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A very political Health Policy Today - Tuesday 24th June

Publish Date/Time: 
06/24/2008 - 17:30

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.
Today’s health policy coverage is very political and in advance of the NHS 60th anniversary both Labour and Conservative parties are squaring up. David Cameron today declared that Labour policy had failed. In an interview with the Daily Mirror Alan Johnson described criticisms as “absolute tosh”. Interestingly, the media seems unimpressed by this increasingly politicised debate.

Matthew Swindells - The recession and the NHS

Publish Date/Time: 
02/07/2009 - 13:30

by Professor Matthew Swindells, managing director, health, Tribal Group PLC

It is now clear to the NHS that life is going to get very difficult in the foreseeable future. It is just as clear that, unusually, it has warning of the choppy waters ahead and time to do something about it.

The recession in the NHS will be delayed. A generous settlement has been given for the next two years – 5.5% for PCTs and (whilst tighter than they have become used to), real increases in the tariff for hospitals.

The financial cycle

Does the appointment of Tom Daschle as health secretary points to a NICER USA? Health Policy Today, 25th November 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
11/26/2008 - 19:09

Barack Obama’s cabinet is taking shape, with many predicting that Hilary Clinton will be appointed as Secretary of State this week. The health appointment was made on Friday when Tom Daschle was officially confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary. Rare amongst health secretaries, Daschle has written a book on health care reform, published earlier this year.

No consensus on co-payments – Health Policy Today 9th July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/09/2008 - 19:00

Tom Smith writes from the BMA conference in Edinburgh.

At its Annual Representatives Meeting today, the BMA debated copayments in a fiery, passionate and characteristically chaotic thirty minute session.

Representatives debated a six-part motion. After a vote, they supported the principle that patients who buy their own treatments should not be denied NHS care; called for a Royal Commission to explore the implications; and came within a hair’s breadth of voting to ‘demand’ the introduction of copayments in the NHS.

Listening to doctors on reform – Health Policy Today 8th July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/08/2008 - 17:30

8 July 2008 - Tom Smith on the today's health policy debate.

I’m on my way to the BMA’s Annual Representative meeting in Edinburgh, really interested to hear what doctors are saying (off camera) about the latest stage of the reform programme.

Do BMA representatives see opportunities for greater clinical control? Do they believe that quality will be prioritised? What do they think is going on now in the NHS, and how do they see their role in reform?

Reactions to the Darzi report - Health Policy Today, 1st July 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
07/01/2008 - 17:00

Tom Smith analyses reactions to the Darzi report.

The likely impact of the Darzi review - Health Policy Today 28th June 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
06/28/2008 - 17:30

Tom Smith on the impact of Lord Darzi’s Next Steps review.

What are the chances of the Darzi review changing the terms of debate on NHS reform? Despite the political gloom that has engulfed the government over recent weeks - and the Prime Minister in particular - this edition of Health Policy Today looks at the potential for the Next Steps review, due to be published on Monday afternoon, to help the government shift debate away from its political failings and onto its reform agenda.

Can Gordon Brown shift the terms of the debate onto reform?

Health Policy Today - Monday 23rd June

Publish Date/Time: 
06/23/2008 - 17:00

Tom Smith on today’s health policy debate.

Today’s press (and reports from the weekend) carry three key themes: speculation about the implications of top-ups, questions about the long-term viability of collective finance, and the attitudeof GPs to NHS reform. My personal favourite, however, and not completely divorced from the third topic, wasy esterday’s Desert Island Discs when Lord Ara Darzi told Kirsty Young his top eight tunes.

Top ups - what are the chances of political consensus?

Publish Date/Time: 
06/22/2008 - 15:00

Tom Smith on where the top up debate could go next go next.

At the end of a recent HSJ piece, on the political history of the NHS, Julian Le Grand said the remarkable thing is that consensus has held, surviving even three Thatcher reviews. Reading some commentary over the last week would suggest we are seeing the beginning of its end, following the announcement that ‘top ups’ will be reviewed.

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.

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