HSJ’s roundup of the key points from Jeremy Hunt’s vision for the NHS for the next 25 years
During the election campaign, the Conservatives were keen to stress how much they supported the NHS Five Year Forward View. On Thursday Jeremy Hunt looked ahead even further, setting out his “25 year vision” for the NHS in a speech at the King’s Fund.
Here are the key things we have learnt from the health secretary’s agenda setting speech.
Hunt is prepared for a fight over seven day working
It emerged on Wednesday morning, ahead of the speech, that Mr Hunt was going to issue at ultimatum to the British Medical Association - he will not allow the doctors’ union to be a “road block” to seven day services reform, and will impose a September deadline on negotiations.
Mr Hunt was able to be tough on the BMA as he knew he had the backing of two independent pay reviews. The NHS Pay Review Body and the DDRB both said there was a “compelling” case for moving towards seven day working. BMA chair Mark Porter, on the other hand, accused the health secretary of launching a “wholesale attack” on doctors.
Monitor and the TDA’s new name…
As HSJ exclusively revealed last week, many of the functions of Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority are to be brought together in a single “new body”, which we now know will be called NHS Improvement. The body will also take over NHS England’s patient safety function, with national patient safety director Mike Durkin moving there to set up a new “Independent Patient Safety Investigation Service” modelled on the Air Accident Investigation Branch. The new body will be chaired by Ed Smith, who will lead the recruitment of its chief executive.
…and what its first jobs will be
As well as setting up IPSIS (what major announcement would be complete without a new acronym), NHS Improvement has been tasked with taking forward the work on safe staffing levels.
Mr Hunt’s orders for NHS Improvement reflect a marked change in policy: future safe staffing guidelines will be independently reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (which was directed by NHS England to stop its safe staffing work) and also be assessed separately by chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards, and Sir Robert Francis. Sir Robert was a prominent critic of NHS England’s decision last month to take over this programme of work from NICE.
The contents of the Rose review
The long awaited Rose review into NHS leadership was finally published on Wednesday. The health secretary said he would accept all of former Marks & Spencer executive chair Sir Stuart Rose’s 19 recommendations “in principle”. He confirmed that Health Education England will take over responsibility for the NHS Leadership Academy, as recommended by Sir Stuart.
But some people will wonder where the review into the NHS’s improvement architecture by Ed Smith (who will soon be getting settled in as chair of NHS Improvement) has got to.
Buddying is going international
Mr Hunt has been so pleased with trust “buddying” arrangements in the past couple of years that he wants to take the approach worldwide. US non-profit healthcare corporation Virginia Mason will be brought in to support five NHS trusts in improving quality and clinical engagement, as part of a five year, £12.5m programme. The Department of Health is paying non-profit firm £9m for its buddying role, and a further £3.5m has been aside to cover costs such as airfares and managing the project.