The must read stories and biggest talking points from Thursday

Summer warning

NHS leaders today warned that the health service was near breaking point following publication of official figures showing stuttering progress against key performance targets during spring and early summer.

None of the NHS Confederation (the system is “unsustainable”), NHS Providers (the system was at “full stretch”), or the Royal College of Surgeons (figures must be a “wake up call”) could be accused of pulling their punches as they raised concerns.

The problem is, of course, that politicians have heard these warnings over the summer for years. And then every winter the system scrapes through. Then Whitehall mandarins and ministers mutter about “the boy who cried wolf”. It’s a well trodden path.

But the figures are particularly chilling this time:

Ministers cannot say they haven’t been warned. Again.

Dudley leads the way

Dudley CCG has chosen to take forward a bid for its £5bn multispecialty community provider contract from a consortium formed of GPs in the area with four NHS trusts.

It is expected to become the first, or one of the first, instances of a contract for a comprehensive MCP.

The trusts are: Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust; The Dudley Group Foundation Trust; Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust; and The Black Country Partnership FT.

According to the commissioner, the GP collaborative which has signed up to the consortium covers 41 GP practices, over a population of 289,272.

Dudley CCG has said it will enter the competitive dialogue process for the 15 year contact in early September and hopes to have the contract in place by spring 2018 – which would make it the first MCP to go live.