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Editor's Blog

Editor's blog 8th January 2009: Answering the 2009 GP patient survey

Publish Date/Time: 
01/08/2009 - 11:34

On the day when it was revealed that BMA Chair of Council Dr Hamish Meldrum has got into media embarrassment over his practice's involvement in a polyclinic (see, I got a special-looking letter.

Awesome! I've been asked personally by Health Minister Ben Bradshaw to give my views on local NHS services. Me and a few others, probably. Let's take this together, dear readers.

Editor’s blog 7th January 2009: How many CSEs have you got?

Publish Date/Time: 
01/07/2009 - 21:10

As a pint-downing weathergirl and a Tory topless model prepare to fight it out for the voting sub-section (i.e. the really dim bit) of the TV viewing public’s attention in Celebrity Big Brother, the possibility of a public vote improving anything other than a TV company’s profitability may seem remote.

Yet an interesting piece on the BBC News politics section today looked afresh at the legacy of John Major's 'cones hotline' ( It is a longer legacy than you might imagine.

Editorial 6th January 2009: To err is human; to forgive, incarnadine

Publish Date/Time: 
01/06/2009 - 19:36

It’s a slow start to the year policy-wise, which made the Liberal Democrats’ FOI of the figures from the National Patient Safety Agency the major point worthy of comment of the day.

The first thing to say is that the increase over the previous two years’ figures is almost certainly correctly being ascribed to increased reporting of incidents.

Editorial 5th January 2009: Love in a cold climate

Publish Date/Time: 
01/05/2009 - 20:17

Hello, and welcome back to Health Policy Insight in 2009.

It would seem that the gift of prophecy has not yet deserted me (, and the sundry winter bugs did not make the NHS fall over in any meaningful way. That said, most workplaces only go back today and schools tomorrow, so be warned, chaps: this weekend could be quite lively.

Editor's blog 24th December 2008: Happy Christmas

Publish Date/Time: 
12/24/2008 - 09:25

The Health Policy Insight team will now be aiming to take a break until the New Year - although it very much depends how the flu crisis pans out.

In anticipation that the NHS will cope on the whole well (as on the whole it does), we would like to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas, and all good wishes for 2009.

Andy Cowper

Editor's blog 23rd December 2008: Branson in a pickle on MRSA

Publish Date/Time: 
12/23/2008 - 06:41

The political syllogism was brilliantly defined by the classic BBC TV series Yes, Minister, and it reads as follows:

Something must be done.

This is something.

Therefore this must be done.

Reading Richard Branson's PR team's latest placing of a story on the front page of BBC News Online, the syllogism of his argument was startling.

Editor's blog 22nd December 2008: a profit without honour

Publish Date/Time: 
12/22/2008 - 16:43

Blimey, I get ill for a month and the NHS just sort of explodes.

Hello, and sorry to have been away for so long. The flu that is currently causing big problems to hospitals and ambulance trusts hit my family and then me quite early and quite hard. I am now back, and what a month it's been.

I’m pleased to also present a festive Maynard Doctrine, as well as which I will try to summarise what’s been going on, even if some of it is hard to believe.

A profit without honour

Editor's blog 21st November 2008: Notes from a sickbed

Publish Date/Time: 
11/21/2008 - 17:13

Cough, cough, cough. Splutter. Spit. Shiver. Cough, cough, cough. Feel sorry for self. Self-medicate with pills or cask-strength single malt, depending on time of day. Cough, cough, cough. Repeat.

Editor's blog 12th November 2008: The CMO and the sovereign customer

Publish Date/Time: 
11/12/2008 - 12:18

Chief Medical Officer Professor Sir Liam Donaldson has been on the receiving end of a touch of criticism from certain quarters of the medical profession. Some people question why Professor Sir Bruce Keogh was appointed to the DH as Medical Director in an apparent rivalry. Others have relentlessly criticised his involvement in the MTAS / Modernising Medical Careers fiasco.

Editor's blog 12th November 2008: 11 / 11 news and the right to death

Publish Date/Time: 
11/12/2008 - 00:13

Two pieces of news on 11th November made me cry, but only one of them made me want to be sick.

The anniversary of the end of the First World War needs few words, other than it was not the one that made me feel sick. That was the immensely depressing and saddening story of Baby P in Haringey, North London, whose mother, over and a lodger were convicted of 'causing or allowing' Baby P's death. The details are extremely upsetting.

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