Your essential round-up of the day’s biggest health stories and debate

David vs Goliath

A CCG in London has recently learnt what happens when you pick a fight with the biggest kid on the block – it is unlikely that you’ll get your way.

City and Hackney CCG, a relatively well-performing group in commissioning land, has picked a fight with its STP over plans to appoint a single accountable officer for north east London.

Having initially declined to approve the STP’s plans, the CCG has been threatened with legal directions from NHS England.

According to two sources, NHS England told the CCG that if it doesn’t toe the line and support the STP it runs the risk of being placed in legal directions. One of those sources accused the national body of being “heavy handed” about the issue.

If legal directions were issued, NHS England would arguably have the power to force the CCG leadership into submission.

It’s no surprise that HSJ has also been told that all CCGs in north east London are expected to approve the STP’s proposals this month, suggesting that the commissioners have decided their objections to the plans are not worth a battle with NHS England.

The Hackney health scrutiny committee is holding out, however, and at a recent meeting voted not to endorse the proposals.

How much of a difference its objections will make remains to be seen, but so far in the battle of local commissioners vs NHS England, the national body seems to be winning.

Don’t scrap the cap

In his latest leader column, HSJ editor Alastair McLellan argues that now is the wrong time to lift the NHS’s 1 per cent pay rise cap.

He says: ”A pay rise costing billions would create the impression in the public mind that public sector austerity had finished – without one extra nurse (or teacher) being hired or one more ward (or school) being opened – and without a finger having been lifted to ease the crisis in social care.”

The piece has unsurprisingly prompted plenty of discussion below the line on

Have your say here.