The must read stories and debate in the NHS

Labour’s NHS plan

Lack of detail has been a criticism levelled at most candidates in this general election campaign, but the Labour shadow health secretary has now fleshed out some of the party’s health policies.

Jon Ashworth, who is running for re-election in Leicester South, has told HSJ Labour can deliver on its manifesto commitments and it will inject an extra £7bn into the NHS in the first year of the next parliament.

The party has not worked out the specific cost of taking 1 million people off NHS waiting lists by 2022, but Mr Ashworth was confident this commitment and others in the manifesto can be delivered within the “extra £37bn” the party is promising for the health service.

He also said he and Jeremy Corbyn back Simon Stevens, despite wanting “NHS Excellence” (a reformed NHS Improvement) to review all STPs by the end of the year. “You certainly won’t get me or spin doctors briefing against Simon Stevens,” Mr Ashworth said.

Earlier in the year, stories in the national media suggested the prime minister’s senior advisers were unhappy with Mr Stevens’ performance. The NHS England chief hit back during an appearance at the Commons public accounts committee in January.

Finally, rather than repealing the Health and Social Care Act, as the party’s manifesto indicates, Labour actually only plan to remove the section 75 regulations that encourage CCGs to tender care services.

Secrecy over contract row

The dispute over a multimillion pound contract between a foundation trust and its two clinical commissioning groups has ended after an expert determination.

Mid Cheshire Foundation Trust and South Cheshire and Vale Royal CCGs failed to agree contracts for 2016-17 or 2017-18 in a long-running dispute that was unresolved even after meetings with Jim Mackey and Simon Stevens.

HSJ has learned an expert, appointed by NHS England and NHS Improvement to rule on the contract dispute, has issued a binding agreement to settle the row.

However, the result has been kept secret after all parties signed a non-disclosure agreement.

A trust spokesman said it could not disclose details of the expert determination but the trust board was satisfied with the outcome.