The must read stories and most important developments on Tuesday
- Today’s talking point: New Oxford Hospitals chief reveals delayed transfers turnaround
- Today’s risk: Exclusive: Brexit may hit NHS’s nurse ‘pipeline’, says regulator chief
- Today’s (first) resignation: Alistair Burt announces resignation
Resignation one – the junior doctors contract row
Public life has been a whirl of resignations and withdrawals ever since David Cameron decided to flee on 24 June.
Just as we thought things might be quietening down, on Tuesday another two big-name departures landed.
First, BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana resigned on the news that his members had voted down the contract deal he had negotiated with the government and put to a vote.
The government is expected to announce in coming days that it will press on with imposing this contract deal, which included the key concession by the BMA to some plain time working at the weekend.
Although his contract deal may, therefore, still have a big impact on doctors’ working lives, there was no option for Dr Malawana, having recommended this deal, to resign.
The big question now is what the BMA – once it has a new chair and likely other new JDC members – will do next. Will it go for more strike action, even with the government, despite its post-Brexit turmoil, presumably no less emboldened to continue its tough line?
Resignation two – a minister bows out
Alistair Burt, made community and social care minister after the 2015 general election, has announced he will step down in September following the appointment of a new prime minister.
He made the announcement at the end of an oral health questions session in the Commons – just as the BMA announced its rejection of the contract.
Mr Burt’s resignation, he said, was not related to any political machinations or policy concerns – he has just had enough of frontbench politics.
He held several ministerial posts under the 2010-15 coalition government, and in the Conservative government of the 1990s, and was well respected.
He was praised in the Commons as “witty and popular” by speaker John Bercow, while Labour MP Valerie Vaz said he had been a “fantastic minister”.
In other news today, we published one of the first interviews with Bruno Holthoff, the Belgian who in October came to England to become Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive.
He discussed how the hospital had apparently made substantial inroads into tackling its major delayed transfers of care problem, among other issues.
In less positive EU arrivals news, the Nursing and Midwifery Council chief executive has said there may be a slowing in the pipeline of nurses coming to the UK if it is required to apply international approval rules to those entering from the union.
Currently 10 times more nurses come from the EU than the rest of the world, she said, and the approval processes are generally much lighter for them.