The must read stories and most important developments on Wednesday
- Today’s odd governance arrangement: Royal Free chief appointed accountable officer but not CEO at neighbouring trust
- Today’s long-awaited retreat: Care.data “closed”
- Today’s major policy review: Caldicott 3
The much criticised Care.data programme is to be “closed”, ministers have revealed.
The announcement was made in a statement quietly published around an hour after the findings of the Chilcot report into the Iraq war were made public.
It came as Dame Fiona Caldicott’s review of data security recommended that ministers should “consider” the programme’s future.
Life sciences minister George Freeman said the commitment to realising the benefits of sharing information to improve care would remain.
How this will be achieved will be taken on by the National Information Board. The board will be faced with the task of working with primary care on a new way of doing the same thing as Care.data set out to do, only this time without losing the confidence of primary care or arousing widespread suspicion and disquiet among the public.
The Caldicott report, which Dame Fiona said was “about trust”, set out proposals for the development of a new model to allow patients to opt out of their data being shared for purposes other than direct patient care.
NHS England to appoint chief information officer
As part of a wider high-level effort to push the technology and data agenda, NHS England is planning to recruit a chief clinical information officer, HSJ has revealed.
Searches are already under way for a chief technology and information officer and a director of digital experience.
HSJ understands the central body wants to recruit to the national CCIO role as soon as possible, although the exact job description has not been made clear yet.
The search is being overseen by Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s new national director for commissioning operations and information, who has board level responsibility for technology policy.
It comes after NHS England’s digital advisor Robert Wachter called for a significant rethink of the CCIO role in the NHS.
Hunt to impose junior doctor contract
In an unsurprising move Jeremy Hunt has announced he is going to plough ahead and impose the new proposed contract on junior doctors.
The health secretary told Parliament the decision of 58 per cent of junior doctors to reject the proposed contract – which had been agreed with their own union the British Medical Association – had left the NHS in a potentially damaging “no man’s land”.
In order to break the impasse Mr Hunt said he was going to phase the new contract in, beginning in October and gradually moving more doctors on to it as their current contracts expire.
He said following the resignation of the BMA junior doctor committee chair Johann Malawana that he did not believe anyone at the union would be able to persuade enough members to support a new negotiated settlement with the government.
But Mr Hunt did say he would work with Dr Malawana’s replacement, Ellen McCourt.
At the time of writing it is not clear how Dr McCourt or the BMA plan to respond to the imposition announcement, or whether it could lead to more industrial action by junior doctors.