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Health Policy Today 2 July 2008: a step towards NHS-funded health tourism?

Publish Date/Time: 
07/02/2008 - 18:24

Health Policy Today - 2 July 2008

by Andy Cowper

With apologies to Garrison Keillor, it has been a busy day in the health policy village.

Parlez-vous NHS?
The Guardian reported a potentially major development, in the form of the European Union’s draft legislation on a right to travel to any of the EU’s 27 member states for free treatment (

Editor's blog 1 July 2008: 'High-quality care for all': thoughts on the Darzi review

Publish Date/Time: 
07/01/2008 - 15:00

Editor's blog: Reviewing the Darzi review

Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

If you agree that clinical engagement is the main aspect needed to improve the NHS’s performance, then the launch of the Darzi review High-quality care for all ( might give you some hope.

Yet that hope is more about the document’s rhetoric and tone than about its content. Its hugely ambitious aim is to change culture, and to see the NHS being locally led.

Greatest hits

Alan Johnson questioned over his commitment to locally led change - Health Policy Debate, 30th June 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
06/30/2008 - 17:45

Alan Johnson questioned over his commitment to locally led change

Tom Smith on today’s heath policy debate

Alan Johnson has had a busy day: one he has spent all year building up to, in many ways. He was on the Today programme at 8am and spent the afternoon in the House of Commons, taking part in a debate on the Next Steps Review and the new Constitution announced today. All day long he’s had to answer questions on the balance between local and central power.

Alan Johnson interview with Evan Davis on Radio 4’s Today Programme

Colloquia: talking about Darzi

Publish Date/Time: 
06/29/2008 - 19:49

Health Policy Insight’s editor Andy Cowper and associate director Tom Smith discuss whether the Darzi review can “lead local change from the centre”

AC: So Tom, your latest Health Policy Today suggests that "the publication of the Darzi report, with its focus on local innovation and opportunities for clinicians may be able to move debate on from the current political impasse". That's pretty much tantamount to optimism. What makes you optimistic about this?

Interview - Mike Farrar, chief executive, NHS North West: clinical input and measuring outcomes

Publish Date/Time: 
06/28/2008 - 06:06


Clinical input and measuring outcomes

Why PBC needs a stimulus and why regulation needs to understand its limitations
Mike Farrar, chief executive, NHS North West
Interview by Andy Cowper

There’s a great photo of Mike Farrar from his semi-pro footballing days, getting punched in the face with both hands by a goalkeeper who, we must presume, is going for the clearance of a cross.

Farrar vs GoalieFarrar vs Goalie

It’s not just a great photo because of the punch - which must have stung a bit at the time. It’s a well-taken picture, which also encapsulates ambition, determination and guts.

Editor's blog 27 June 2008: An NHS constitution in 60 words

Publish Date/Time: 
06/27/2008 - 17:18

Featuring contributions from John Appleby, Nick Bosanquet, Andy Cowper, Alan Maynard, Martin Rathfelder, Bob Sang, Michael Sobanja and Ruth Thorlby

Prior to the publication of the new constitution as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations for the NHS next week, we publish a range of people’s suggestions for how one might address the subject in 60 words. The original intention was to do something lighthearted – a point missed by one or two people we asked. Plenty of serious points nevertheless arose …

Editor's blog 26 June 2008: 100 not out - foundation trusts march on

Publish Date/Time: 
06/26/2008 - 16:28

It's nice round numbers all the way, isn't it? We have the ongoing NHS 60 feeding frenzy, and now we have the 100th foundation trust. Step forward and take a bow Pennine Care Foundation Trust, as its signage and stationery will read after 1 July.

Local Authorities to play a bigger role in health? Health Policy Today - Thursday 26th June

Publish Date/Time: 
06/26/2008 - 17:00

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.

The most interesting report of the day comes from a local government thinktank. It believes that local authorities should play a much greater role in health.

What’s your take-up on technology?

What’s your take-up on technology?

by Paul Vousden, managing director, NHS THOTH

The UK has a poor record of adopting new technology when compared with other European countries. Such reluctance often owes less to a lack of money than a lack of adequate education and training.

A very political Health Policy Today - Tuesday 24th June

Publish Date/Time: 
06/24/2008 - 17:30

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.
Today’s health policy coverage is very political and in advance of the NHS 60th anniversary both Labour and Conservative parties are squaring up. David Cameron today declared that Labour policy had failed. In an interview with the Daily Mirror Alan Johnson described criticisms as “absolute tosh”. Interestingly, the media seems unimpressed by this increasingly politicised debate.