HSJ’s daily digest of the must-read health stories and debate

No slouching at the back

At HSJ’s second annual lecture on Thursday Jeremy Hunt set out plans for Ofsted style ratings for clinical areas including cancer, dementia, diabetes, mental health, learning disabilities and maternity.

Each area will receive a headline rating and this will be based on data and verified by experts in each clinical field.

The lecture was launched last year to provide a high profile annual platform for a leading figure in healthcare to set out their long term vision for the UK’s health service. Have your say on the health secretary’s presentation on Twitter using #HSJLecture.

Mr Hunt also announced plans to incorporate a named and accountable clinician for every patient into the planning guidance from next year. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has, on the same evening, recommended that all patients, not just those in a hospital setting, should have a named clinician.

New plans to stop “pointless” referrals from hospitals to GPs were also to be unveiled, alongside a new single payment system to simplify payments to GP practices.

New Addenbrooke’s boss revealed

Roland Sinker, who is currently acting chief executive at King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust, has been named as the new permanent chief executive at Cambridge University Hospitals FT. HSJ revealed the appointment at Thursday lunch time.

Mr Sinker succeeds Keith McNeil, who left the trust shortly before the publication of a critical Care Quality Commission report which led to the trust being placed in special measures.

Cambridge has also made another high profile signing from London, with Sir Ron Kerr, who recently retired from his chief executive role at Guy’s and St Thomas’ FT, to be a part time special adviser to the trust’s board. Both men will join CUH on 16 November.

A transformation fund, of sorts

Responsibility for making bids towards the remainder of a £1bn fund originally set aside to fund GP premises and infrastructure improvements will now be passed to clinical commissioning groups.

The fund, launched in December as the “primary care infrastructure fund”, is to be renamed the “primary care transformation fund”. GP practices were invited in January to bid for funding, which would be released in £250m tranches over four years.

Areas that receive money from the fund will now be able to spend it on costs not immediately associated with GP infrastructure projects, as long as they add capacity to community health services.

Local commissioners will also now be able to propose schemes that cover more than a year. The bids made for the first tranche of funding earlier this year must be spent by March 2016.

But the British Medical Association GP committee has big concerns about how resources in the fund this year were being distributed.

Committee chair Chaand Nagpaul told us: “The reality on the ground is that the scheme has been fraught with delays and administrative hurdles, with large numbers of promised improvements to GP practices across the country yet to start.”