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Editor's blog 9th October 2008: many a true word ...

Publish Date/Time: 
10/09/2008 - 08:47

This prophecy thing is a bit worrying. I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek when I posted on Tuesday about the possibility of NHS institutions losing money in the Icelandic banking crash.

Well, the NHS is certainly going to be affected, because it looks as if local councils have taken a bath. This has obvious implications for social care, and joint working under the new joint strategic needs assessments.

Health as an issue in the US election – Health Policy Today, 8th October 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
10/08/2008 - 21:00

In 27 days time, voters in the US will decide between Barack Obama and John McCain in an election that will have ramifications for the rest of the world. Drawing on recent analysis in the BMJ and this week’s Economist, this issue looks at the two candidates’ positions on healthcare, an issue that 44% of US voters place among their top three concerns.

Editor's blog 7th October 2008: a quick icy thought on banking

Publish Date/Time: 
10/07/2008 - 13:22

Just come from the Wellcome Trust's fascinating exhibitions, and arrived to see the global financial turmoil cointinuing apace.

Just a very quick thought about IceSave - do you think any SHAs have put their money there?

Editor's blog 6th October 2008: new Hope for health

Publish Date/Time: 
10/06/2008 - 08:27

Just when I was thinking my powers of prophecy might be waning (see the second paragraph of this), my not-very-difficult deduction that Ivan Lewis was off proved correct. Lewis has been sent by Gordon Brown to International Development - a slightly sadistic form of gardening leave.

Thanks to Martin Rathfelder of the Socialist Health Association for sending me this link to a magnificently appropriate photo of Ivan Lewis.

Editor's blog 3rd October 2008: liquidity or solvency?

Publish Date/Time: 
10/03/2008 - 05:49

Today we will see whether Gordon Brown is better than his predecessor at cabinet reshuffles. It will not be hard: Tony Blair's reshuffles were startlingly clumsy and leaky.

For health, the hope must be for steady-as-she-goes, apart from the probably-doomed Ivan Lewis, whose pre-conference comments on Labour's need for leadership were miraculously followed by the leaking to the press of an old story about Lewis's inappropriately hassling a DH civil servant with romantic intent. Whoever might have been behind that?

Editor's blog 1st October 2008: David Cameron, socialist Conservative?

Publish Date/Time: 
10/01/2008 - 19:33

“The central task I have set myself and this Party is to be as radical in social reform as Margaret Thatcher was in economic reform” – David Cameron, Conservative Party conference, 1 October 2008

Over the past generation, no Conservative politician since Michael Heseltine has had the electorate’s serious scrutiny as ‘probable next Prime Minister’.

As Thatcher’s assassin, of course, the crown would never be Hezza’s.

Editor's Blog 1st October 2008: Bankrolling the attacks on NICE

Publish Date/Time: 
10/01/2008 - 09:32

Good morning. Story of the day looks very much like The Independent's piece highlighting the pharmaceutical industry's bankrolling of many of the patient charities that have run prominent campaigns against NICE decisions about recommending new drugs for NHS availability.

Political irresponsibility racks up pressure on senior local managers - Health Policy Today, Tuesday 30th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/30/2008 - 13:30

In a recent HSJ poll, NHS managers suggested they are more comfortable with what they know, when asked their preferred secretary of state. With the government behind in the polls and change looming, it has not been a great conference season for senior local authority or PCT managers listening to the opposition set out their plans.

Editor's Blog 29th September 2008: Conservative Party Conference 2008 - Andrew Lansley, the hair apparent

Publish Date/Time: 
09/29/2008 - 23:43

Something has happened to Andrew Lansley’s hair. The shadow health secretary’s barnet is looking distinctively … different. Now as regards a discussion of male grooming (albeit the sinister connotations that have accrued around that phrase mean that I shall not be using it again) – a discussion of male preening, let’s say, I am not your ‘go-to’ person This much is obvious if you have ever met me. Or even seen a photograph.

Editor's blog 28th September 2008: consultant competence, Conservative currency and Caledonian climate

Publish Date/Time: 
09/29/2008 - 09:11

Good morning. Today we have new Maynard Doctrine on the charged topic of managing poor performance by consultants and on the 'featherbedded' retirement deals of senior managers.

'The case here is not that incompetent consultants are widespread in the NHS; but that there is likely to be a normal distribution curve of performance in the profession. Current systems to address poor performance do not, in Maynard's opinion and experience, work well and are expensive if 'gardening leave' is involved.'