The must read stories in health and care from Tuesday

Hunt’s delayed discharges drive met with cool response

New government measures to speed up delayed discharges, including cutting funding for councils failing to hit new targets, have been met with scepticism from NHS leaders and their local government counterparts.

It was encouraging that ministers were attempting to address the issue, NHS Providers said, but Chris Hopson said its warning still stood that unless around £350m was put into providers now, the system will fall over this winter.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services was even less impressed. President Margaret Willcox said ADASS was “very disappointed by the last minute unilateral changes to guidance that have taken place in the last few days”.

Ms Wilcox did not elaborate on which changes had irked ADASS, but did say “the consequence is to undermine the collective effort required”.

The sense that relationships are already strained does not bode well for the prospects of addressing a problem that can only be solved through significant amounts of collaboration across the great NHS/social care divide.

As per usual, the success or failure of a national target will rest very heavily on decisive action, initiative, and goodwill from those at a local level, both managers and on the frontline. A busy summer lies ahead.

Three trusts fail cladding tests

Three trusts have failed fire safety tests ordered in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

NHS Improvement said three trusts have seen part of their cladding fail combustibility tests: King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust and North Middlesex University Hospital Trust in London; and Sheffield Children’s FT.

King’s and Sheffield have already removed the cladding.

Results on cladding from another five are outstanding; while 30 either have none of the potentially dangerous cladding, or have now had a fire safety inspection and are deemed to require “no further action at this stage”.

MP unimpressed with Prop Co’s new digs

HSJ’s eye-popping revelation that NHS Property Services has signed a five year deal worth over £1m to move to “prestigious” new City of London headquarters featured in Commons health questions on Tuesday.

Karin Smyth – a former NHS manager, no less – asked the health secretary: “NHS Property Services have just signed a £1m lease on a central London location. Can I suggest other properties are available? Would he like me to enquire in my own constituency in Knowle West where NHS Property Services increased rental for the local health park threefold. Better value to the taxpayers is available.”

Jeremy Hunt responded that if Ms Smyth sent him the details, he’d look into it.

It’s curious the story hasn’t come to Mr Hunt’s attention yet – he must be getting behind on his reading.

Ms Smyth is a determined MP with NHS expertise, and a member of the Commons public accounts committee in the last parliament, so the SoS might do well to catch up.

Presumably the details are now finding their way to the fourth floor of Richmond House. If not, here they are: according to the brochure for the building, it has five landscaped terraces as well as a health club. It says: “Suttonca, the building architects have created unique, best in class end of trip facilities. Taking inspiration from the Haçienda nightclub and music venue in Manchester, the shower area features a humorous nod towards this iconic venue.”