HSJ’s round-up of Monday’s must read stories

Workforce plan’s big “if”

You’re probably aware that the NHS doesn’t have enough nurses. Not enough by an order of tens of thousands.

In recent years while the health service has scoured the globe looking for nurses to fill gaps, Health Education England has been confidently saying it has increased the number of nurses being trained and it believed it would close the demand supply gap for nurses by 2019-20.

There is a big “if” to this plan, revealed by HSJ on Monday, which is that it depends entirely on the plans for reducing hopsital activity spelled out in the Five Year Forward View.

According to data from HEE, NHS acute trusts are continuing to forecast a demand for adult nurses that exceeds what HEE would expect if trusts shifted activity out of the acute sector as planned by the NHS England plan.

Now HEE has been explicit – unless trusts get on board with the 5YFV, it will not be able to close the gap between supply and demand – meaning the national shortage of nurses affecting every hospital in the NHS will continue into 2020 and beyond.

If trusts are correct in their forecasts, which HEE should seek to meet, then it also spells out some potentially dire consequences for the grand plan on which so much rests.

The Mann for the job

NHS England has appointed Clifford Mann, outgoing president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, as clinical lead for its accident and emergency improvement plan.

Dr Mann will work with Pauline Philip, national urgent and emergency care director, and director for acute care Keith Willet on the joint NHS England and NHS Improvement programme to redesign urgent care services and improve A&E performance.

The national body has also named named the doctors who will be chairing its slimmed down clinical reference groups.

Mackem management team up

Much like in local authorities, shared executive teams are becoming more common in the NHS, HSJ’s editor observed on Monday.

The bosses at South Tyneside and City Hospitals Sunderland FTs are the latest with a plan to create a single leadership team, which will be accountable for running all hospital and community services across both their patches, serving 430,000 people. The trusts stressed the changes will not trigger a merger.