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

Trusts have been ditching a renewable energy scheme as costs continue to soar.

The NHS said it would buy 100 per cent renewable energy from 2021 as part of its pledge to reach net zero. But HSJ understands only around half of the largest 20 trusts are doing this.

It comes down to costs, and whether trusts think this money is better invested elsewhere.

Renewable energy is “guaranteed” by certificates issued alongside energy (although this system has come under scrutiny for how well it works) and the cost of energy backed by these certificates has been soaring. One trust told HSJ it had risen by 1,500 per cent.

The NHS appears to be letting trusts off the hook for not buying 100 per cent renewable electricity – which is a requirement of the current standard contract – with a spokesperson saying they understand it may not be viable in the current climate.

The proposed new standard contract echoes this: where it says trusts need to ensure all purchased electricity is renewable, it suggests adding “as far as reasonably feasible”. 

Calling it a day

The chief executive of a trust which was recently criticised by NHS England over “disruption” to attempts to merge leadership with another provider has resigned.

North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust’s Julie Gillon has announced she will step down from the role in September.

Her resignation follows an NHSE report which ordered North Tees to work “at pace” to put leadership merger plans with neighbour South Tees Hospitals FT back on track. The report also said unnamed members of the North Tees trust board deliberately “disrupted” the merger plans.

North Tees and Hartlepool FT said Ms Gillon’s resignation was not related to the NHSE report.

The trust also could not confirm it will be advertising for a substantive CEO dedicated to North Tees and Hartlepool FT, but it did say Ms Gillon would work with the trust’s “joint partnership board” with South Tees to “ensure a clear alternative leadership model”.

Ms Gillon said in a statement: “I am proud to have dedicated to the trust, and indeed the wider system to ensure the progress to date for the Tees Valley has been aspirant, innovative and thought leading against a backdrop of health inequalities [and] other pressures, notably covid.”

Also on today

University Hospitals of Leicester Trust has lost a judicial review, under which it asked Harborough District Council for a section 106 contribution of almost £1m to offset the demand a new housing scheme was expected to create. Meanwhile, this week’s London Eye takes a closer look at the aftermath of Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT’s IT outage last summer.