The must read stories and talking points in health from Tuesday

Action on pay

Tuesday was a busy day for Jim Mackey.

In the morning, he appeared at the House of Lords committee on the long term sustainability of the NHS, alongside chief inspector of hopsitals Sir Mike Richards.

Then at the end of the day a letter by Mr Mackey was sent to trust chief executives, finance directors and HR directors, telling them he is prepared to take more action against unacceptably high pay rates for interim managers.

He wrote: “Interim pay is already governed by many rules and we will do our best to avoid increasing the regulatory burden. However, I am prepared to take more action if and when required.”

The letter does not say what action NHS Improvement could take, but Mr Mackey said it will be “more challenging” over approving senior interims hired on day rates for long periods.

On top of that, HSJ’s exclusive interview with the NHS Improvement chief was published that morning. He said:

Fraudster convicted again

A convicted fraudster who was jailed for more than two years after pretending to be a doctor for nine years at a PCT has pleaded guilty after being caught trying to commit a similar crime again.

Conrad de Souza pleaded guilty on Monday to six out of nine counts of fraud at Croydon Crown Court. The three other counts will lie on file.

He was caught by the same NHS Protect investigators who brought him to justice in 2011. That year he was jailed for 27 months after lying that he was a qualified doctor to Lewisham PCT, where he earned £329,000 working in clinical strategy between 2001 and 2010.

Mr de Souza, aged 57, of Brompton Park Crescent, Fulham, London, is due to be sentenced for his latest offences on 12 January.

Richard Rippin, head of operations for NHS Protect, said: “Had he succeeded in his latest, deceitful job hunt, Mr de Souza would have regained considerable power, responsibility and financial reward – a frightening prospect.”