HSJ’s roundup of Monday’s key stories
- Today’s talking point: Top hospital chief takes a pop at Simon Stevens
- Today’s risk: Sir Bruce Keogh tells the Patient Safety Congress: “We are content with the present and afraid of the future. Exactly the opposite of the citizens of this country in the 1940s.”
- Today’s must know: NHS Property Services spent only around half its capital budget for 2014-15
Know your place, Stevens told
Some of healthcare’s big hitters have been unafraid to air their opinions at the Patient Safety Congress (#ptsafetycongress), taking place in Birmingham on Monday and Tuesday.
Sir Robert Naylor, chief executive of University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust and unofficial spokesman for England’s big regional teaching centres, even dared to question NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens, aka the Messiah.
“I’ve known Simon Stevens since he was in short trousers. He’s a huge brain. What he’s not is in charge of the NHS and I’ve told Simon to his face that he needs to get on with sorting out commissioning,” said Sir Robert at an #HSJleadership event at the congress.
Meanwhile former Tory health secretary and former Commons health committee chair Stephen Dorrell declared that devo Manc - an initiative notably championed by the Tory chancellor - “is not a policy, it’s a press release”. Meow-ch.
Devo deals require ‘extreme caution’
While we’re on the subject of devolution, Local Government Association’s chief executive Carolyn Downs has urged councils to exercise “extreme caution” before agreeing to health and social care integration deals.
She said the “whole issue of shared risk is something which could get in the way of integration”.
In a sign, perhaps, of some division between the NHS and local authorities, Ms Downs said local government is “effective, efficient and gets things done” whereas the NHS “shouts loudly and gets what it wants”.
Made of money
The rest of the NHS is struggling with growing demand and dwindling finances but not NHS Property Services, it seems, which spent only half of its planned capital budget last year.
Its capital budget is primarily meant to be used to help develop the 4,000 NHS buildings it owns, including GP surgeries, community hospitals and health centres.
A spokeswoman said the underspend was due to a new, tougher quality criteria which meant only the “strongest business cases” received funding.