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Editor's Blog

Editor's blog 1st October 2008: David Cameron, socialist Conservative?

Publish Date/Time: 
10/01/2008 - 19:33

“The central task I have set myself and this Party is to be as radical in social reform as Margaret Thatcher was in economic reform” – David Cameron, Conservative Party conference, 1 October 2008

Over the past generation, no Conservative politician since Michael Heseltine has had the electorate’s serious scrutiny as ‘probable next Prime Minister’.

As Thatcher’s assassin, of course, the crown would never be Hezza’s.

Editor's Blog 1st October 2008: Bankrolling the attacks on NICE

Publish Date/Time: 
10/01/2008 - 09:32

Good morning. Story of the day looks very much like The Independent's piece highlighting the pharmaceutical industry's bankrolling of many of the patient charities that have run prominent campaigns against NICE decisions about recommending new drugs for NHS availability.

Editor's Blog 29th September 2008: Conservative Party Conference 2008 - Andrew Lansley, the hair apparent

Publish Date/Time: 
09/29/2008 - 23:43

Something has happened to Andrew Lansley’s hair. The shadow health secretary’s barnet is looking distinctively … different. Now as regards a discussion of male grooming (albeit the sinister connotations that have accrued around that phrase mean that I shall not be using it again) – a discussion of male preening, let’s say, I am not your ‘go-to’ person This much is obvious if you have ever met me. Or even seen a photograph.

Editor's blog 28th September 2008: consultant competence, Conservative currency and Caledonian climate

Publish Date/Time: 
09/29/2008 - 09:11

Good morning. Today we have new Maynard Doctrine on the charged topic of managing poor performance by consultants and on the 'featherbedded' retirement deals of senior managers.

'The case here is not that incompetent consultants are widespread in the NHS; but that there is likely to be a normal distribution curve of performance in the profession. Current systems to address poor performance do not, in Maynard's opinion and experience, work well and are expensive if 'gardening leave' is involved.'

Editor’s blog 25th September 2008 – Labour policy and a Crisp rejoinder to top-ups

Publish Date/Time: 
09/24/2008 - 23:34

So, what do we have in health policy terms from the last few days, during which the Labour Party has had its conference?

First things first: we still have Gordon Brown in Number 10 Downing Street. This was by no means a foregone conclusion even a week ago. Synchronised resignations within Labour (maybe an event for the 2012 Olympics?), and dismal poll ratings and a hostile media without, had Kircaldy’s favourite son looking like a distinctly sub-prime minister.

Editor's blog 18th September 2008: thoroughly modern Milly?

Publish Date/Time: 
09/18/2008 - 05:50

Just when you were thinking that nostalgia isn't what it used to be (oil price spike; credit tightening; house prices off a cliff; unemployment and inflation rising - let's party like it's 1974 / 1981 / 1991!), some great news breaks.

The Quiff Of Doom is back.

And he's using the word "change" (copyright Barrack Obama) a lot.

In fact by the look of this, policy-wise Alan Milburn has joined the Lib Dems .

Editor's blog 17th September 2008: Moral hazard in healthcare

Publish Date/Time: 
09/17/2008 - 16:33

Standing in the Halifax today, waiting to pay in a cheque (I love to swim against the tide), I was reflecting on the current havoc of the financial markets and some things that it means for healthcare.

One thing that it means is that a lot of highly numerate graduate calibre people will be looking for jobs due to the contraction of the investment banking and private equity businesses.

Editor's blog 16th September 2008: Lord Carter, chair of NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel

Publish Date/Time: 
09/16/2008 - 13:16

So what's new today? Apart from the downfall of free market capitalism and the end of the world as we know it? And no, I don't feel fine, I've got a slight ache in my wrist.

Well, I thought it would be good to find out a bit about the background of Patrick Carter - Lord Carter of Coles, the inaugural chair of the new NHS Co-operation and Competition Panel. So I did, and you can read it here.

Editor's blog 15th September 2008: Tax breaks for health?

Publish Date/Time: 
09/15/2008 - 15:22

Welcome to another fine week in health policy. Don't mention the imminent implosion of free-market capitalism.

The new Maynard Doctrine is now online, in which Alan Maynard suggests that there may be a thing or two wrong with drug pricing and with the relationship between 'the industry' and medical education.

Scandalous thinking!

Elsewhere today, you will find a new feature about the Lib Dems' health policy at their party conference.

Editor's blog 11 September 2008: An impressive debate starts the rationing ball rolling

Publish Date/Time: 
09/11/2008 - 13:10

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

You know the old joke about mergers – ‘a merger is like two porcupines making love – it should be done carefully and slowly’?

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