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

North east London was one of 11 health systems that celebrated the milestone on 3 December of having NHS England confirm their transformation into an integrated care system. The Skipton Assent came about six weeks after GPs on the patch voted overwhelmingly to merge their seven clinical commissioning groups into one.

These successes were somewhat tempered, however, by the news that the system leader, Jane Milligan, will be leaving NEL in the new year to take up a new post leading Devon’s Integrated Care System and Clinical Commissioning Group. She has been accountable officer of the seven CCGs since 2017 as well as leader of the NEL sustainability and transformation partnership.

Devon is now one of the 13 remaining sustainability and transformation partnerships that have yet to be transmogrified into an ICS, though it still aims to make this happen by the April 2021 deadline. Ms Milligan’s appointment might be timely, as, pre-covid, the partnership was not without its issues, with a challenging financial position and performance problems.

Oh, and another thing Boris…

Prime minister Boris Johnson has a lot of issues on his plate currently, but there are also some problems closer to home.

The Care Quality Commission has slapped a warning notice on his local Hillingdon Hospital over its infection control - at least 70 staff members had to isolate following a covid outbreak in August.

After the quality watchdog imposed urgent conditions, it is the latest in a number of issues to face the hospital in recent months.

The new chief executive Patricia Wright will be keen to turn things around quickly as the hospital seeks to get on a better footing.