Doctrine: Simple Simon says

The new chief executive of the NHS in England is rightly challenging his one million plus employees. They consume £110 billion of scarce public resources providing care for a population exhibiting complex co-morbidities.

Patients are often poorly managed in a fragmented system of provision where unwarranted variation in practice and quality is the norm.

Doctors and evidence

The Maynard Doctrine: Defining low-value care - free lunches and the absence thereof

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard reports not on Lib Dem education policy, but on the latest outburst of magical policy thinking

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”
Clinical commissioning groups are under continuous pressure from patient groups, clinicians and others to expand services. As a patient, I have great sympathy with such advocacy, provide it is evidence based of course.

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