The must read stories in health

The new boss

In an exclusive interview with HSJ, the new chief executive of University College London Hospitals has set out his stall and challenged some of the NHS’s current prevailing trends.

Professor Marcel Levi joined the prestigious teaching trust in January from the Academic Medical Centre in the Netherlands, taking over from Sir Robert Naylor.

First, he knocked back the idea of hospital chains: “I am not sure that model is going to work as there is usually one leadership team and the span of control may just be too much.” Instead, UCLH is looking to form “alliances” with neighbouring trusts – it may try to move some of its “less complex work” to hospitals that need support to stay viable, taking on their “more complex patients” in return.

The he dismissed the trend for accountable care organisations: “We already have an ACO in the UK and it’s called the National Health Service; that’s actually one big ACO. I’m not completely sure what an ACO at regional level is going to bring.”

Professor Levi also said UCLH will focus on improving the experience of its junior staff, with the aim of allowing them to do more research.

His comments have triggered an interesting debate on, with most readers welcoming his “fresh pair of eyes and fresh approach”.

CQC action over whistleblowing

Whistleblowers’ complaints to the Care Quality Commission have resulted in 40 providers having inspections instigated or brought forward in the last year.

The data, obtained by HSJ under a freedom of information request, showed 15 NHS trusts and 25 independent providers had their CQC inspection brought forward or a new one scheduled in response to concerns shared directly with the regulator by employees or former employees.

This means 14 per cent of all 291 providers that had complaints lodged against them (165 NHS and 126 private) had a new or rescheduled investigation.

The numbers showed that between 1 April 2016 and 17 February 2017, 549 complaints were made about 165 NHS providers, and 275 complaints were about 126 private providers.