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Coles to a new castle: Patrick Carter, chair of the new NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel

Publish Date/Time: 
09/16/2008 - 13:04

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

Meet Patrick Robert Carter - Lord Carter of Coles, a Labour peer. He co-founded and sold Westminster Healthcare, ‘saved’ the Wembley Stadium rebuild, strongly supports Titan prisons, chairs a big list of government committees, lives in Islington and was Jack Straw’s best man at both of his weddings. He is 62.

He’s also the inaugural chair of the new NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel, which may make him the fourth most important person in the NHS.

Editor's blog 15th September 2008: Tax breaks for health?

Publish Date/Time: 
09/15/2008 - 15:22

Welcome to another fine week in health policy. Don't mention the imminent implosion of free-market capitalism.

The new Maynard Doctrine is now online, in which Alan Maynard suggests that there may be a thing or two wrong with drug pricing and with the relationship between 'the industry' and medical education.

Scandalous thinking!

Elsewhere today, you will find a new feature about the Lib Dems' health policy at their party conference.

Tax breaks for health? Policy update from the 2008 Lib Dem party conference

Publish Date/Time: 
09/15/2008 - 15:26

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

The Liberal Democrats go into the party conference season as the only major Westminster party trying to sell its members (and by extension, the electorate) a major shift in policy. They are the only party promising to cut taxes overall.

And their able deputy leader and finance spokesman Vincent Cable, in an un-leaked announcement in his speech, has suggested that more may be afoot of a tax cut even than their existing promise.

The Maynard Doctrine: Suckling the NHS ‘piglets’ - the case of the drug dealers

The NHS is like a large sow with many teats, from which provider piglets draw succour. One of the most robust piglets in the sty is the pharmaceutical industry.

Take, for instance, the current debate about 'co-payments' for cancer patients. With NICE declining some products of marginal cost-effectiveness, industry is encouraging its compatriots in the medical profession and elsewhere to demand that where patients buy treatments declined by NICE, the administration of the drugs should be provided by the NHS.

Taxpayers' Alliance want more statism on NHS pay: Health Policy Today, 11th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/11/2008 - 18:02

In Tom Smith's temporary absence, Health Policy Today is a somewhat less full round-up than usual, but one story stuck out so much this had to appear.

Taxpayers' Alliance want NHS wages policy on managers' pay: Health Policy Today, 11th September 2008

It may seem strange, but it’s true. Today’s Daily Telegraph reports that the Taxpayers’ Alliance (slogan: campaigning for lower taxes and better government) have both been hiding their statist light under a highly convincing pro-market bushel.

Editor's blog 11 September 2008: An impressive debate starts the rationing ball rolling

Publish Date/Time: 
09/11/2008 - 13:10

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

You know the old joke about mergers – ‘a merger is like two porcupines making love – it should be done carefully and slowly’?

Kings Fund debate 11 September 2008. What is fair – should patients be allowed to top up their care?

Publish Date/Time: 
09/11/2008 - 13:04

Kings Fund debate 11 September 2008. What is fair – should patients be allowed to top up their care?

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

This morning saw me out of bed disgustingly early to get the Kings Fund for their latest debate, What is fair: should patients be allowed to top up their NHS care?
Moderated by Kings Fund chief executive Niall Dixon, the panel of Andrew Dillon (NICE), Jo Webber (NHS Confederation), Karol Sikora (CancerPartnersUK and Reform) and Martin Gore (Royal Marsden) covered the issues thoroughly and thoughtfully.

Editor's blog 10th September 2008: Telegram Cam signals Tory policy shift

Publish Date/Time: 
09/10/2008 - 12:12

Telegram Cam: Conservative leader's unambiguous signal of new Tory health policy

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

Sunday is a 'good-bad' day for newspapers. The main political parties are all keen to use the Sundays to set the week's policy and political agenda.

Editor's blog 9th September 2008: new feature on Reform and Kings Fund papers

Publish Date/Time: 
09/09/2008 - 17:42

Have you finished building your ark yet? Global warming, my eye.

Just posted a new feature on the latest reports from Reform and the Kings Fund, which are respectively very flawed and very fascinating.

Insurance is back in vogue ...

Reforming the funding? It's an (in)sure thing

Publish Date/Time: 
09/09/2008 - 17:26

Reforming the funding? It's an (in)sure thing

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

“For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.” – H L Mencken