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Editorial Tuesday 4 February 2014: Why privatising the NHS would be A Very Bad Idea

Publish Date/Time: 
02/04/2014 - 00:17

The Twittering Classes were fascinated to notice that NHS England's outgoing chief executive, Comrade Sir David Nicholson had joined the micro-blogging service.

The Comrade-In-Chief revealed that he is taking part in a Cambridge University Union debate on the motion that 'This House believes that the NHS should be privatised', which you will be unsurprised to hear he is opposing.

Guest editorial Friday 6 December 2013: Why the NHS definitely needs drones, by CSU Cassander

Publish Date/Time: 
12/06/2013 - 10:47

In this guest editorial, the genius of CSU Cassander is unleashed on solving the woes of the NHS through drone technology - by sheer coincidence, his new commercial sideline

The Maynard Doctrine: It's the clinicians, stupid!

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard reflects on political learning and real reform

Fashions come and fashions go, but clinicians - primarily doctors - still largely determine what healthcare patients receive. They lead the teams that consume £107 billion of taxpayers’ hard-earned money a year. Their vagaries, waste and unwarranted clinical practice variations can determine your survival as much as their energy, humanity and efficiency.

Editorial Tuesday 15 October 2013: Hunt and Burnham dance to The Masochism Tango

Publish Date/Time: 
10/15/2013 - 15:19

‘Beat me!’ begged the masochist.

‘No’, replied the sadist.

Longstanding readers may recall my observation that health policy is BDSM by other means.

Latterly, the relationship between Health Secretary Jeremy ’Bellflinger’ Hunt and his shadow, Mascara Kid Andy Burnham reminds me of Tom Lehrer’s classic ‘The Masochism Tango’:
“I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,

The Maynard Doctrine: A guide to the bollocksfest of NHS management jargon

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard turns his attention to the beautiful world of NHS management jargon

The ways in which NHS staff communicate with each other and the public are a wonder to behold! There is redundant use of adjectives to emphasise perfectly adequate nouns … and then there are phrases which are mis-speaking, misleading or just vacuous.

The latter are charitably collectively known as ‘jargon’. Less charitably, they are known as ‘bollocks’.

The Maynard Doctrine: What to do with “Big Pharma”?

Health economist Professor Alan Maynard examines the ills of Big Pharma, and offers his own prescriptions for improvement.

Big Pharma is struggling, and with a continuing history of naughtiness involving greed and corruption, its critics are out for blood.

Guest editorial: Jeremy Twunt on the future of Conservative health policy

Publish Date/Time: 
07/22/2013 - 08:39

Parliament has risen for recess, but the satirical alter ego of the Secretary Of State For Health, swear-word-loving Jeremy Twunt, found time in his busy schedule to write this guest editorial outlining the emergent thinking in Conservative health policy.

Wednesday 17 July 2013: The Keogh Review process matters as much as the outcome, and a thought about the NHS England CEO job

Publish Date/Time: 
07/17/2013 - 15:56

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has a well-earned reputation as nobody's fool. His report into the 14 hospitals he was asked to investigate at the launch of the Mid-Staffs Public Inquiry report is widely acknowledged as a fine piece of work.

Sir Bruce's covering letter to SOS Jeremy 'Bellflinger' Hunt bears quoting extensively, as I have done below, together with his list of ambitions and actions.

Editorial Monday 15 July 2013: Back to the future with 'hit squads' for many Keogh troubled trusts: rewarding failure?

Publish Date/Time: 
07/15/2013 - 20:58

The Guardian's Denis Campbell and Patrick Wintour have a plausible-looking leak about the Keogh report tomorrow.

The five non-FTs will get a 'hit squad' parachuted in (could they not just get a taxi?), and six of the nine FTs listed will be put into special administration.

There won't be any immediate sackings of CEs.

One of the charming things about health policy is that if you stand in one place long enough, policies come round again.