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

A trust CEO has given an insight into what managing a struggling organisation can be like.

Simon Morritt was speaking to HSJ in the wake of a critical Care Quality Commission report that branded leadership at York and Scarborough Foundation Trust “inadequate” and said staff had ignored inspectors when they tried to raise concerns during their visit.

He said the report had been difficult for staff to deal with, coming more than six months after the first part of the inspection had started. And he admitted it would take time to turn the dial on culture: “What’s important as well is that we’re not blown off course. So, the direction that we set, we stick to that, and we stay on that course.

“One of the challenges with organisations that are under distress is that you tend to become quite reactive. It’s a bit like whack-a-mole, the next one [issue] that pops up you think we need to focus all our energy over there.”

The trust CEO declined to put a timeline on improvements: “These are difficult times for the NHS. I think if we were to say within 12 months we want to be outstanding, I’d be laughed at.”

New hope for procurement transparency

A new independent panel will oversee disputes arising from decisions made under a new provider selection regime, the government said yesterday.

The objective is to help ensure that “procurement processes are transparent, fair and propionate, enabling all providers to compete for contracts”, said the Department of Health and Social Care in a response to its consultation on the new rules governing the commissioning of healthcare services.

The PSR has been delayed for more than a year and a goal within government that it would be up and running by the end of the year looks likely to be challenging. 

The intent is to move the NHS away from always putting new contracts out to competitive tender and “towards collaboration across the health and care system”, the document says. 

Also on today

The English waiting list reached a new record size of 7,472,052 patient pathways at the end of May, up 56,700 over the month, writes waiting list guru Rob Findlay. And in The Ward Round, Nick Kituno takes a look at the detail of the long-term workforce plan.