The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

White elephant or invaluable capacity? England’s seven Nightingale hospitals have been a source of debate ever since their inception.

Details of the resources thrown at the pop-up hospitals have been rather scarce, for reasons that have not been made clear yet.

But now HSJ has revealed that £220m was spent establishing the hospitals, with running costs in April estimated at £15m. During that month, London, Manchester and Birmingham hospitals were open for more than half the month, while Bristol, Harrogate and Washington opened towards the end of the month.

The amount of money is eyebrow-raising. Given the fact that the Nightingales reportedly treated less than 100 patients before being put on standby, that works out to more than £2m spent per patient.

Could the money pumped into the Nightingales have been better spent earlier by investing in trusts’ critical care facilities, even before the notion of a pandemic appeared? It is easy to make judgements armed with hindsight.

Daily Insight looks forward to a breakdown of the Nightingales’ costs, which will shed more light on how taxpayers’ money was spent during these extraordinary times. 

BLM tremors reach NHS

With the Black Lives Matter movement firmly embedded within the public’s consciousness, the NHS has been forced to confront its own shortcomings in supporting black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

Earlier this week, NHS England chief Sir Simon Stevens told staff the anti-racism protests and covid-19 are “not disconnected”, before adding that events in recent weeks have magnified the “layered” impacts inequality and discrimination have had on BAME people.

It comes after several senior NHS leaders spoke out publicly about Black Lives Matter, with some sharing the messages they had sent to their own staff.