HSJ’s round-up of the day’s must read stories and talking points

Gang of five

Five NHS hospital chief executives now run more than one trust, with HSJ revealing today that Ipswich Hospital Trust’s Nick Hulme is taking the reins at troubled neighbour Colchester Hospital University Foundation Trust.

Ipswich chair David White will also have a role across the twotrusts, as chair of both, with their Colchester counterparts Frank Sims and Alan Rose stepping down.

The move follows Colchester being told last month by regulators that if it does not form a long term partnership with Ipswich it risks being put in the failure regime.

Partnering the two trusts “is the only way of securing services for patients long into the future” because of Colchester’s unsafe services, according to NHS Improvement and the Care Quality Commission.

Mr Hulme joins an elite band of NHS managers running more than one trust. The others are:

Where will be next?

Incidentally, five is also the number of chief executives Colchester has had since Gordon Coutts left in December 2013 in the wake a scandal surrounding the trust’s cancer services.

Mr Hulme has a challenging job ahead.

NHS Improvement reshuffle

NHS Improvement has begun consultation with its employees on a major restructure of the staff it inherited from Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority.

The proposed changes would see the number of full-time equivalent posts in NHS Improvement fall to 1,113, down from 1,244 last year.

However, staff have been told that NHSI has reduced recruitment and filled roles with temps in recent months, meaning the current permanent staff number is around 100 full-time equivalents fewer than under the proposed new structure. As a result, HSJ understands that the new regulator expects only a small number of redundancies.

In some teams, current staff numbers are the same or fewer than are proposed in the consultation. However, the new roles available may require different skills to the current posts. NHSI proposes to fill the new roles through “slotting in”, for example where there is only one contender, and “ringfenced” competition.

Meanwhile, the regional directorates are expected to work closely with their counterparts in NHS England to support the implementation of STPs.