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

HPI Content

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?

Top ups - what are the chances of political consensus?

Publish Date/Time: 
06/22/2008 - 15:00

Tom Smith on where the top up debate could go next go next.

At the end of a recent HSJ piece, on the political history of the NHS, Julian Le Grand said the remarkable thing is that consensus has held, surviving even three Thatcher reviews. Reading some commentary over the last week would suggest we are seeing the beginning of its end, following the announcement that ‘top ups’ will be reviewed.

Editor's blog 20 June 2008: Confed Day 3 - GP surgery closures? Pick a number, any number

Publish Date/Time: 
06/20/2008 - 14:59

by Andy Cowper

Some concluding thoughts from Confed

1. Every big conference has an atmosphere: a reflection of the mood across the service. This year the atmosphere has been elusive. Conference chair David Walker, editor of Guardian Public characterised it as “calm”. Calm was a symptom, but the cause was waiting. We are all waiting for Darzi.

A question of trust - Health Policy Today, Thursday 19th June

Publish Date/Time: 
06/19/2008 - 17:00

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.
During David Nicholson’s speech to the NHS Confederation, he talked about a recent visit to his GP surgery where he was asked to sign the BMA petition, ‘save our surgery’. He declined but asked the receptionist how she was kept informed about what was happening to the NHS. “Oh, Dr Soandso tells us about it, and he never lies”. The continuing row over the future of general practice is increasingly becoming a question of trust.

Editor's blog 19 June 2008: More from Confed conrence: is David Nicholson still gunning for Monitor?

Publish Date/Time: 
06/19/2008 - 14:15

Is David Nicholson still gunning for Monitor?

No matter how bad your day is, Joe Simpson has had a worse one. The climber and inadvertent bestselling author gave a thoroughly moving and harrowing speech today to Confed. His recounting of the physical ordeal was harrowing just to hear.

Simpson niftily avoided the potential pitfalls of emotionalism, drawing instead a deeply touching and personal message that feeling totally alone and beyond contact or human touch is the worst kind of pain.

Health Policy Today: NHS Confederation Conference, Day 1

Publish Date/Time: 
06/18/2008 - 17:20

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.
Following on from an interview with the Guardian newspaper today, Alan Johnson gave the keynote speech on the first day of the NHS Confederation conference – the biggest they have ever held in terms of numbers registered. The Secretary of State said he could not reveal the contents of Darzi’s Next Steps review, but could show “a bit of leg”. He talked about the importance of “compassion” and said efforts would be made to measure it, as nurses had encouraged him to. Like most days, his speech may get the evening headlines, but the morning papers were concerned with new figures on cancer mortality, suggesting wide health inequalities – a subject Johnson touched upon. The papers also contained reaction to Alan Johnson’s statement yesterday that the ban on co-payments will be reviewed. But before getting to those things, this review starts with the front page of the Times, which was very concerned about the implications for rising inflation on the costs ofthe NHS.

Editor's blog 18 June 2008: NHS Confederation conference, day one

Publish Date/Time: 
06/18/2008 - 14:50

Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight
The Day Today: Wednesday 18 June 2008 - Day One NHS Confederation conference
And so to Manchester for the NHS Confederation conference, via Heathrow Terminal Five - not so much an airport, more a shopping opportunity. Blimey, what a decade you’ve just had if you love shopping. Now credit is crunchy and there’s a real risk of 70s-style stagflation, things look different.

Health Policy Today - Tuesday 17th June

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

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.

Health policy is so widely debated that today saw two themes arise. In the morning, discussion was about the capacity of maternity services to cope as well as questions about why given much higher funding in recent years. The announcement late this afternoon, however, that the government will look again at co-payments in cancer care is likely to capture the evening headlines.