health funding

UK Parties, Politics and Healthcare

I ask you - if you were to design a new national health service from scratch, would you really design it with nobody to think ahead and make decisions on resources?
So why are the main political parties in UK engaging in their favourite sport of manager bashing?

A simpler tax and benefits system

The current benefits system is labyrinthine, and needs to be simplified[1]. But then, so is the tax system. Did I read somewhere that this year’s tax guide is twice as long as last year’s? In trying to make it fairer, we just make it more complicated. Whitehall mandarins create sustainable jobs (for themselves) but not a lot more.
The issues:

Local taxation with local representation

Sir Michael Bichard is a man to listen to – his proposals are practical and usually sufficiently well supported that they make it into policy. I was listening to him on Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning (Friday 18 Sept 2009) discussing Local Government with Tony Travers of LSE. The gist of the conversation seemed to be that local government has delivered significant innovation, whereas Whitehall had offered no improvement. But local government couldn’t go any further because they are micro-managed – their income is set by Whitehall, and services are also set by Whitehall.

A revised Inverse Care Law

Tudor Hart's Inverse Care Law was formulated in 1971, and probably is due for an overhall. Instead of "good medical care varies inversely with the need in the population served", I'd like to propose
"Those who need most, ask least"

More for Less - NHS Growth Money is coming to an end

"All bets are off" as David Nicholson tells NHS to prepare for cuts (HSJ 4June - updated Pulse 27Nov09). Massive investment over the last 8 years hasn't improved productivity (HSJ 28May). PCTs aren't making use of the wealth of experience and enthusiasm available through Practice Based Commissioning (PBC) (Primary Care Today May/June 09). The same old ideas are put forward as the solutions to all our problems - more care out of hospital, more innovation, more work led by nurses, more Health centres, more salaried GPs. Why haven't these 'obvious' solutions delivered?

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