The must read stories and debate in health and care

Calling time on PM pay hurdle

Nine out of 10 requests by trusts to pay managers more than the prime minister’s salary were approved last financial year.

The unpopular benchmark was introduced in June 2015, when Jeremy Hunt set out new rules about the appointment of senior staff being paid more than £142,500, saying such appointments must be approved by the Treasury.

Documents released by NHS Improvement’s provider leadership committee under the Freedom of Information Act show that of 59 requests to pay a manager more than £142,500 in 2016-17, only five were rejected. HSJ obtained the last three quarterly reports of the committee.

Managers in Partnership, the union representing NHS managers, said the latest figures were an indication that it was time to retire the policy. MiP chief executive Jon Restell told us: “The figures for salaries above £142,500 strongly suggest that the use of the prime minister’s salary as a benchmark has run its course. The burning priority must be recruiting and retaining board level people, especially in the most challenged providers.”

Election 2017: May backtracks on social care plan

The prime minister has promised a future Conservative government would introduce a cap on care costs, following widespread criticism at the weekend of her proposals for the funding of social care announced in last week’s manifesto.

Theresa May said the cap will be included in the forthcoming green paper on the future of social care expected in the autumn. However, she declined to say how much it would be worth.

Under plans unveiled in the manifesto, people will be asked to pay for their own care until they have £100,000 left in assets, including property. The costs will be recouped following a person’s death.

The policy was quickly dubbed a “dementia tax” by critics due to the likelihood that those who have the condition stand to lose the most in value of their assets due to the high costs and long term nature of care required.

Following the publication of the manifesto, Ms May’s poll lead over Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn almost halved to nine points, according to a YouGov survey for The Sunday Times.

Hospital group launches mortality review

Three Essex acute trusts establishing a new “group” model to run their hospitals have launched a mortality review in a bid to address “higher than expected” ratios and “sustained” rises across its sites.

The joint working board for the group, which comprises South Essex success regime trusts Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals, Southend University Hospitals foundation trusts and Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust, discussed the review this month.