Health Policy Insight
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Editor's Blog

Editor's blog Thursday 18 June 2009: a stand for good stats

Publish Date/Time: 
06/18/2009 - 15:12

Good afternoon. A very quick post to point you towards an excellent piece in today's Times introducing the new body Straight Statistics.

The excellent Nigel Hawkes (formerly a journalist for The Times parish) is director of this new organisation, which aims to point out good practice in statistical use and to highlight abuse. Straight Statistics is going to be A Good Thing, and it deserves an unreserved welcome. Their website is

Guest editorial Thursday 18 June 2009: Mike Farrar on innovation

Publish Date/Time: 
06/18/2009 - 06:05

As the first Healthcare Innovation Expo opens today, this guest editorial from Mike Farrar, chief executive of NHS North West strategic health authority, discussest the importance of innovation.

The definition and the delivery of good healthcare are dynamic: they don’t stand still. What this means for the NHS is that innovation really matters - as Lord Darzi’s next-stage review and the duty to innovate in the NHS Constitution confirm.

Editor's blog Tuesday 16 June 2009: the post-Confed rush - faith in the BMA or the BBC?

Publish Date/Time: 
06/16/2009 - 10:52

A quick one, more later as workload does not abate.

Editor's blog Thursday 11 June 2009: NHS Confederation Conference - Day Two

Publish Date/Time: 
06/11/2009 - 11:08

Using evidence-based information and population health management to deliver high-quality care
Simon Stevens, UnitedHealth

“There are two clichés in the conversation at the moment:
1. The NHS is about to face significant fiscal crunch; and
2. There are 18 months to do something about it.

"The first is true, I’m not sure of the second.

Editor's blog 10 June 2009: NHS Confederation Conference – Day One

Publish Date/Time: 
06/10/2009 - 10:00

Who’s driving?
I can never quite decide which is the worst mainline station in the country (the best is, of course, Marylebone). The field is so strong.

However, Euston is in with a shout. Airless and brutal, its Soviet charms are helped neither by the impressive, tube-strike-related queue for taxis nor by the cack-handed redevelopment of the booking hall.

Credit where it is due, though, the station pub’s staff were charming, helpful and made me a damn good cup of coffee. And their powerpoint actually supplied power.

Editor's blog 10 June 2009: financial futures for the NHS

Publish Date/Time: 
06/10/2009 - 01:08

Regular readers will know that we have been banging on about the impending financial problems for the NHS pretty much since this site launched, a year ago. It appears that this is a common theme for Day One of the NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool, which train strike permitting, I will be attending.

Editor's blog 9 June 2009: new Health Policy Today and feature on a commissioning collaboration under FESC

Publish Date/Time: 
06/09/2009 - 14:31

Good afternoon. As I am psychically preparing myself for the cross-London walk to get my train lto Liverpool for the NHS Confedeeration conference (from which I shall blog frequently), there is just time to point you to two new things.

Associate director Tom Smith returns with Health Policy Today, in which he loks at the silver jubilee of the Griffiths Report and wonders about Andy Burnham's record-breaking potential.

Editor's blog 7 June 2009: Upstream at last? Burnham on public health

Publish Date/Time: 
06/07/2009 - 22:25

Interviewed by The Guardian, new health secretary Andy Burnham has suggested that prevention of lifestyle-associated ill-health will be a personal priority.

Burnham sees the British population getting on their bikes not to look for work (as Norman Tebbit's father reportedly did), but to ward off the impending crises in obesity and diabetes through exercise. He is reported to view expenditure of public money on fitness and prevention as "a long-term insurance policy".

Editor's blog 6 June 2009: Bob Sang RIP

Publish Date/Time: 
06/06/2009 - 08:41

It is with huge sadness that I write about the death of Bob Sang yesterday. Bob was 61.

His particular specialism was in patient and public invovlement and engagement in health and social care, and in facilitation of this. Bob was working in this area long before it was fashionable, let alone a statutory duty.

Editor's blog 5 June 2009: from health to home office - Alan Johnson is gone, Andy Burnham is back

Publish Date/Time: 
06/05/2009 - 08:25

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Alan Johnson has been moved to the Home Office.

He has been an effective health secretary in terms of keeping the NHS out of the run of the news. Policy was left as is (or in the case of ISTCs, rowed back on) and sub-contracted to Darzi.

Who the hell next for Health? Straw is staying at Justice and Darling at the Treasury. Surely not Ed Balls?

Latest gossip (12.20) is that John Denham knocked back health and will be community secretary.

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