The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership

Dalton reveals vision for NHS Improvement

NHS Improvement is to scrap its regulation department – with its responsibilities largely devolved to seven new regional directors.

In his first major interview since taking over at NHSI, Ian Dalton said new regional directorates – which will be jointly operated by NHSI and NHS England – will become the “most significant regional entities we’ve had for a number of years”.

He said the changes are being made as part of a radical rebuilding of his organisation, which will be more focussed on supporting and improving trusts, alongside its formal regulatory functions.

To reflect this new focus, he said there needs to be a “mindset change” within the organisation and NHSI is “not going to have a regulation department in future”.

He also warned trusts they would need to make significant savings again in 2018-19, above the 4.3 per cent many providers missed in 2017-18.

Mr Dalton also recognised a crisis of leadership at senior board levels and said the NHS had to stop treating senior directors like football managers.

Playing ‘devil’s advocate’

In a strange turn of events a national director resigned after it was discovered he had been positing comments online using an anonymous pseudonym.

Dr Arvind Madan, national director for primary care at NHS England, was caught out posting controversial comments in Pulse magazine under the name “devil’s advocate.”

The saga kicked off last week after the director suffered criticism for comments in the GP magazine which suggested small practices should be closed down.

It was then revealed by The Sun that he made these comments under his alter ego, which he had been using since 2015.

In a statement on Sunday, Dr Madan said: “I wish to make it categorically clear that these comments are not a reflection of NHS England policy, and it is now clear to me that trying to move the debate on in this way is not compatible with my role as director of primary care.”