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

The ‘trusts with no future’ list

A lot has happened since January 2015.

There’s been a general election, unprecedented strikes in the NHS, a referendum, the fall of a prime minister and the appointment of a new one.

One thing there conspicuously hasn’t been is the publication of a list of unsustainable NHS providers drawn up by the NHS Trust Development Authority, which the body pledged to make public in the summer of 2015.

Until now.

On Friday HSJ finally published the list of trusts that we first asked the TDA for in January last year, but which the defunct organisation had staunchly refused to disclose.

The list shows which trusts were expected by the TDA to reach foundation status and which were deemed to have no future as independent organisations.

Those that weren’t expected to make FT were placed in subcategories indicating whether they were candidates for takeover or management franchise.

While the information is historic and not being used by NHS Improvement in its current decision making, it remains a good indicator of unsustainable provider organisations and certainly makes for interesting reading.

Who knew the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust was slated for takeover, or that East Cheshire Trust was earmarked for potential franchising?

It’s just a shame it took two freedom of information requests, an internal TDA review, and finally an appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, for the NHS to disclose it.

The latest ratings

Then just a few hours later, NHS Improvement published proposed new ratings for every NHS trust and FT, to reflect the seriousness of the problems they face.

Each trust has been placed in one of four categories (or “segements”) based on the level of support they require from the regulator. The segmentation will be formalised next month as part of the regulator’s new “single oversight framework” for trusts and FTs.

Twenty-two trusts have been placed in the lowest category, which indicates they are in special measures due to serious concerns over their finances or the quality of services, while 35 are in the top segment so will have “maximum autonomy”. Segment two, for trusts which need “potential support”, has the most trusts with 106.

Leadership reset in Nottingham

The chief executive of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has stepped down from his dual role as chief of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, just four months after accepting the role.

Peter Homa took on the shared role in June ahead of plans for the two trusts to merge in the autumn. However, in September the merger was pushed back until 2017.

Louise Scull, who has been chair for both trusts, is also returning to NUH full time.

Mr Homa said: “We agreed to take on these additional responsibilities for a short term period. Now that the timings have moved beyond 2016, we believe it is in the best interests of patients and staff at NUH and Sherwood Forest Hospital that the chair, chief nurse and chief executive can dedicate themselves to each trust, their patients and staff through this next period.”