HSJ’s roundup of Wednesday’s key stories

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Will the Treasury stump up for transformation fund?

Various national bodies were jumping at the chance to comment on proposals for a dedicated NHS transformation fund, which has been thought up by the King’s Fund and the Health Foundation.

The report, shared exclusively with HSJ, says some of the funding could come from existing streams, such as the £200m “transformation fund” mainly allocated to NHS England’s vanguard sites. However, additional cash would also be required above the £8bn the government has already pledged to the NHS by 2020 to support the Five Year Forward View.

The PR teams at the NHS Confederation, NHS Providers and the HFMA all raced to welcome the report, which suggests their members would love to see a simplified system for accessing funding and driving service changes. The report calls for more than £1.5bn of extra NHS funding to be given to a new national body from 2016-17.

Will the “positive reaction” from Department of Health officials develop into hard cash from chancellor George Osborne?

We don’t suggest holding your breath.

20 years on from Bristol heart scandal, another review calls for change

The work by NHS England is the latest of many reviews into the children’s heart surgery, which started following concerns about children receiving complex cardiac surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in the 1980s and 1990s.

Previous reports concluded that units in Leeds, Leicester and west London should be shut, but campaigners fought ferociously against the planned closures and two separate legal challenges were launched.

Officials subsequently deemed that the decision to close these units had been “flawed”, and the whole process started again.

Many people agree changes are desperately needed, but expect to see battle lines redrawn between trusts and campaigners desperate to retain the specialist work at their hospitals.

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