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Editor's Blog

Editor's blog Tuesday 29th September 2009: Labour Conference 2009 - go back to your constituencies and prepare for opposition

Publish Date/Time: 
09/29/2009 - 12:02

Footage on TV of the Labour Party conference in Brighton has had a haunted and almost surreal air. Where once the hyper-activity and jostling of the influence-purchasers added to the members' mix of the ambitious and the faithful, now the sense of the faded, the prime-past is prerfectly aposite for a seaside town out of season. Ennui. The empty seats in the hall for even the bigger-beast speakers thus far have the mute eloquence of tombstones.

Editor’s blog Thursday 24 September 2009: is PbR a fitting payment system for the recessionomics of health?

Publish Date/Time: 
09/24/2009 - 17:57

This morning’s policy seminar at the NHS Confederation, ‘From payment for activity to payment for transformation- is PbR fit for the downturn?’ saw a series of impressively thoughtful reflections on PbR, the tariff and incentives.

Editor’s blog Monday 21 September 2009: Liberal Democrat health policy, and sympathy for Ms Hewitt

Publish Date/Time: 
09/21/2009 - 16:03

Sometimes, people smile superciliously at me for taking the Liberal Democrats’ health policy seriously. That’s okay, of course. A lot of people got used to the vacuousness that persisted under Charles Kennedy’s leadership of the party. Others simply can’t imagine the political arithmetic that could give the Lib Dems the balance of power at Westminster.

Editor’s blog Monday 21 September 2009: “you’re number 37 – have a look”

Publish Date/Time: 
09/21/2009 - 14:15

Two posts today: this, the first, is about the US health reform agenda (the next will be on the Lib Dems’ health policy announcements and the need for drugs. The two are not connected.)

A caucus around Baucus?
The Economist offers an update on the proposed plan from Senator Max Baucus, head of that body’s finance committee.

Editor’s blog Thursday 17 September 2009: Today’s policy speech by Andy Burnham at the Kings Fund

Publish Date/Time: 
09/17/2009 - 19:56

We are living through a sea-change of health policy. This much you will have noticed. This much has been forced on UK PLC by the recession.

An ebb-tide of the unprecedented NHS economic growth since 2000 had been planned after 2010-11 in the last comprehensive spending review anyway - but the global credit crunch has given those plans short shrift.

Economic swine flu

Editor's blog Thursday 17 September 2009: Why Andy Burnham is turning up: to announce fully free choice of GP

Publish Date/Time: 
09/17/2009 - 06:24

Good morning. The Independent has the story of why Andy Burnham is turning up to today's 'back-to-school' debate at the Kings Fund.

It is so he can make an announcement that patients will be able to choose to register with any GP anywhere, including close to a place of work.

Editor's blog Thursday 10 September 2009: US healthcare reform bill; much ado about McKinseys and the steady hand of the Bill

Publish Date/Time: 
09/10/2009 - 16:50

Hello. I’ve been away finishing up a stint editing a journal about continence. Insert your own joke here.

I’m also just getting over a quick bout of something-or-other, so this will be very concise.

HPI associate director Tom Smith has written a useful piece on the Obama speech to Congress on healthcare reform. Contrary to many pundits' predictions, the US President wants the public plan option to be left in the bill. The maths on the voting for this bill are going to be extremely tight indeed.

Editor's blog Friday 28 August 2009: Claire Rayner on the need for more NHS regulation

Publish Date/Time: 
08/28/2009 - 14:15

I once chaired a conference at which Claire Rayner spoke about patient dignity. She's a lovely woman, and a bit of a national treasure, so it pains me to point out that her article on the Guardian website following up yesterday's Patients' Association report (of which she is President) is a bit silly.

Editor's blog Friday 28 August 2009: Recessionomics - the cost and price of the shift in the politics of public spending

Publish Date/Time: 
08/28/2009 - 14:03

From the silly season’s decline and fall, we are warming up to the party conference season. On Tuesday, The Indpenedent’s Andrew Grice revealed that Gordon Brown has now accepted that public spending will have to be cut: an announcement of some kind of review should probably be expected for the leader’s speech.

Editor’s blog Thursday 27 August 2009: The basics of nursing

Publish Date/Time: 
08/27/2009 - 17:29

The new report from the Patients Association, Patients, not numbers … people, not statistics has cornered the headlines today. Cataloguing 16 incidents of appalling patient care reported to them (only one of which is anonymised), the report focuses repeatedly on incidents of bad basic nursing and ancillary care.

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