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

NCDs named

NHS England has revealed its 18 new national clinical directors, along with seven previously unannounced “associate” NCDs.

Not all of the names are new – a few of the NCD contracts have not yet expired, and a number of existing directors have had their contracts renewed, but there are some new faces.

Chris Harrison, medical director at The Christie Foundation Trust, is the new NCD for cancer, while Tim Kendall, medical director at Sheffield Health and Social Care FT, is the new NCD for mental health.

There are some interesting changes from the provisional structure NHS England trailed earlier this year. The NCD for trauma, which looked likely to be axed, has been retained, and NHS England has created a previously unannounced NCD for cardiovascular disease prevention.

The shake-up to the NCD structure is aimed at making NHS England’s structures for receiving clinical advice “more coherent” and to “slim down” the organisation.

Some may argue that the new structure is not much “slimmer” than what preceded it – the NCDs have gone down from 23 to 18, but with the seven new NCDs the overall number is 25.

Contract talk

Late on Friday afternoon HSJ reported that NHS England was told to review all current and planned major service contracts “as a matter of urgency” – a recommendation of its review into the failed UnitingCare Partnership contract.

Meanwhile, earlier that day we revealed that South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group has embarked on a competitive tender process for out of hospital care. The ambitious contract will be for seven years, and is worth an expected £227m in total.

HSJ readers have noted that the South Warwickshire arrangement could be exactly the type of thing that NHS England would review, should it follow up the review’s recommendations.

Here’s just some of what they had to say about the developments:

“On what planet might this be regarded as a reasonable action to take, the day before the whole system regime comes into effect? This process will be hugely distracting, massively expensive, and will stymie the whole system work for at least a year. Come on NHS England, put a stop to this nonsense.”

“CCGs need to wake up and realise that the world has changed and we are now trying to plan for local sustainable services… linked to the other story today about an NHSE review of these crazy procurement exercises, there is just a hope that common sense will finally prevail.”

“In the new world order CCGs have to find their new role – this CCG seems to be living in the past.”

“When will someone look at the role of commissioners in the system. They continue to make foolish decisions without understanding long term impact and consequences of their decisions. This sort of commissioning should be long gone.”