Simon Jenkins in the Guardianwrites about the influence of the tabloids on UK politics. I'm not sure if "those who live by the tabloids, die by them". An offshoot blog monitoring what The Sun says has been created.
The government has made it clear in its response to the Future Forum that what they call "extending patients' choice of 'Any Qualified Provider'" will start in April 2012, even though it is in a "much more phased way" by limiting it to services where there is a tariff and not seeking blanket coverage. This is the main reform of the NHS and it is staying.
The recent amendments, although welcome and an improvement, are largely about rhetoric or would have probably happened anyway. For example, GP consortia couldn't have functioned without involving other clinicians. The emphasis on competition was potentially misleading, but essentially by opening up provision to any qualified provider that's what will be introduced (see previous post).
The earliest possible date for a national mental health tariff is 2013/14. It'll be interesting to see whether local tariffs can be set for April 2012. Anglia Mental Health Community Interest Company may need to wait before it can start operating.
Helpful BMJ editorial on clinical leadership in the NHS. As I've pointed out before in this blog (eg. see past entry), there has been a problem in the NHS with professionals feeling "that they have to carry out instructions in which they have little personal investment and hence ownership".
What's interesting is how this gets tied up with the latest NHS reforms, which seem to be designed to encourage more of a professionally based system. Perhaps it's just a way of getting professionals to go along with them.
We're still waiting for the outcome of the government's "listening pause", although David Cameron has given a speech ahead of the Future Forum report next week (see Guardian article). Ensuring Monitor is motivated by the interests of patients, introducing clinically-led commissioning rather than GP-led commissioning and only authorising commissioning groups when they are ready are not major changes to the thrust of the reforms. What we need more information about are the plans for the introduction of any qualified provider and how payment by results will work.