HSJ’s summary of the day’s must read stories and debate

Continental conundrum

The NHS was again at the forefront of the EU referendum campaign on Thursday, as Commons health committe chair Sarah Wollaston declared she would be voting for the UK to remain in the union.

The Conservative MP and former GP has previously been on the Vote Leave side, but has switched – saying the claim from Brexiteers that leaving the EU would free up £350m a week for the NHS “simply isn’t true”.

HSJ has published a number of articles in recent months by experts examining what being in the EU – or not – means for competition in the NHS, its funding, and the effect of migration on staffing and services.

The latest comes from Lord Ara Darzi, Professor Elias Mossialos and their colleagues at Imperial College and the London School of Economics.

They cut to the chase and answer five of the most important questions about the relationship between the NHS and the EU:

  1. If Britain left the EU, would there be more money for the NHS?
  2. Is the EU a threat to publicly commissioned and provided healthcare?
  3. What about the TTIP trade deal?
  4. What is the impact of migration on the NHS?
  5. How would leaving the EU affect NHS research and development?

Not a pretty picture at Portsmouth

Portsmouth Hospitals’ urgent and emergency services have been rated inadequate following unannounced CQC inspections, which found a number of serious performance problems.

Inspectors visiting the trust in February and March found patients waiting on trolleys in corridors, frequent moving of patients at night and patients being treated in a parked “jumbulance” – a super sized ambulance.

Chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards also said CQC staff “had to intervene to keep patients safe on several occasions” while carrying out inspections. The regulator has placed four conditions on the trust’s registration.

The trust’s chief executive, Tim Powell, said: “We recognise the picture painted by the CQC in this report and we are very sorry that we have failed to provide to our patients, on a consistent basis, the high standards of care that we expect of ourselves…

“It will take time to make all of the necessary improvements but we are determined to ensure that by the time of maximum demand in our emergency department, next winter, our service will be better.”