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HPI Content | Health Policy Insight
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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.



Editor's blog 17 June 2008: The line, and how to toe it

Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

Welcome to Health Policy Insight, a new online health policy information and analysis service.

New on the site today is Nick Timmins’ first HPI column, which considers the impact of ‘top-ups’ to NHS care. The Government is due to announce today or tomorrow that it will change policy. The level of detail to be announced, however, is uncertain.

The abstract principle of payment for healthcare was breached with prescription charges in the NHS’s earliest days. In the English NHS today, dentistry and audiology show us a residualist NHS service for much of the country, while access to physiotherapy and various mental health services in psychotherapy can be deeply patchy. And then there’s car parking charges …

Nick Timmins: Top-ups: the earth moves as the NHS's 60th anniversary approaches

Publish Date/Time: 
06/18/2008 - 14:30

Top-ups: the earth moves as the NHS's 60th anniversary approaches

Now topping-up is to be permitted, does the NHS need a consumer framework? And should there be any cut-off point at all?

First Thoughts … Last Thoughts
by Nicholas Timmins , public policy editor, Financial Times



Interview - Norman Lamb MP on the Lib Dems' new health policies

Fresh perspective: Liberal Democrats outline new health policies

The right to ‘top up’, defined patient entitlements, direct budgets for long-term conditions and direct elections for PCT boards.


by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight
It’s been difficult to write about Lib Dem health policies in recent years for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there haven’t been many worth the name. Secondly, since Evan Harris, they have had a series of spokespeople on health who have not exactly impressed.

Health Policy Today - Monday 16th June

Publish Date/Time: 
06/24/2008 - 13:03

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.
The big story of the day is the Healthcare Commission’s warning that NHS trusts have 10 months to get on track with the management of hospital acquired infections or face the consequences of being labelled a failing trust. The weekend’s papers continued to debate polyclinics, making the grounds for disagreement between the government and doctors more clear. Both the FT and the Sunday Times reported that the Government is set to rewrite its rules on allowing co-payments in the NHS.

Health policy today – Friday 13th June

Publish Date/Time: 
07/01/2008 - 16:40

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.

Amongst today’s headlines includes the snappy, ‘super surgeries row rumbles on’ as well as the not so snappy, ‘Gordon Brown accuses doctors of ill founded allegations over polyclinics’. While many people will today be aware that the government has fallen out with doctors, they may still not be clear about why.