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

Coronavirus update

Never has the world of NHS procurement been in such a spotlight as during this pandemic.

But while national scrutiny of the health service’s supply chain intensifies amid dire reports of personal protective equipment shortages, individual regions are fighting back with great enterprise.

In Manchester, procurement chiefs are tying up a deal with a local firm to establish a factory that is expected to produce one million masks every week.

And, over in the north east, two NHS trusts have teamed up with local organisations to create a PPE manufacturing facility.

Daily Insight suggests such pop up factories should become a regular feature of contingency plans for future pandemics or other major emergencies.

Meanwhile, hospital leaders who are keen to get back to planned operations may have their wishes answered soon.

NHS England has said it will publish guidance on redeploying treatment capacity next week after the peak of covid-19 admissions has passed.

The move comes after the number of people in hospitals with covid-19 has fallen by 10 per cent over the last week, according to government figures released on Thursday.

And in other news, NHS Digital announced on Friday that all GPs will be able to access records of patients registered at other practices following a radical move to drop the usual restrictions on information sharing.

Changes have been made to the information sharing system GP Connect, so records can now be shared across primary care during the coronavirus outbreak.

Work on enabling the sharing of GP records nationally was already going on before the pandemic hit the UK, but the programme has essentially been fast-tracked to support the response to covid-19.