The must read stories and most important developments on Monday
- Today’s major intervention by Stevens: Government must deliver on Brexit funding promises
- Today’s must read: This seismic shock to British public life will have three major implications for the NHS
- Today’s Brexit disaster: Fall in the pound could create extra £900m bill for NHS
What Brexit means for the NHS
HSJ editor Alastair McLellan has written a leader column outlining the implications of the Brexit vote on the NHS. There are three broad categories: economic, political and workforce.
On workforce, “there is no doubt the NHS has become a less welcoming and attractive place to work for overseas staff.”
The biggest battle the NHS will have to face during Brexit is to secure employment protection for EU staff. However, “this will be overseen by the newly slimmed down Department of Health, whose new structure is clearly designed to deal with realities of NHS financial and clinical performance and not the intricacies of picking apart EU regulations affecting the service”.
Alastair points out that a snap general election, if called later this year, would come just as the NHS attempts to implement both a set of measures to regain control of the finances, and to begin to reorganise services according to the sustainability and transformation planning process.
On the politics: “Many who voted to leave the European Union did so in the belief it would benefit the NHS by reducing demand and increasing funding,” he writes. “The public now expect the NHS to receive a meaningful financial injection.”
So, it seems, does Simon Stevens.
Stevens asks next PM for more money
The pledge by the Leave side to give the NHS an additional £350m a week dominated much of the referendum campaign.
It was dismissed by the Remain side, most economic forecasters, and Mr Stevens himself, who argued that any extra cash from terminating Britain’s EU membership would be far outweighed by the economic shock of exit and fall in tax revenues.
However it seems Mr Stevens will hold the politicians’ feet to the fire for the extra money.
“Both Leave and Remain campaigned for a strong - and indeed a better funded - NHS. So the public, regardless of how they voted, will rightly want our new political leaders to deliver on that promise,” he said.
Mr Stevens added his voice to Sir Bruce Keogh and Jeremy Hunt’s in celebrating the contribution that workers from abroad have made to the NHS.
He said it was a “statement of the obvious” that the NHS would “continue to need and benefit from their service in the years ahead”.
All in all, the message from Mr Stevens to the service is to keep calm and carry on. Instead of being caught up in the “Westminster swirl”, he promised NHS England would be “a steady hand on the tiller, providing operationally independent leadership for the NHS on behalf of patients and the public”.
After months of controversy and embarrassing revelations Dame Julie Mellor has today resigned as the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman.
News of her resignation leaked today and comes after the involvement of her former deputy in a sexual harassment cover-up at an NHS trust – exposed by HSJ in February.
Dame Julie Mellor’s departure comes four months after we revealed she had been made aware of the role played by her deputy, Mick Martin, in covering up a harassment case while he was acting chair at Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.
An investigation has been carried out by Sir Alex Allan, former chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, into what Dame Julie knew about Mr Martin’s role and her failure to act.
The final report is due to be published soon.
HSJ has previously reported that Dame Julie was sent a copy of the ruling of an employment tribunal in July last year, including concerns about Mr Martin’s behaviour. Dame Julie replied only to say that she “noted” the concerns. Mr Martin continued to work as PHSO managing director and deputy ombudsman until after HSJ revealed his involvement in the case earlier this year.
In recent months whistleblowers have spoken out about the “toxic environment” at the PHSO under Dame Julie and Mr Martin, as well as other revelations about how the watchdog has operated under her leadership.
In her resignation letter to Bernard Jenkin MP, the chair of the Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee, Dame Julie urged him and the government to consider a joint appointment across both the PHSO and the local government ombudsman.