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Editor's Blog

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.

Editor's blog 10th November 2008: high-quality healthcare for all children in Birmingham?

Publish Date/Time: 
11/10/2008 - 13:42

Good day to you. Very rainy here.

But never mind - we have a bracing new dose of The Maynard Doctrine for your pleasure.

Maynard's discussion of clinical variations and quality issues could not be more timely with yesterday's cover feature in The Observer on a report about serious clinical problems at Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Editor's blog 7th November 2008: new Commissioning Health, Labour win Glenrothes and reporting inequalities

Publish Date/Time: 
11/07/2008 - 08:30

Good morning, and welcome to the weekend's welcome approach.

First today, the new Autumn-Winter issue of Commissioning Health is now online at

I hope you'll enjoy it (and indeed the previous three issues, also archived there. With support from Bupa and NHS Alliance, Commissioning Health aims to promote thought and debate about how - and indeed whether - commissioning is developing in the UK.

Editor's blog 6th November 2008: extend your way out of recession via US healthcare insurance coverage?

Publish Date/Time: 
11/06/2008 - 09:45

Good morning. So how big do you think mid-day's interest rate cut will be? The full 1%?

This morning’s Guardian brings us an interesting suggestion that President-elect Obama should give tax credits to employers who provide or extend health insurance coverage for their workers at around $3,000 per worker per year.

Editor's blog 5th November 2008: Barack Hussein Obama new President-Elect for USA

Publish Date/Time: 
11/05/2008 - 06:54

Well, it currently looks as if the Republicans may retain the filibuster in Senate (which can be used to block the Democrat Congress's legislation), but I would say that much-needed healthcare reform is gonna come (as discussed by Tom Smith here).

The reaction of investors in the US healthcare industry will be interesting.

And speaking of change, here's a song for you to enjoy today.

Editor's blog 4th November 2008: Top-ups announced - and debt shall have no dominion

Publish Date/Time: 
11/04/2008 - 10:31

Today, the Government will announce its decision in response to cancer czar Professor Mike Richards' review of the current policy of 'topping-up' NHS care. Which is that it is - officially - forbidden. Despite the frequent use of workaround solutions such as Healthcare At Home (, or other strategies used by clinicians who do not support the existing policy.

You may remember various pieces of coverage we have previously done on the issue:

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