From Covid deaths to Usain Bolt: statistics are never black and white

Who is the greatest 100 metre male runner of all time? The answer seems obvious, even if you lack sporting common knowledge, it is only a quick Google search away.  Usain Bolt’s time of 9.58 seconds is unchallenged. Both Tyson Gaye and Yohan Blake are quite away behind with records of 9.69. This year’s Olympic […]

Calorie counting gimmicks and sugar taxes won’t solve obesity crisis

In the early days of the pandemic obesity was identified as a key factor behind hospitalisation rates and deaths from Covid.  The Prime Minister knew this personally, from his own brush with mortality last April. This is on top of the already well-established links between obesity and other life-threatening conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, […]

Decentralising the NHS could be a game-changer for the UK’s future health

The NHS is a highly centralised organisation. During the Covid crisis, policy decisions have been made at the top and then passed down.  There has been little scope for showing initiative at a local level. This dates back to when the NHS was set up in the late 1940s. Central planning was very fashionable at the time. […]

Coronavirus: NHS staff are let down by bureaucracy

NHS Hospital Entrance

The praise for health workers dealing with Covid-19 is universal. From cleaners and porters to the most distinguished consultant, all have played their part. But they are working in an administrative system almost Kafka-esque in its lunacy. An early example was when NHS workers turned up to be tested at the huge PHE complex at […]

A tip for Dominic Cummings: Don’t hire anyone who fails to grasp the power of incentives

Trending Topcs

The job advert issued by Dominic Cummings for people to work in government has attracted a wide range of comments. One particular focus has been on the sorts of skills he is looking for. Computer science, forecasting, artificial intelligence, causality theory — all these topics excite his interest. Cummings advocates a small selection of scientific […]

The NHS will never have enough cash: the English religion needs reformation

We British like traditions. A well-established one which comes round every year is the “winter crisis” in the NHS. Health provision is a political hot potato not just for this government, or indeed for any particular UK government, but for governments across the developed world. One of the key assumptions made by economists about human […]

From the NHS to Brexit, give people a choice and they’ll make a good one

A current headache for the government is the performance of the NHS, and whether it is running out of money. This was making the front pages until the judges’ decision on Brexit pushed it off. Successive governments have discovered that the finances of the health service are a potentially bottomless pit. A key policy issue […]

Blame Jeremy Corbyn for the increasing number of public sector strikes

The total number of working days lost through labour disputes last year was, at just 170,000, the second lowest annual total since records began in 1891. What a difference a year can make. Southern Rail commuters have endured months of misery due to the prolonged series of strikes called by the RMT. Union members on […]