HSJ’s essential round up of the day’s biggest stories

GSTT teams up with J&J

The future of orthopaedic work at one of England’s largest foundation trusts looks increasingly interesting following a £300m deal with multinational company Johnson & Johnson.

At first glance Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT’s plan looks both sensible and forward thinking – with eight new theatres and an orthopaedic “centre of excellence” planned through the partnership to meet future demand from a growing elderly population.

But the limited information issued so far about the scheme poses more questions than answers.

For example, Guy’s wants to increase the number of elective adult orthopaedic patients treated per year from around 7,000 to 11,500. What do commissioners think about this?

The contract’s value (£310m to be exact) is a hefty amount of money, but it is not yet clear how the £1.4bn turnover trust is proposing to fund the scheme.

A portion of the cost will undoubtedly be covered by the trust’s approved application to the independent trust financing facility. However only £30m of the £100m allocated is earmarked for new theatres.

There are questions on where the extra workforce will come from, and also how this particular venture will sit along the planned orthopaedic clinical network proposed through the south east London sustainability and transformation partnership.

Finally, it is more than four years since Guy’s first tendered for a partner to work with on orthopaedics - long before the Department of Health came up with its plan to overhaul NHS procurement.

Given that Guy’s is handing the supply chain management and procurement function for the new orthopaedic facility to J&J, will the company make use of the new orthopaedic procurement category tower set up by the DH? 

Newcastle’s new broom

One of the country’s largest teaching hospitals has appointed an NHS England non-executive director and clinical genetics professor as its new chair.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust confirmed Sir John Burn will take over the position from incumbent Kingsley Smith from 1 December.

One of the first tasks Sir John will take on is appointing the “outstanding” FT a new permanent chief executive to replace Sir Leonard Fenwick who was sacked for gross misconduct in June.

Sir Leonard was dismissed from his role at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals after a disciplinary panel found “allegations relating to inappropriate behaviour, use of resources and a range of governance issues were proven”.

The decision – announced in August – came after Sir Leonard attended a two-day disciplinary hearing in May. The NHS’s longest-serving chief executive appealed the original decision to dismiss him, but a second panel in July upheld the original verdict.

Sir John moved to Newcastle as a medical student in 1970 before spending four years at Great Ormand Street Hospital.

He returned to the North East as the region’s first clinical genetics consultant and went on to lead the NHS Northern Genetics Service for 20 years. In 1991, he was appointed as professor of clinical genetics at Newcastle University where he continues to lead a cancer research programme. Sir John is also a senior investigator with the National Institute of Health Research.