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

Confidential data issues in the spotlight

NHS Digital has mistakenly published a business plan that set out timetables for a number of key programmes – including plans for how confidential patient data should be used and shared.

Patient data and confidentiality issues are particularly relevant this week because a public consultation on national data guardian Dame Fiona Caldicott’s recommendations for a new patient consent model, set out in her July report, ends on Wednesday.

The business plan said that by March 2017 it would “implement the delivery plan to meet the secretary of state’s priorities regarding safe, legal and effective data sharing, including the national strategic consent model”.

It also said a programme to “facilitate commissioner access to data by implementing a robust and responsive de-identification service” would also be established by March.

The national body published the business plan online in documents for its board meeting on Wednesday. But it removed the document on Monday and issued a statement saying the plans were “out of date” and had been published “in error”.

Whatever the timelines, the salient fact is the issues around consent and sharing patient records are important ones for the NHS to address if it is to repair the reputational damage done by the Care.data debacle.

‘Super trust’ in the pipeline

As trailed in yesterday’s Daily Insight, University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust has announced that it intends to create a “single organisation” with Heart of England Foundation Trust.

The providers have had the same chief executive (Dame Julie Moore) and chair (Jacqui Smith) for almost a year.

The new “super trust” would be bigger than any existing provider in terms of turnover – at £1.4bn – and could be the second biggest in the country if the proposed city-wide trust for Manchester is created.

The two boards will prepare a business case by the end of the year to create a single entity through either an acquisition or merger, which will then be considered for approval by regulators, both trusts’ governors and the Competition and Markets Authority.

HSJ Solutions launches

HSJ has launched a new digital service to help senior clinicians and managers across the NHS provide more effective and efficient patient care.

HSJ Solutions is a unique database containing the very best practice in the NHS, with workable and evidence based solutions to the most pressing challenges facing healthcare leaders.

Every solution featured in the database has been validated by leading NHS figures as part of the intensive judging process, which is an integral part of HSJ’s awards programmes. All the solutions are drawn from shortlisted, highly commended or winning entries from the HSJ, Value or Patient Safety awards, and the database will be update monthly.