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

Stevens on clinical leadership

“It is a matter of fact that most management in the NHS is already done by clinicians.”

That’s what Simon Stevens told HSJ in our in-depth interview, published on Wednesday, when asked what he thought about Jeremy Hunt’s comments that introducing general management to the NHS may have been an “historic mistake”. The health secretary said last week that he wanted more clinicians in senior leadership positions.

Jim Mackey was forthright on the issue in our other big interview this week: “Whether they are a nurse, a doctor, accountant or lawyer, I honestly couldn’t care less if they have the right skills and the skills meet the circumstances that you have at that time.”

Mr Stevens added: “In primary care it is GPs who lead their practices. In hospitals I would argue that that bulk of management is done by ward sisters and charge nurses.”

“If we wind the clock back to the mid-80s, the reality is that so called ‘consensus management’ in hospitals had its own defects,” he said.

“So therefore it was right to think about how you actually bring operational management to a more sophisticated level inside hospitals, in particular, but not just hospitals.

“I think what we want is to be able to draw chief executives from the ranks of seasoned operational NHS managers, and clinical managers both, and is clearly the right answer here.”

Read more from our interview with the NHS England chief executive:

Trust held to ransom

The cyber attack experienced by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation Trust in October was caused by a variant of ransomware, a trust director has revealed.

The Globe2 virus works by encrypting files with an algorithm that makes them inaccessible. Victims of blackmail ransomware then receive messages in an attempt to elicit money.

Attacks often begin as a result of “phishing” emails, which contain malicious website links or attachments that once activated release the virus that targets key files.

A trust spokeswoman said it did not pay any ransom as a result of the attack, which led to 2,800 appointments being cancelled during the 48-hour attack as the trust shutdown computer systems.

Pam Clipson, the trust’s director of strategy and planning, said it was not ready to provide details of how the perpetrator gained access to the trust’s network as a police investigation was ongoing.

Ms Clipson added that claims the virus accessed the network through a USB stick or due to remote working have “no grounding in fact”.