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Shoving and doing nothing on child obesity (masquerading as nudging) – Health Policy Today, 5th August 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
08/05/2008 - 22:30

Tom Smith on plans to tell parents the weight of their 4 and 10 year old children, and on the continuing mislabelling of 'nudge' theory inspiring British social policy.

Editor's blog 4th August 2008: Localism - easy to mouthe, but hard to swallow

Publish Date/Time: 
08/04/2008 - 16:58

Good evening.

Today we have new Maynard Doctrine, looking at the issue of variation in nursing practice; and Health Policy Today, which notes the story in the Daily Telegraph that Conservative Freedom Of Information requests have found that 1/3 of PCTs are not intending to consult with their community.

Health policy battleships: the Conservatives miss, and then hit – Health Policy Today, 4th August 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
08/04/2008 - 17:00

Two health policy stories stand out this weekend. Both relate to information uncovered by Conservatives under the FOI Act and, like a game of battleships, one hits and the other misses.

Miss: claims the government is lying over copayments

The Maynard Doctrine: Darzi and nursing - time to tackle this time bomb?

The Darzi report rightly extols the virtue of outcome measurement, and reiterates yet again the problem of clinical practice variations. However its focus is primarily clinical, where clinical is defined as doctors getting involved in systematic comparative review of practice and subsequently getting their act together.

The largest workforce in the NHS is nursing. Nursing costs typically make up thirty-five per cent of hospitals expenditure and with growing employment in primary care, nurses are also an increasing cost there.

Editor's blog 31 July 2008: The curse of the drinking classes

Publish Date/Time: 
07/31/2008 - 20:50

Oscar Wilde inverted the well-known Temperance Movement slogan to produce his formulation that "work is the curse of the drinking classes" - which is to say that workload has rather got in the way of recent updates to the site. Apologies if you've been franticaly hitting refresh and waiting for us. We are back.

However, please note that the near-daily updates may be a bit more sporadic during August, for obvious reasons.

Colloquia 31 July 2008: new ways of incentivising clinical performance

Publish Date/Time: 
07/31/2008 - 20:45

In the latest Colloquia, Health Policy Insight editor Andy Cowper and associate director Tom Smith discuss new ways of incentivising clinicians’ perfomance.

AC: In the last couple of weeks, I thought one of the most interesting developments was the announcement by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust that they would introduce pay bonuses for successful operations was worth discussing.

A very political summertime – Health Policy Today, 31st July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/31/2008 - 16:15

Tom Smith on the political overtime we are 'enjoying' this summer.

Ordinarily in the summer, there is an empty space where the football should be – not a problem this year, as we have had the European Championships. And as Parliament rises there is a similar pang in July when the start of the new political season seems a long way off (for me at least).

After its Glasgow kiss, will Labour pull together or pull apart? Health Policy Today, 29 July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/29/2008 - 09:00

While many commentators are examining the implications of the Glasgow East by-election (to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, if Labour can’t make it there, can they make it anywhere?), Tom Smith asks whether there are any implications for health policy from the Glasgow East by-election.

Editor's blog 28 July 2008: Investing for outcomes

Publish Date/Time: 
07/28/2008 - 22:40

Good evening - good, that is, if the thunderstorm has passed you by yet, taking with it the louring humidity. The initial rainfall was dramatic and short - which is as good a segue as I can manage to the thoroughly good news that Film Four are this week running a series of classic Ingmar Bergman films, which share both those qualities.

Editor's blog 24 July 2008 - Is healthcare an artisan product or an industrial one?

Publish Date/Time: 
07/24/2008 - 22:49

This afternoon, while I was tasting some wines in Meursault and Volnay, I was having 'that discussion' with the winemakers about how crap New World wines are. Now I say discussion, but actually it's the receiving end of a lecture (it's almost like they're blogging at me or something ...)

No, the lecture is a joke anyway. These are by no means stupid people: they recognise that there are talented artisan winemakers in every wine-growing part of the world.