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

HPI Content

Matthew Swindells - The recession and the NHS

Publish Date/Time: 
02/07/2009 - 13:30

by Professor Matthew Swindells, managing director, health, Tribal Group PLC

It is now clear to the NHS that life is going to get very difficult in the foreseeable future. It is just as clear that, unusually, it has warning of the choppy waters ahead and time to do something about it.

The recession in the NHS will be delayed. A generous settlement has been given for the next two years – 5.5% for PCTs and (whilst tighter than they have become used to), real increases in the tariff for hospitals.

The financial cycle

Does the appointment of Tom Daschle as health secretary points to a NICER USA? Health Policy Today, 25th November 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
11/26/2008 - 19:09

Barack Obama’s cabinet is taking shape, with many predicting that Hilary Clinton will be appointed as Secretary of State this week. The health appointment was made on Friday when Tom Daschle was officially confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary. Rare amongst health secretaries, Daschle has written a book on health care reform, published earlier this year.

Feature 21 July 2008 - Charles Clarke KPMG discussion paper discussed

Publish Date/Time: 
07/21/2008 - 22:40

Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP's report for KPMG – full of shit when it comes to healthcare

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

I would like to admit to a pair of biases before I write anything about Charles Clarke, the New Labour education minister who oversaw the introduction of tuition fees for university education in England.

Editor's blog 21 July - Maynard here, and more on the way

Publish Date/Time: 
07/21/2008 - 11:29

Good afternoon. Apologies for a day or two of radio silence, but to paraphrase John Lennon, life has been happening to us while we were busy making other plans.

The latest instalment of The Maynard Doctrine has arrived for your edification ( This touches on the vital issue of incentives, which will be addressed in our latest 'Colloquia', which should be up by this evening.

No consensus on co-payments – Health Policy Today 9th July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/09/2008 - 19:00

Tom Smith writes from the BMA conference in Edinburgh.

At its Annual Representatives Meeting today, the BMA debated copayments in a fiery, passionate and characteristically chaotic thirty minute session.

Representatives debated a six-part motion. After a vote, they supported the principle that patients who buy their own treatments should not be denied NHS care; called for a Royal Commission to explore the implications; and came within a hair’s breadth of voting to ‘demand’ the introduction of copayments in the NHS.

Listening to doctors on reform – Health Policy Today 8th July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/08/2008 - 17:30

8 July 2008 - Tom Smith on the today's health policy debate.

I’m on my way to the BMA’s Annual Representative meeting in Edinburgh, really interested to hear what doctors are saying (off camera) about the latest stage of the reform programme.

Do BMA representatives see opportunities for greater clinical control? Do they believe that quality will be prioritised? What do they think is going on now in the NHS, and how do they see their role in reform?

Reactions to the Darzi report - Health Policy Today, 1st July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/01/2008 - 17:00

Tom Smith analyses reactions to the Darzi report.

The likely impact of the Darzi review - Health Policy Today 28th June 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
06/28/2008 - 17:30

Tom Smith on the impact of Lord Darzi’s Next Steps review.

What are the chances of the Darzi review changing the terms of debate on NHS reform? Despite the political gloom that has engulfed the government over recent weeks - and the Prime Minister in particular - this edition of Health Policy Today looks at the potential for the Next Steps review, due to be published on Monday afternoon, to help the government shift debate away from its political failings and onto its reform agenda.

Can Gordon Brown shift the terms of the debate onto reform?

Health Policy Today - Monday 23rd June

Publish Date/Time: 
06/23/2008 - 17:00

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.

Today’s press (and reports from the weekend) carry three key themes: speculation about the implications of top-ups, questions about the long-term viability of collective finance, and the attitudeof GPs to NHS reform. My personal favourite, however, and not completely divorced from the third topic, wasy esterday’s Desert Island Discs when Lord Ara Darzi told Kirsty Young his top eight tunes.

The Maynard Doctrine: whither foundation trusts?

by Alan Maynard, professor of health economics, University of York

Ninety-nine NHS organisations now have Foundation Trust (FT) status. Most of them are acute trusts, but an increasing number are in mental health and related services. The objective of the FT initiative was to achieve greater efficiency by giving greater autonomy to hospitals within a rigorous framework of financial regulation in particular.

Has this objective been achieved?