The must read stories to end the week

Every CQC trust rating plotted

The Care Quality Commission is within touching distance of completing its inspection process for every non-specialist acute trust in the country – concluding an exercise that began in September 2013. While all hospital trusts have now been inspected, around 20 are still waiting for their report and ratings to be published.

To mark the occasion, HSJ has mapped and analysed every inspection rating the CQC has handed out to NHS trusts across the country so far. Our analysis gives the most comprehensive view of care quality across the country to date.

Some of the most notable observations are that more than half of trusts have been rated requires improvement, while no trust has been rated outstanding for safety or inadequate for caring.

Confed: Practise what you preach

Practising what you preach in NHS policy terms, as it is in life, is rarely easy. And the debate surrounding the sustainability and transformation plans is a case in point.

Local NHS bodies are being instructed by national leaders to work with unprecedented cohesion to develop area-wide plans of a completely different ilk to the organisationally focused plans of old.

But, as the NHS Confederation’s leadership duo articulated during an HSJ interview this week, the system’s overlords appear to be reaching for the same “old money” levers to manage the process: namely control totals and the allocation of (transformation) funding, based on prescriptive processes (the STP).

NHS Confederation chair Stephen Dorrell and interim chief executive Stephen Dalton’s message to NHS England and the regulators was simple: if you want local bodies to change their behaviours, then you must too.

Mr Dorrell also became the second former Conservative health secretary in recent weeks to suggest the health and social care system is unsustainable under its existing funding settlement.

He said there was “an urgency over both the quantum and the structure” of funding for health and care services, which would be debated over the “coming months”.

His comments followed Lord Lansley’s similar intervention last month.