The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.
- Today’s heads up about an HSJ webinar: Sir David Dalton to give thoughts on staff wellbeing
- Today’s thumbs down for primary care: Dwindling satisfaction with GP access
While the “Eat Out to Help Out” policy caught the most attention in Rishi Sunak’s mini summer budget, his announcement was also quietly accompanied by the receipt for NHS spending on covid-19.
Documents show the Treasury has given more than £30bn to fight covid, including £10bn on “Test, Trace, Contain and Enable” and £5.5bn on schemes including the independent sector booking contract.
Additional details revealed the cost of a recent commitment by the PM on replacing mental health dormitories, with £250m set aside to make changes across 25 mental health providers.
For such a major announcement, there was however no mention of future spending plans to tackle winter or a potential second wave of covid cases, undoubtedly to the chagrin of NHS bosses arguing for a £10bn cash injection.
It therefore seems a further test of the government’s commitment to give the NHS “whatever it needs” to tackle covid-19 may lie dormant until a dual budget and spending review in the autumn. One can only wonder whether £10 off Nando’s will soften the journey.
The government has failed to say when it will respond in full to a report pointing at “institutional” failings in patient safety in the health service.
Health minister Nadine Dorries has apologised to the hundreds of women who suffered “avoidable harm” from surgical mesh implants, pregnancy tests and an anti-epileptic drug.
But when asked by Jeremy Hunt whether the government would commit to responding in full by the end of September, no commitment was given.
It comes after Baroness Julia Cumberlege, who led the review, warned the government would not be forgiven if it ignored its findings.
The damning report, which criticised a “culture of denial” and stigmatisation of women by clinicians, was published yesterday – the same day the chancellor made a major budget statement.