Health Policy Insight
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Editor's Blog

Editorial Wednesday 13 January 2016: On negotiating

Publish Date/Time: 
01/12/2016 - 16:59

Fingers crossed, yesterday's non-emergency junior doctors' strike has apparently passed without significant incident. There has clearly been minor silliness at Sandwell, but generally speaking, the planned consultant cover has gone safely and well.

The fact that this dispute about pay, terms and conditions has even got to the point of a strike should shame both sides.

Pay, terms and conditions

Editorial Tuesday 12 January 2016: Why a cross-party health and care funding commission probably won't happen or work

Publish Date/Time: 
01/12/2016 - 13:44

NHS funding arguments fall into three broad categories. In ascending order of usefulness, these are: how to fund; how much to fund; and what value the funding delivers. The first two categories are more political and philosophical; the third is more technical-economic.

Former Lib Dem health minister, mental health champion and good egg Norman Lamb recently proposed a cross-party commission on health and care funding.

Editorial Monday 28 December 2015: Interview with Samantha Jones, director, New Care Models programme, NHS England

Publish Date/Time: 
12/28/2015 - 14:00

Samantha Jones is director of the New Care Models programme, which is part of the NHS Five-Year Forward View. Interview by HPI editor Andy Cowper.

Health Policy Insight: How will you sustain the energy and enthusiasm with which Vanguards were launched as finances tighten?

Samantha Jones: I think the really powerful energy was generated by the Five-Year Forward View, with the direction it set and the care models it articulated being very widely welcomed.

Editorial Monday 21 December 2015: 'Joshua's Story' by James Titcombe

Publish Date/Time: 
12/21/2015 - 16:36

It would be far, far better for James Titcombe and his family if this book hadn't had to be written. Tragically, Joshua's Story did have to be written.

James Titcombe's powerful, pacy writing is all the more effective for being clear-eyed. The admirable strength of his character in wanting Joshua's avoidable death to be a catalyst for change, honesty and learning is a vivid contrast to the greyscale obfuscations, half-truths, insults and outright lies he repeatedly encountered.

Editorial Thursday 17 December 2015: The FYFV funding pantomime and the new Amy Winehouse Fund

Publish Date/Time: 
12/17/2015 - 15:19

The NHS Commissioning Board met today, and unanimously passed its latest tranche of documents. (That's passed as in agreed, obvs.)

The Government's Mandate to the NHS was also published.

Various things in these are noteworthy.

'We've funded the Five-Year Forward View in full.' 'Oh no you haven't!'

Editorial Tuesday 8 December 2015: Interview with Rob Webster and Stephen Dorrell, NHS Confederation (part two)

Publish Date/Time: 
12/08/2015 - 14:21

Rob Webster is chief executive and Stephen Dorrell is chair of the NHS Confederation. Part One of this interview is here.

HPI: Are our current models for dealing with failure, be it organisational or regulatory, coherent?

Editorial Friday 4 December 2015: Interview with Rob Webster and Stephen Dorrell, NHS Confederation

Publish Date/Time: 
12/04/2015 - 12:34

Stephen Dorrell and Rob Webster are the chair and chief executive of the NHS Confederation. This is part one of a two-part interview.

HPI: Now we have the clarity of the 2015 Comprehensive Spending Review, what are the three main priorities for the system?

Rob Webster: The Spending Review doesn't make our task any easier; just clearer. Nothing’s changed in the degree of difficulty of the improvements we need to make. But it seems that we do have political will and a financial context.

Editorial Tuesday 24 November 2015: Simon Stevens' Newtonian politics win front-loading of the NHS budget (objects in motion)

Publish Date/Time: 
11/23/2015 - 23:23

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" - Third Law Of Motion, Sir Isaac Newton

"Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it" - First Law Of Motion, Sir Isaac Newton

The Sun King Also Rises, you might say.

Editorial Tuesday 10 November 2015: The punishment beatings will continue until morale improves

Publish Date/Time: 
11/10/2015 - 19:59

There is a bitter symmetry between the incidence and the prevalence of the punishment beating in NHS culture.

The first reason why the culture of punishment beating exists?

Existential teleology.

There is a cadre of the managerial community whose purpose is to administer punishment beatings.

Therefore, punishment beating must have value: part of the management infrastructure exists to perpetuate punishment beatings. (Without such value, there would be no punishment beatings.)

This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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