HSJ’s essential summary of the day’s biggest health stories

Budget bingo

Chancellor Philip Hammond has warned there will be no “spending sprees” in Wednesday’s budget, but there are several areas in which the government may look to support the NHS.

In HSJ’s preview, senior correspondents Lawrence Dunhill and Shaun Lintern highlight what to look out for in terms of announcements in health and care.

It will be a surprise if there isn’t a funding announcement for social care, but also keep an eye out for proposals from Sir Robert Naylor’s estates review and developments regarding staff pay and pensions. But perhaps don’t expect any new capital for the NHS.

Follow HSJ Live on Wednesday for coverage of Mr Hammond’s announcements.

Southern Health prosecuted

The Care Quality Commission is to bring its first ever prosecution of an NHS trust over an “alleged failure to provide safe care”.

The regulator said on Monday it was prosecuting Southern Health Foundation Trust after a patient sustained serious injuries at a mental health unit run by the scandal-hit trust.

The prosecution is the first of an NHS trust by the CQC under the fundamental standards regulations. The standards, which came into effect in April 2015 following the Francis report into the scandal of poor care at the Mid Staffordshire FT, were designed to set minimum, criminal, thresholds for care.

The prosecution is in relation to an incident in December 2015 when a patient sustained serious injuries during a fall from a low roof at Melbury Lodge, Royal Hampshire County Hospital. The centre, run by Southern Health, is a specialised mother and baby facility for women suffering from severe mental illness.

The trust is also facing prosecution over “other patients being exposed to a significant risk of avoidable harm”.

DH to recruit 340 new staff

The Department of Health plans to recruit hundreds more civil servants in the next year while hundreds of others are made redundant.

Ministers have revised up the number of civil servants they expect the department to recruit during the next 12 months for the second time in as many months.

In January, the DH confirmed 538 civil servants were due to take voluntary redundancy in the coming months as part of the department’s plans to cut its running costs by 30 per cent by 2020.

It has now emerged that Richmond House is planning to recruit 340 new staff over the next 12 months – 140 more than announced earlier this year. Details emerged in a written answer by health minister David Mowat to Labour MP Justin Madders.