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Editor's Blog | Health Policy Insight
Health Policy Insight
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Editor's Blog

Editorial Thursday 24 November 2016: Five thoughts about yesterday

Publish Date/Time: 
11/24/2016 - 09:58

1. Social care got less than nothing
Not only were the sector-wide representations that social care needed more funding ignored (to the point where the Chancellor didn't even let councils raise the local precept), the hike to the national minimum wage next April (from £7.20 an hour to £7.50) will increase the labour costs of a sector that is seeing high levels of provider exit due to unprofitability.

Editorial Wednesday 23 November 2016: Stuck outside the Treasury with the funding blues again

Publish Date/Time: 
11/23/2016 - 12:07

Well. Wasn’t that a bracing few weeks?

Let’s start with the money, shall we? NHS Improvement’s Q2 financial report shows the NHS provider sector gamely struggling its way back towards financial balance.

Editorial Sunday 16 October 2016: The Incredible Shrinking Imperial Phase and "the NHS's own plans for itself"

Publish Date/Time: 
10/16/2016 - 15:11

The Imperial Phase in 10 Downing Street just keeps getting shorter.

Tony Blair's lasted just over a Parliament (though he won another general election after the Iraq war).

Editorial Saturday 15 October 2016: The bed of nails, leaking from the top and sucking it up

Publish Date/Time: 
10/15/2016 - 09:53

In the world of health policy, life imitates art: the first time as tragedy, the second time as Yes, Minister.

'The Bed Of Nails' is an iconic 'Yes, Minister' episode, in which civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby observes that "the ship of state is the only one that leaks from the top".

Editorial Friday 23 September 2016: The Two-Year Forward View - STPs, the exam question and playing 'Chicken'

Publish Date/Time: 
09/23/2016 - 16:11

HPI readers with elephantine memories will remember that there was a time before NHS England's boss was Sun King Simon Stevens.

It seems improbable, but it's true. In the BS Era (Before Stevens), the NHS Commissioning Board's previous Comrade-In-Chief Sir David Nicholson asked the sector to deliver their three-year plans. It was called 'A Call To Action'.

Editorial Monday 12 September 2016: Interview - Simon Stevens, chief executive, NHS England

Publish Date/Time: 
09/12/2016 - 12:19

Health Policy Insight: Do you agree that hospital A&Es are currently under real pressure?

Simon Stevens: Definitely. The NHS holds itself to a very high standard. No other major industrialised country in the world over the past year has managed to treat 9 out of 10 of its patients within four hours in an A&E department, but we have. The same with providing 9 out of 10 of our citizens with routine surgery within 18 weeks.

But that doesn't mean we can just carry on as we are.

Editorial Friday 2 September 2016: The two places where the junior doctors' dispute could be won

Publish Date/Time: 
09/02/2016 - 08:36

The British Medical Association has gone nuclear in its plans for the next stage of protest against the new contract for 'junior' doctors.

It plans to hold four five-day all-out strikes of junior doctors, at short notice.

Finance directors may be breathing a sigh of relief at the wages to be unpaid, although lost tariff revenue may make the strikes unprofitable anyway.

Editorial Thursday 27 July 2016: Politics, comedy and the Overton Window

Publish Date/Time: 
07/28/2016 - 10:54

The Overton Window is a political theory, which holds that there is a finite range of ideas that voters will find electorally acceptable.

The range of the Overton Window is finite, but crucially, it’s not fixed. Items can move or be moved from fringe to mainstream, and vice versa. Look at Euroscepticism in the Conservative Party for a perfect example: fringe in the late 1980s; mainstream today.

Editorial Thursday 14 July 2016: New PM Theresa May retains Jeremy Hunt as Health Secretary

Publish Date/Time: 
07/14/2016 - 12:00

2016 is a year of surprises: I got a couple of political predictions right.

Both were on Twitter: first up, I replied to former Guardian leader writer and new Prospect editor Tom Clarke's tweeted assertion that "the great revolt of the people of England prepares the way for the smooth transition of power from one Etonian to the next", with the query "did Theresa May really attend Eton?"

Editorial Thursday 7 July 2016: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt's speech to the 2016 Reform Health conference

Publish Date/Time: 
07/07/2016 - 09:50

Consider a country that has run out of money, just come out of a damaging battle in Europe with huge differences between the haves and the have-nots. Britain in 1948 (laughter). Despite those extraordinary challenges in 1948, the visionary Labour statesman Nye Bevan came up with his extraordinary vision of the NHS.

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