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The Maynard Doctrine: Time to think the unthinkable about the future of the NHS?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE wonders why the NHS fails to prepare for the worst, when facing dire economic circumstances

Where are the UK’s finances now?
The current economic situation is grim, and this must inform our planning to ensure that we protect as best we can both the volume and quality of healthcare delivered to the local population.

Here are two key issues to bear in mind:

The Maynard Doctrine: a Conservative Party memo on modest proposals for NHS reform?

Professor Alan Maynard OBE makes full disclosure of a document passed to him anonymously

The postmark on the brown envelope in which this document was sent to me is, unfortunately, too blurred for legibility, and the address printed on a label. There is, in short, no indication as to who sent this document or why.

Nevertheless in the zeitgeist spirit of freedom of information, its contents are as follows.

Private and Confidential

Conservative Party – Shadow Cabinet Only

Memorandum: Plans for the Reform of the NHS in 2010

The Maynard Doctrine: Evaluating quality initiatives

Professor Alan Maynard OBE challenges the Whitehall Village People to evaluate their initiatives around quality for cost-effectiveness

The Government has recognised that ‘it ain’t what you spend, it’s the way you have spent it’ that matters to patients. They are interested in whether healthcare makes you “better” or, as Hippocrates and Florence Nightingale both emphasised, does no harm!

Hospital healthcare harms one in ten

The Maynard Doctrine: The Incredible Shrinking Healthcare Sector

Professor Alan Maynard argues for equitable distribution of recessionary pain, warning that those in well-paid jobs, including doctors, will not be immune from attention

The rate of exchange of the UK pound for the euro and US dollar has declined by thirty per cent. This is increasing the cost of imports to the healthcare sector - and the cost of living, as imported staples such as tea, coffee and sugar increase in price.

The Maynard Doctrine: The NICE end-of-life cut-off point - wobbles in Whitehall

Professor Alan Maynard OBE warns that although emotionally appealing, moves towards higher cost-per-QALY thresholds for spending on end-of-life and rarer conditions are inequitable and inefficient

Governments believe that they may lose votes (and know that they will get hammered by the Daily Mail) if they deny we all have a terminal sexually-transmitted disease called life, whose certain clinical outcome is that one day we will surely die. Nowhere is this clearer than when dealing with end-of-life treatments for cancer and other patients.

The Maynard Doctrine: Goodbye to Joe Stalin! Hello Toyota and Total Quality Improvement, care of Comrade Darzi

Professor Alan Maynard OBE suggests that Lord Darzi is a well-intentioned Marxist who does not really understand quality

“If a man is not a socialist at 18, he has no heart. If he is a socialist at 30, he has no head.”

This adage from Winston Churchill seems particularly pertinent to the former comrades who now rule us, as they track even further away form their Marxist and Trotskyite origins and become what the Chinese communist dictator Mao Tse-Tung used to describe as “capitalist running dogs”!

To laugh or cry about 'iGP' proposals? Health Policy Today 12th March 2009.

Publish Date/Time: 
03/10/2009 - 17:44

Guest contributor James Gubb, director of the health unit at Civitas (, reflects on the new proposals for publishing public feedback on NHS services

The dangers of 'iGP'
I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at the Government’s latest gimmick in public service reform: government-sponsored websites on which people can rate their school, GP practice or nanny.

The Maynard Doctrine – IT’s an evidence thing

Professor Alan Maynard OBE appraises the cost-benefit possibilities – expected and otherwise – of computerisation in healthcare

We book our travel, hotels and holidays electronically. We access our bank accounts and shop electronically. And we are continually told that information technology is about to revolutionise the NHS.

So why is the revolution such a long time coming?

The first problem is the chaps and chapesses who get paid over £100,000 per year to work in the NHS. There are two overlapping types of such persons.

The Maynard Doctrine: Doctors and management

Professor Alan Maynard OBE looks at the role of doctors in management ... and finds that though it already exists, it isn't working properly

A fundamental part of the Darzi report is the role of doctors as managers in producing improved quality of patient care in the NHS. The notion is that if doctors are brought into management, resources will be used more efficiently.

Is this assertion a non-sequitur in need of resolution by Sooty and his magic wand? Or is the promised land about to arrive?

Amid a snowy backdrop, moves afoot to whiten rules and procedures: Health Policy Today 2nd February 2009

Publish Date/Time: 
02/02/2009 - 17:40

This summary of health stories today reflects a subtle social and political shift in favour of greater clarity, transparency and thrift. After heavy snowfall, we now have the perfect backdrop for a renewed push on whiteness. Greater transparency is becoming a key political theme for the NHS.

How much?

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