HSJ’s round up of Tuesday’s must read stories

A new Kirkup inquiry

After three years of delays, wrangling and “regulatory gaps”, the family of Elizabeth Dixon, who died in 2001, have finally moved a step closer to justice for their daughter.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has appointed Dr Bill Kirkup, chair of the Morecambe Bay inquiry, to lead the investigation, which has been stalled after NHS England pulled the plug on a joint inquiry with the Care Quality Commission in 2014.

The CQC were unable to look into the case and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman also ducked the case leaving the family without any organisation willing to step up.

A thematic review by the CQC last year identified significant risks to babies and children like Elizabeth who was left permanently brain damaged after staff failed to monitor or treat her high blood pressure. Poor community services then led to her suffocating to death a year when her tracheostomy tube was not kept clear by a nurse.

There are worrying aspects of Elizabeth’s death which have yet to fully emerge. Dr Kirkup’s appointment is a good one and it is hoped he can now provide Elizabeth’s parents with some justice as well as identify lessons for the wider health service.

Logo logic

NHS managers have become used to receiving messages from the centre about how next to reduce the operational and financial pressure on the service – but perhaps nothing as odd as being told to change their logos on signs and websites.

A number of provider and commissioner oragnisations have been asked to amend their logos on official communications, signs and online.

The emails for NHS England’s NHS identity team said: “Patients and the public are seeing the NHS identity in a range of diverse and inconsistent styles. This is creating confusion and concern.”

A spokesman told HSJ this could “lead to more people inappropriately defaulting to A&E”.

The main change seems to be moving the rectangle that says “NHS” above the name of the organisation.

While some HSJ readers were sympathetic to NHS England – saying that trusts and CCGs should have followed guidelines in the first place – more commenters were unimpressed with this use of time and money, even at £23 per organisation.

One said it was “ridiculous… when we all have better things to worry about”, while another was worried that the NHS is “really not grasping the nettle of wastage”.

One reader even doubted the veracity of our story: “HSJ, you’ve jumped the gun here. It’s still a month to go until April fool’s day.”