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

Thousands of NHS buildings face fire checks

HSJ has previously highlighted the consequences of the Grenfell tower disaster on NHS buildings but today we report on NHS Property Services own failure in regard to one of its community hospitals.

It is now having to review all 3,500 of its properties after a review into the fire that gutted Weybridge Community Hospital in Surrey last year.

A report found that the fire broke through one compartment zone in its early stages and may have spread through gaps in ceilings and walls, and then into the roof underlay and battens, fuelled by timber rafters.

It also set out how there had been a failure to deal with known risks and to check electrical equipment prompting the review of properties by NHS Property Services.

It’s not yet clear what the review will cost and how extensive any remedial work will be but it underlines again the need for the NHS to take fire precautions seriously.

Trust takes on Carillion staff after PFI provider collapse

It is six months and four days since construction giants Carillion went bust.

Since then the 14 affected trusts have decided on various routes to the future management of facilities management services previously run by Carillion, but only one has chosen to take services in-house.

That decision was made by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation Trust this week, after “urgent action” was required following its private finance initiative provider going into administration.

Colin Martin, chief executive of the TEWV, said the decision was taken to “ensure the best possible delivery of estates and facilities services” at the trust’s Roseberry Park Hospital.

CCG wins right to seek new inquest in ‘cover up’ death

Three years ago HSJ reported on the case of Jonnie Meek whose death at Stafford Hospital prompted claims of a “cover up” after inaccurate records and statements were given to a child death overview panel and an earlier inquest.

Following an intervention by the health and social care secretary and three separate experts backing Jonnie’s parents, Stafford and Surronds Clinical Commissioning Group have won the support of the solicitor general to apply to the High Court for the former inquest verdict of natural causes to be quashed.

HSJ learned today that South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh is not expected to oppose the application. Jonnie’s parents are a step closer to learning the truth of what happened to their son and the case again underlines the need for a comprehensive medical examiner service and reforms of the coroner’s court system.