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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.

Nudging, not judging - Health Policy Today, 24th July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/24/2008 - 17:15

Tom Smith contrasts emerging approaches to tackling obesity in Japan and England.

Japan has just set a legal limit to the size of waists – and is enforcing it – while England, according to a speech from Alan Johnson to the Fabian Society tonight, will attempt to build a social ‘movement’ to combat the problem. Interestingly, both approaches seek to make obesity psychologically and socially undesirable.

Editor's Blog 22 July 2008: Traction and drag queens

Publish Date/Time: 
07/23/2008 - 21:14

A fairly cosmopolitan friend (Cambridge graduate, former actress, former restauranteur, farmer’s wife, PhD and theatre director) once revealed a surprisingly vehement prejudice. She told me “I hate drag queens, I find it completely insulting as a woman and I don’t see it as funny, flattering or insightful.”

Editor's blog update 21 July 08 - KPMG / Charles Clarke report reviewed

Publish Date/Time: 
07/21/2008 - 22:47

Ex-Minister Charles Clarke MP's execrable pamphlet for KPMG about health funding inspired me to write a review. Hope you enjoy it.

Alan Johnson webchat with Labour members- Health Policy Today, 21 July 2008:

Publish Date/Time: 
07/21/2008 - 22:00

It’s been a quiet few days for health policy, with the exception of the news that Imperial College plan to experiment with payment for performance, about which more tomorrow.

The main event of the morning was an online discussion between Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Health, and Labour members who logged on for a discussion. The questions set out some of the issues that Labour loyalists worry about in relation to health policy.

The Maynard Doctrine: the trouble with incentives

Alan Maynard is professor of health economics, University of York

Monday 21 July 2008

The trouble with incentives is that they work, but they may produce changes in behaviour that are at once welcome and perverse.

Take, for instance, the fines announced in December 2007 for NHS trusts that fail to hit their C.Difficile targets. These fines are potentially large, up to £3.5 million for unsuccessful trusts. Faced by such fines, managers are striving very hard to improve the performance of their hospitals - just as Ministers hoped they would.