HSJ’s round-up of the must read stories following the chancellor’s autumn statement

Autumn non-statement

There was no mention of new NHS or social care funding in Philip Hammond’s first autumn statement (and last – it will be replaced with an “autumn budget” next year and a “spring statement” in 2018), as John Appleby, chief economist at the Nuffield Trust, helpfully illustrated in this infographic.

The chancellor did reiterate the statement that NHS spending is growing by £10bn in real terms by 2021, echoing prime minister Theresa May during PMQs earlier in the afternoon.

The much repeated claim has been criticised by the Commons health committee and health policy think tanks – and this week led to the UK Statistics Authority to ask officials to “ensure clarity” when reporting on increases to NHS spending.

During PMQs, Ms May repeatedly answered questions about the funding crisis in social care by stressing the government was putting more cash into social care through the better care fund, was giving councils more “opportunities” through the local government precept and helping to ensure health and social care work together to tackle the problem of delayed transfers of care.

The Treasury didn’t forget about people working in the NHS completely, however. From April “off-payroll” workers, such as interim managers, will be forced to pay the same level of tax as substantive employees.

The responsibility for managing the tax that off-payroll workers in the public sector pay will be handed to employers, documents published after the autumn statement said, adding: “This reform will help to tackle the high levels of non-compliance with the current rules and means that those working in a similar way to employees in the public sector will pay the same taxes as employees”.

Former director pleads guilty to corruption

A former hospital trust director has admitted corruptly awarding an IT contract while in the role.

Peter Lewis, former associate director of the Royal Surrey County Hospital Foundation Trust, on Monday pleaded guilty to a charge under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. He is due to be sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on 6 January 2017.

Mr Lewis admitted to receiving payments from Richard Moxon in 2011, in return for awarding him an IT contract worth £950,000 in its first year.

Mr Moxon, from Nantwich in Cheshire, had pleaded guilty to giving payments, an offence under the same act, in March this year.

The trust dismissed Mr Lewis, who joined it in December 2009, in January 2012, after conducting a disciplinary hearing and referred the case to the police. Surrey Police said the fraud came to light when the trust investigated Mr Lewis’ dealings with another contractor.