HSJ’s round up of the day’s must read stories and debate

Your move, Mr Hunt

An intriguing weekend lies ahead for NHS watchers following NHS England and Jeremy Hunt trading blows on Thursday and the health secretary scheduled to tour the Westminster TV and radio studios on Sunday.

The health secretary’s media duties are to publicise the government’s eagerly anticipated green paper on children’s mental health – one of few NHS topics the prime minister has shown a keen interest in.

But Mr Hunt may also find himself fending off awkward questions around NHS funding and waiting times. The latest in this simmering row saw NHS England warning on Thursday morning during its board meeting that elective waiting time standards “will not be fully funded and met” next year unless there are cuts to services such as mental health, cancer and primary care.

Mr Hunt swiftly hit back on Thursday afternoon. The NHS had been given a “significant [funding] increase” and the government was “absolutely committed” to all the constitutional waiting time targets, he told a King’s Fund event.

As our Performance Watch newsletter examined yesterday, deals in darkened rooms may yet be done between government and the NHS leadership, both sides appear to be becoming increasingly entrenched in their positions.

Your move, Mr Hunt…

Wise move

England’s best-named STP, Bob, has a new boss. The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire STP - home to not one but two accountable care systems - has hired Fiona Wise, a long-time hospital chief executive, as its executive lead.

Despite the proliferation of ACSs it is not a straightforward patch. Oxfordshire is in the middle of a reconfiguration row, the CCG’s chair and chief officer are leaving, and the Shelford Group hospital giant is dicing with financial and performance failure.

In recent years Ms Wise has taken on interim roles at some of the health service’s most challenges providers - now she moves into difficult health system territory.