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

Times are turbulent in the NHS England people directorate as its joint director of equality and inclusion is set to leave her role, HSJ understands.

Sources say an internal announcement will be made soon following the departure of Jenni Douglas-Todd, who was appointed alongside former police complaints commissioner Mike Franklin back in July 2020.

The significance of her departure is twofold as it raises concerns over the NHS’s progress on improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the health service.

Firstly, it leaves NHSE without a substantive director of equality and inclusion.

HSJ has learned Mr Franklin has been away from his role since last July with Anton Emmanuel, head of the NHS’s workforce race equality standard, having stood in as interim director since the autumn.

It is unclear whether Mr Franklin will return or what will happen to those joint director roles.

And secondly, it comes just days after NHSE’s first chief people officer Prerana Issar announced she was stepping down so she can focus on fully recovering from an ongoing covid-related illness.

Deputy chief people officer Em Wilkinson-Brice will take over in the interim but Ms Issar’s exit, coupled with wider questions on equality and diversity, leaves a lot still up in the air.

‘The Saj’ gets rad

Sajid Javid has backed a think tank report which proposes that GPs be employed by hospitals, replacing their longstanding status as independent contractors.

The health and social care secretary wrote a foreword to the report by Policy Exchange, which describes the existing general practice model as “outdated”.

It calls for a radical restructuring of NHS GP services, including scrapping the General Medical Services contract within a decade.

At the end of January, The Times reported that the heath secretary was “considering radical changes to the 70-year-old structure of the NHS that could see many family doctors directly employed by hospitals instead of running their own surgeries.”

At Your Service was written by Policy Exchange research fellow Sean Phillips and its head of health and social care Robert Ede, along with clinical oncologist David Landau. It recommends an “overhaul” of the current core GP contract, along with a £6bn ‘rescue package’ to fund improvements to GP premises and better data collection.

Also on today

Round off your HSJ week with the latest edition of our Health Check podcast, which this week discusses what the new national payment system means for trusts, and for something completely different Julian Patterson offers a helpful transcript of Sajid Javid’s recent speech about his vision of digital transformation in the NHS.