Health Policy Insight
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Editorial Friday 19 September 2014: The NHS is Russia (and postmodernism), basically

Publish Date/Time: 
09/19/2014 - 09:00

Many people don't really understand the NHS, which might be OK if they didn't also try to run it or make policy about it.

So in the interests of helping people understand it a bit better, I'm going to let you in on a secret: the NHS is Russia, basically.

Notoriously big and populous; notoriously hard to govern; and notoriously difficult to conquer.

Obviously, there are a few minor differences. The NHS doesn't drink vodka for breakfast, or have fairly significant oil reserves.

And it's not as if neo-liberal governments are trying to trash the NHS's economy ... oh, hang on ...

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.

Editorial Friday 12 September 2014: Well done, Monitor

Publish Date/Time: 
09/12/2014 - 17:32

Well done, Monitor: nice work.

Yes, you read that right. I typed it out loud, in the real world. I even meant it. Open code bracket; forward-slash irony, close code bracket.

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

Editorial Friday 18 July 2014: Commissioning - Schrodinger's Cat bred with the Norwegian Blue

Publish Date/Time: 
07/18/2014 - 15:40

In a time of political choices to give the NHS no more money, commissioning has become the Schrodinger's Cat of the NHS: simultaneously dead and alive.

Commissioning is basically two things: planning and reviewing the quantity and quality of services, and buying them (or not).

The planning and reviewing function is the alive bit. The buying ... you can work it out; you're smart people.

The dead hand of finance
Why is buying dead?

Editorial Thursday 17 July 2014: Neil Young and the wabi-sabi NHS

Publish Date/Time: 
07/17/2014 - 13:10

The Japanese aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi strikes me as a useful one for thinking about how the NHS is going to have to be to get through the oncoming mess.

Wabi-sabi works on the basis that
Nothing lasts,
Nothing is finished,
Nothing is perfect.

Editorial Wednesday 15 July 2014: Baudelaire, the Devil's finest trick and tax rises in the next Parliament

Publish Date/Time: 
07/16/2014 - 13:16

"The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist" - Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen

Editorial Monday 14 July 2014: A modest proposal on NHS and public sector funding

Publish Date/Time: 
07/14/2014 - 13:13

This denial of an imminent NHS funding crisis, courtesy of health minister Dr Daniel 'Pecs Dance' Poulter, on top of The Buttle Of Britain's response to the Nuffield Trust's funding report, offers perhaps the clearest confirmation yet that we are near to an expl

Editorial Friday 11 July 2014: The liberation of Jeremy Hunt

Publish Date/Time: 
07/11/2014 - 16:34

Rumours swirl of a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday. Health Policy Insight has no great form in correctly calling the likely fate for health secretaries under this coalition’s reshuffles, and I’m sure you’re not holding your breath now.

’Keep smiling through, just like you always do …’