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A moving of the goalposts by NHS England has led to trusts and commissioners losing millions of pounds of funding meant to boost the recovery of planned care.

Multiple local organisations have confirmed they are either getting no money or substantially less than expected from NHS England’s elective recovery fund between July and September.

NHSE originally told trusts they would have to raise their elective activity levels to 85 per cent of 2019-20 levels in July to access any funding. But this was later changed to 95 per cent.

The move – which integrated care system leaders previously told HSJ was “not just [moving] the goalposts” but “[taking] the entire pitch” – has led some organisations to complain they have been left out of pocket.

They include South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS, whose system lead Sir Andrew Cash said last month the change in funding thresholds will impact his ICS’ planned income by around £22m.

NHS England did not answer HSJ’s questions over whether the thresholds would be reviewed, or any exceptions have been made for under-pressure trusts. But in the coming days it is expected to confirm the financial regime for October onwards.

‘Leader, manager, colleague, friend’

The chief executive of an “outstanding” mental health trust has announced he has taken the difficult decision to move away from “the best job I’ve ever done in 37 years of public service”.

After seven years in the role, John Lawlor will depart Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust at the end of January.

After joining the then Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Trust in June 2014, Mr Lawlor oversaw the transfer of mental health services in North Cumbria into the enlarged trust, and has seen the trust awarded “outstanding ratings” by the Care Quality Commission in 2016 and 2018.

Mr Lawlor said in a message to governors: “I turned 60 earlier this month and I feel the time is right after seven years leading such a wonderful organisation. It has been a difficult decision for me personally because, as I often say to people, being chief executive of CNTW has been the best job I’ve ever done in over 37 years of public service.”

Ken Jarrold, chair of the trust’s council of governors and board of directors, said: “John has inspired service users, carers, colleagues, and partners by his openness about his own mental health issues, his humanity, commitment, and dignity at times of trouble.

“[He] will be remembered and missed as a leader, manager, colleague and friend.”