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

Regular Columns

Political irresponsibility racks up pressure on senior local managers - Health Policy Today, Tuesday 30th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/30/2008 - 13:30

In a recent HSJ poll, NHS managers suggested they are more comfortable with what they know, when asked their preferred secretary of state. With the government behind in the polls and change looming, it has not been a great conference season for senior local authority or PCT managers listening to the opposition set out their plans.

The Maynard Doctrine: Time to deal efficiently with poor doctors and redundant senior managers?

Professor Alan Maynard discusses the need for efficient systems to address poorly-performing consultants and redundant managers.

The Department of Health management team are increasing their carbon footprint by touring the country and encouraging SHAs and PCTs to lead the revolution outlined in the Darzi report.

Whilst greater attention to outcome measurement and the reduction of unacceptable clinical practice variations is most welcome albeit very late, some fundamental issues are being ignored - in particular, job tenure of clinicians and senior managers.

Which? survey finds pharmacies' advice may not always be good for your health – Health Policy Today, 25 September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/25/2008 - 17:15

A new report from Which? is based on an ‘undercover investigation’ into advice dispensed from pharmacies . Which? researchers posing as patients asked questions about emergency contraception, migraines and traveler’s diarrhoea.

They received ‘unsatisfactory advice in 48% of independent pharmacies, 28% of national and regional changes and in 26% of the biggest supermarkets. The results do not bode well for plans to pass more clinical work to pharmacies from GPs.

GB talks about “tough choices”, but not the choices to be made - Health Policy Today, Wednesday 24th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/24/2008 - 22:00

Reports that Gordon Brown’s speech saved the day are wide of the mark. It was not brilliant rhetoric or piercing analysis that has staved off a challenge to his premiership, but the shift in global economics giving him the opportunity to take a political lead in uncertain times. Having pleased everyone from the Mail to the Mirror , Brown must now set out the substance of the tough choices he talked about - by elucidating what these are.


The sea, the weather and the skipper: the economic tide turns in Gordon Brown’s favour – Health Policy Today, 22nd September 200

Publish Date/Time: 
09/22/2008 - 18:20

In recent weeks and months, much of the media has formed a conclusion that Gordon Brown is unsuited to modern politics. Last week’s economic events may mean, however, that in the last week politics has changed to suit Gordon Brown.


What do you mean by greater local accountability? Health Policy Today, 17th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/18/2008 - 22:03

The Labour Party want to devolve power in the health service to those best placed to make decisions. The Conservatives criticise the centralizing tendencies of the government and favour greater localism. The Liberal Democrats remain strong advocates of local accountability and decisions made locally.

Today’s HPT wonders, what are we all arguing about? All united in a common desire to empower local people, it should be straightforward to achieve. No? Just what do the parties mean by achieving greater local accountability and is it the same thing?

Changing in front of our very eyes: the Lib Dems strike a new political pose – Health Policy Today, 16 September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/16/2008 - 16:33

Tom Smith returns with a discussion of the day's political and policy vogue.

The Maynard Doctrine: Suckling the NHS ‘piglets’ - the case of the drug dealers

The NHS is like a large sow with many teats, from which provider piglets draw succour. One of the most robust piglets in the sty is the pharmaceutical industry.

Take, for instance, the current debate about 'co-payments' for cancer patients. With NICE declining some products of marginal cost-effectiveness, industry is encouraging its compatriots in the medical profession and elsewhere to demand that where patients buy treatments declined by NICE, the administration of the drugs should be provided by the NHS.

Taxpayers' Alliance want more statism on NHS pay: Health Policy Today, 11th September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/11/2008 - 18:02

In Tom Smith's temporary absence, Health Policy Today is a somewhat less full round-up than usual, but one story stuck out so much this had to appear.

Taxpayers' Alliance want NHS wages policy on managers' pay: Health Policy Today, 11th September 2008

It may seem strange, but it’s true. Today’s Daily Telegraph reports that the Taxpayers’ Alliance (slogan: campaigning for lower taxes and better government) have both been hiding their statist light under a highly convincing pro-market bushel.

Local authorities responding to health petitions – Health Policy Today, 4 September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/04/2008 - 21:15

The magazine edited by David Walker, Public landed on my doormat this morning. An article on ‘engagement’ by local authorities caught my eye. The obligation to respond to petitions could lead to an expensive exercise that does nothing to engage.


Syndicate content