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

Reality bites

The tremors caused by the Brexit vote could be overshadowed for a momement when the national NHS leadership seeks to shift the focus back to the challenges the service faces.

A stark reminder of the NHS’s financial challenge for the next couple of years will come this week, in a series of high profile national interventions billed as a “reset moment”.

But with David Cameron announcing that Theresa May will succeed him as prime minister by Wednesday evening, and a cabinet reshuffle likely to come swiftly after, such a major policy announcement could be paused.

On the resest, HSJ’s Dave West writes: “The context of this reset was partly contained within the diktat sent to finance directors last Thursday finalising terms of access to the £1.8bn sustainability and transformation fund…

“NHS chiefs will be made to understand the clear ‘consequences of failure’ – over and above the loss of STF funding – for those trusts judged to be most seriously letting the side down on overspending or A&E performance.

“There will be a remorselessly harsh focus on around 40-50 trusts which are persistently failing in one or both of these areas.”

But there will also be another message, “which will need to be reiterated often throughout the coming months of noisy browbeating over money and performance: big changes take time, sometimes go wrong, but will also be supported.”

Whatever the major political and policy events affecting the NHS this week, HSJ will provide the most in-depth coverage and analysis.

Chief inspector responds

In a previous leader, Dave wrote about how the NHS now has an unprecedented amount of information about care quality in hospitals, but regulators had not indicated what they were going to do with it.

In an article for HSJ on Monday, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals provides his answer. Sir Mike Richards says: “The short answer is that it should use it to drive improvement: to build on good quality where it has been identified and learn from the examples of good and outstanding care to do better.”

He then goes to on give the long answer, adding: “The CQC will support leaders in their quest to drive change and we will be cheering from the front when they do.”

Brexit worries continue

Specialist trusts and those in London have the largest proportions of staff from the European Union, HSJ analysis shows.

The chief executive of Great Ormond Street – which has one of the largest proportions of EU staff – and others have expressed their concerns about the impact of Brexit.

The trusts most reliant on EU workforce may be more at risk from the prospect of fewer staff coming to the NHS from the continent, or those who are here leaving in the wake of the referendum.

A letter sent from Tavistock and Portman FT chief executive Paul Jenkins and chair Paul Burstow last week described the “distress” faced by staff and added: “Without EU care professionals our NHS and social care sector would struggle to function.”

HSJ has launched a special award to celebrate the contribution of the NHS’s staff from the EU.