HSJ’s round up of Tuesday’s must read stories

Peter Homa steps down

As the NHS faces some of the toughest years in its history yet, another giant of the service has announced their departure.

Peter Homa, chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, has revealed he will retire in the summer – a real blow to NHS leadership.

What is striking is how quickly staff came forward to praise Mr Homa, whose first job in the NHS was as a hospital porter. They highlighted his patient focused approach and how he had led innovation at NUH while maintaining quality.

The trust’s medical director and deputy chief executive, Stephen Fowlie, will also be retiring in May after 20 years’ service as a consultant at the trust’s City Hospital.

The departures come as NUH faces significant challenges.

Nottingham commissioners have announced plans to decommission more than a dozen services at the trust as well as redesign 17 others in the next six months. The region’s STP plan also outlines proposals to remove more than 200 acute beds from the trust to shift activity to the community.

Last year the trust was involved in a failed merger with Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, which cost £10m. The trust has also been struggling with A&E performance and capacity pressures, declaring a black alert yesterday and for two days last week.

Police investigation launched

Police are investigating whether saline bags at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust have been tampered with.

The trust said it alerted police after a member of staff discovered “a small number of saline bags” at Cumberland Infirmary on 4 January, which appeared to have been tampered with.

Senior clinicians were alerted immediately and the trust said it followed its serious incident procedures.

It did not specify how the saline bags may have been tampered with but in a statement said it did not believe any patients had been adversely affected.

Security measures at the trust have been increased and the trust is reviewing the medicines in use across the trust.