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

Notable names

Congratulations are in order for the 1,073 awarded in the Queen’s birthday honours this weekend. Names HSJ readers might recognise among them include: 

  • Stephen Eames, the chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust and Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust has got a CBE. He has also recently been appointed part-time chair at the struggling Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership. Professor Eames joined North Cumbria in 2016 and successfully led it out of special measures. He was then appointed chief executive of Cumbria Partnership in 2017, before the area was named in NHS England’s second wave of “integrated care systems” in 2018;
  • An OBE for the chief executive of North Middlesex University Hospital Trust Maria Kane, who joined North Middlesex in 2017. She previously led Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust. North Middlesex had been slated to join the Royal Free London group but decided against this in October 2018;
  • Chief executive of Devon Partnership Trust Melanie Walker awarded an MBE for mental health and learning disabilities in the NHS. Ms Walker is a nurse by background;
  • Chief executive of Salisbury FT Cara Charles-Barks awarded an MBE. She is also a nurse by background and has held various management roles in both the NHS and in Australia; 
  • Clinical accountable officer at Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group Helen Hibbs awarded an MBE for services to NHS leadership;
  • Chief executive at Dorset County Hospital FT Patricia Miller awarded an OBE;
  • Chief nurse and executive director at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital FT Philippa Nighttingale awarded an MBE for services to midwifery;
  • Chair of The Christie FT Christine Outram awarded an MBE;
  • Deputy national medical director for primary care at NHS England Rajesh Patel awarded an MBE;
  • Policy lead on workforce race equality standard at NHS England Syed Naqvi awarded an MBE for equality and diversity in the NHS;
  • Former chair of Western Sussex Hospitals FT and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust Michael Viggers awarded an MBE;
  • GP and former chair and current clinical director of the National Association of Primary Care, Nav Chana, awarded an MBE.
  • Former director of nursing, professional leadership at NHS Improvement Jacqueline McKenna awarded an OBE;
  • Former chief nurse at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust Elaine Newell awarded an OBE for services to midwifery; and
  • Former chief executive at Greater Manchester Mental Health FT Beverley Humphrey awarded an OBE.

No ifs, no buts, no public health cuts

NHS England has accepted the government’s announcement that public health should stay with local government, describing it as a “potentially workable solution”. But it added that “the quid pro quo will obviously need to be an end to cuts in local authority public health services and a guaranteed continuation of the ring-fence around the public health grant”.

These observations followed the health and social care secretary telling the Local Government Association that a review by his department had concluded local government should keep hold of its public health services.

Matt Hancock ended months of speculation when he said health visitors and school nursing services would still be commissioned by LAs, with sexual health services co-commissioned by NHSE and local government.

The long-term plan raised the possibility of the NHS taking over these services, much to the dissatisfaction of those in local government public health. The decision from DHSC was widely welcomed by that sector.

We are now in the final year of a four-year funding deal between local government and Whitehall. All eyes now turn to the spending review for departmental allocations, although it is not clear if we will see it within the year.

It is also unclear whether public health will get a reprieve from further cuts. What then happens to public health services if the Treasury does not accede to NHSE’s wishes? We must wait and see.