HSJ’s roundup of Tuesday’s most important stories

End of an era

Perhaps the biggest name in the acute sector has announced his departure on Tuesday and left the NHS with a whole host of knotty problems to unravel while he was at it.

Sir Robert Naylor will leave University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust next March.

In an exclusive interview, he told HSJ accountable care organisations were the future, and would signal the demise of the FT model. He left a hefty challenge on the doorsteps of future NHS leaders, calling for “collaboration, not competition” in ACO leadership - a quality that has not always been prized among acute trust leaders, and not always practised by Sir Robert himself.

ACOs will require “stronger regulation”, he said, because commissioners will no longer be necessary.

He concluded that the chief executive role is “far more difficult” today than it was when he started out and this has been compounded by a tariff that is “not fit for purpose”.

The revolution must be digitised

NHS England national director for patients and information Tim Kelsey has said that much more needs to be done if the online revolution that has transformed our lives in so many areas is to improve the lives of patients and caregivers.

Writing ahead of the unveiling of initiatives designed to make the NHS the world’s most digitally enabled health system, Mr Kelsey said hospitals and other providers lag behind general practice in digital record keeping.

“Urgent action is a moral imperative,” he says.

In an accompanying interview, Mr Kelsey told HSJ that commissioners will need to develop “roadmaps” to outline how their health economies will become “paper free” at the point of care by 2020. If they do not show enough progress against new digital standards, CCGs face having their plans for 2016-17 rejected.

Further down the line, NHS organisations that have failed to roll out digital care records by 2020 face having their funding to provide care removed.

An alternative leadership debate

HSJ has launched its Women Leaders network - a new community for leading women and emerging leaders in health and social care.

The network aims to:

  • empower and encourage established and emerging women leaders;
  • promote good practice in improving opportunities for women to secure board level positions; and
  • challenge bias against women on boards.

While the network will be overseen by a small programme board, it will be owned by its members. Email hsjwomenmembership@emap.com to find out how to be part of the forum.

The forum has already had a lively debate over the question “are men allowed to join?”