Health Policy Insight
Healthcare management online analysis and intelligence
The home of UK health policy

HPI Content

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.'

The Maynard Doctrine: Time to deal efficiently with poor doctors and redundant senior managers?

Professor Alan Maynard discusses the need for efficient systems to address poorly-performing consultants and redundant managers.

The Department of Health management team are increasing their carbon footprint by touring the country and encouraging SHAs and PCTs to lead the revolution outlined in the Darzi report.

Whilst greater attention to outcome measurement and the reduction of unacceptable clinical practice variations is most welcome albeit very late, some fundamental issues are being ignored - in particular, job tenure of clinicians and senior managers.

Which? survey finds pharmacies' advice may not always be good for your health – Health Policy Today, 25 September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/25/2008 - 17:15

A new report from Which? is based on an ‘undercover investigation’ into advice dispensed from pharmacies . Which? researchers posing as patients asked questions about emergency contraception, migraines and traveler’s diarrhoea.

They received ‘unsatisfactory advice in 48% of independent pharmacies, 28% of national and regional changes and in 26% of the biggest supermarkets. The results do not bode well for plans to pass more clinical work to pharmacies from GPs.

Editor’s blog 25th September 2008 – Labour policy and a Crisp rejoinder to top-ups

Publish Date/Time: 
09/24/2008 - 23:34

So, what do we have in health policy terms from the last few days, during which the Labour Party has had its conference?

First things first: we still have Gordon Brown in Number 10 Downing Street. This was by no means a foregone conclusion even a week ago. Synchronised resignations within Labour (maybe an event for the 2012 Olympics?), and dismal poll ratings and a hostile media without, had Kircaldy’s favourite son looking like a distinctly sub-prime minister.

GB talks about “tough choices”, but not the choices to be made - Health Policy Today, Wednesday 24th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/24/2008 - 22:00

Reports that Gordon Brown’s speech saved the day are wide of the mark. It was not brilliant rhetoric or piercing analysis that has staved off a challenge to his premiership, but the shift in global economics giving him the opportunity to take a political lead in uncertain times. Having pleased everyone from the Mail to the Mirror , Brown must now set out the substance of the tough choices he talked about - by elucidating what these are.


The sea, the weather and the skipper: the economic tide turns in Gordon Brown’s favour – Health Policy Today, 22nd September 200

Publish Date/Time: 
09/22/2008 - 18:20

In recent weeks and months, much of the media has formed a conclusion that Gordon Brown is unsuited to modern politics. Last week’s economic events may mean, however, that in the last week politics has changed to suit Gordon Brown.


What do you mean by greater local accountability? Health Policy Today, 17th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/18/2008 - 22:03

The Labour Party want to devolve power in the health service to those best placed to make decisions. The Conservatives criticise the centralizing tendencies of the government and favour greater localism. The Liberal Democrats remain strong advocates of local accountability and decisions made locally.

Today’s HPT wonders, what are we all arguing about? All united in a common desire to empower local people, it should be straightforward to achieve. No? Just what do the parties mean by achieving greater local accountability and is it the same thing?

Editor's blog 18th September 2008: thoroughly modern Milly?

Publish Date/Time: 
09/18/2008 - 05:50

Just when you were thinking that nostalgia isn't what it used to be (oil price spike; credit tightening; house prices off a cliff; unemployment and inflation rising - let's party like it's 1974 / 1981 / 1991!), some great news breaks.

The Quiff Of Doom is back.

And he's using the word "change" (copyright Barrack Obama) a lot.

In fact by the look of this, policy-wise Alan Milburn has joined the Lib Dems .