The essential stories and debate in health policy from Tuesday

Homa truths

Chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust Peter Homa has shared his reflections on NHS leadership after announcing his retirement from the trust after a decade in charge.

Mr Homa, who has worked in the NHS for 35 years, also revealed he would have stayed on at the trust for another two if the planned merger with Sherwood Forest Hospitals had gone through.

Speaking to HSJ, Mr Homa said he believed the nation’s share of GDP had to be increased back to the levels it was under the Blair government and to keep the country in line with other developed countries.

Among some of his most interesting insights, Mr Homa said the “notion of heroic leaders” was redundant, emphasising instead the job of a chief executive was to work with their staff and to “conduct an orchestra rather than being a soloist”.

He urged leaders in the NHS to be transparent about where things wrong, saying in such circumstances it was best to “manage today as a past condition of the future we want to create”.

Mr Homa, who helped establish the Commission for Health Improvement, said the Care Quality Commission had done well in transforming itself and was now an evidence based approach to inspections which he said provided valuable learning for trusts.

But he also warned more could be done to rationalise the amount of information that has to be supplied to regulatory bodies to help reduce transaction costs.

Cut to the core of new GP contract

GP practices that close during core hours will be cut off from receiving extra funding under new contract rules.

Under the 2017-18 contract, GPs have been told “practices which regularly close for mornings or afternoons on a week day will lose their eligibility for the current extended hours scheme”.

Details of the new contract, published by NHS England, also revealed that £157m “from a previous earmarked scheme” will be transferred in to core contract funding, to implement new care measures for frail and elderly patients.

NHS England added that the new contract will be “strengthening requirements” for GP practices to help determine overseas patients’ eligibility for NHS care.