Health Policy Insight
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Editor's Blog

Editor's blog 5th August 2008: loving an elevator?

Publish Date/Time: 
08/05/2008 - 22:09

Evening, all. You will find Tom Smith's latest Health Policy Today now online, reflecting on the policy and political misunderstandings of the book Nudge. No, I haven't read it yet and so am not going to opine about this. (Tom has, though).

Instead, just a quick reflection that in the spirit of the World-Class Commissioning team's alterations to FESC procurements, taking the process down to less than two months, the DH has announced a similar initiative for Local Improvement Finance Trusts (LIFTs) - the PFI of primary care.

Editor's blog 4th August 2008: Localism - easy to mouthe, but hard to swallow

Publish Date/Time: 
08/04/2008 - 16:58

Good evening.

Today we have new Maynard Doctrine, looking at the issue of variation in nursing practice; and Health Policy Today, which notes the story in the Daily Telegraph that Conservative Freedom Of Information requests have found that 1/3 of PCTs are not intending to consult with their community.

Editor's blog 31 July 2008: The curse of the drinking classes

Publish Date/Time: 
07/31/2008 - 20:50

Oscar Wilde inverted the well-known Temperance Movement slogan to produce his formulation that "work is the curse of the drinking classes" - which is to say that workload has rather got in the way of recent updates to the site. Apologies if you've been franticaly hitting refresh and waiting for us. We are back.

However, please note that the near-daily updates may be a bit more sporadic during August, for obvious reasons.

Editor's blog 28 July 2008: Investing for outcomes

Publish Date/Time: 
07/28/2008 - 22:40

Good evening - good, that is, if the thunderstorm has passed you by yet, taking with it the louring humidity. The initial rainfall was dramatic and short - which is as good a segue as I can manage to the thoroughly good news that Film Four are this week running a series of classic Ingmar Bergman films, which share both those qualities.

Editor's blog 24 July 2008 - Is healthcare an artisan product or an industrial one?

Publish Date/Time: 
07/24/2008 - 22:49

This afternoon, while I was tasting some wines in Meursault and Volnay, I was having 'that discussion' with the winemakers about how crap New World wines are. Now I say discussion, but actually it's the receiving end of a lecture (it's almost like they're blogging at me or something ...)

No, the lecture is a joke anyway. These are by no means stupid people: they recognise that there are talented artisan winemakers in every wine-growing part of the world.

Editor's Blog 22 July 2008: Traction and drag queens

Publish Date/Time: 
07/23/2008 - 21:14

A fairly cosmopolitan friend (Cambridge graduate, former actress, former restauranteur, farmer’s wife, PhD and theatre director) once revealed a surprisingly vehement prejudice. She told me “I hate drag queens, I find it completely insulting as a woman and I don’t see it as funny, flattering or insightful.”

Editor's blog update 21 July 08 - KPMG / Charles Clarke report reviewed

Publish Date/Time: 
07/21/2008 - 22:47

Ex-Minister Charles Clarke MP's execrable pamphlet for KPMG about health funding inspired me to write a review. Hope you enjoy it.

Editor's blog 15 July 2008: Gerry Robinson - zombie for self-love

Publish Date/Time: 
07/15/2008 - 22:05

Policy zombies for (self-)love

The Canadian academic Robert Evans and colleagues described the existence of health policy zombies: ideas that, no matter how many times you shoot them down with evidence, get back up and keep coming at you.

‘Can Gerry Robinson Fix The NHS?’ was a 2006 BBC2 / Open University TV series, which explored whether the titular proposition was a feasible action plan.

Editor's blog 14 July 2008: Bastille Day

Publish Date/Time: 
07/14/2008 - 17:54

In France, 14th July is Bastille Day - a national celebration of the eighteenth century regicide that set the country on the path to republics various.

It is easy - sometimes too easy - for journalists and commentators to get into 'off with his head' mode. We would sometimes do well to remember Robespierre's fate - his zeal scared his co-conspirators, and he ended up facing the guillotine engine.

It's worth trying to find the fine line that can separate ardour from zeal.

Editor's blog 9 July 2008: The human face of the co-payments policy debate

Publish Date/Time: 
07/09/2008 - 09:30

You may already have seen the moving story of NHS surgeon Gordon Matthews and his wife Sue on the BBC News website. The right to top up treatment is a genuinely hard subject, even before you start giving it a human face. When policy meets reality and personalities, the clash can be deafening.

When you know you are facing death, the feeling must be desperate.

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