Your essential update on the week in health

HSJ Catch Up

This weekly email gives HSJ subscribers a vital update on the biggest stories from the last week in health. If you have been out of the office or otherwise just too busy to keep up, HSJ Catch Up will ensure you are still in the know.

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Chancellor announces A&E and STP funding

Phillip Hammond has said the “most advanced” sustainability and transformation plans will receive £325m over the next three years, as part of his spring budget announcements this week.

The chancellor also announced:

Emergency care plan revealed

Health leaders have announced a package of measures to drive up A&E standards in the wake of the budget.

In a letter to senior CCG, trust and council leaders, Simon Stevens and Jim Mackey spelt out a number of plans to improve performance.

The measures include altering the terms of the sustainability and transformation funding conditions so that trusts can secure the related 30 per cent slice of cash just by hitting A&E targets.

The other headline is NHS England’s national urgent and emergency care director Pauline Philip has been appointed by both organisations as joint leader to implement the changes.

Southern Health prosecuted

The Care Quality Commission is to bring its first ever prosecution of an NHS trust over an “alleged failure to provide safe care”.

The regulator said on Monday it was prosecuting Southern Health Foundation Trust after a patient sustained serious injuries at a mental health unit run by the scandal-hit trust.

The prosecution is the first of an NHS trust by the CQC under the fundamental standards regulations. The standards, which came into effect in April 2015 following the Francis report into the scandal of poor care at the Mid Staffordshire FT, were designed to set minimum, criminal, thresholds for care.

The prosecution is in relation to an incident in December 2015 when a patient sustained serious injuries during a fall from a low roof at Melbury Lodge, Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

Latest on Sir Leonard Fenwick

HSJ has published two stories about the circumstances in the run-up to Sir Leonard Fenwick, chief executive of Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust, going on extended leave earlier this year. The trust confirmed Sir Leonard’s absence on 12 January.

The new stories are:

Results of NHS staff survey

The NHS staff survey is a big moment in a chief executive’s year.

The results are one of the best indicators – and predictors – of performance in an era when most organisations miss access targets.

They demonstrate not only what staff think of the care they deliver (and they ought to know) but how effectively senior management are at communicating with their staff.

The 2016 results, released on Tuesday, match up well with Care Quality Commission inspection results. Of the bottom 10 acute trusts on staff recommending care to a friend or family member, four are in special measures.

DH to recruit 340 staff

The Department of Health plans to recruit hundreds more civil servants in the next year while hundreds of others are made redundant.

Ministers have revised up the number of civil servants they expect the department to recruit during the next 12 months for the second time in as many months.

In January, the DH confirmed 538 civil servants were due to take voluntary redundancy in the coming months as part of the department’s plans to cut its running costs by 30 per cent by 2020.

It has now emerged that Richmond House is planning to recruit 340 new staff over the next 12 months – 140 more than announced earlier this year. Details emerged in a written answer by health minister David Mowat to Labour MP Justin Madders.

Former trust chair jailed

A former NHS trust chair has been jailed for two years after lying about his qualifications to secure senior roles in the service.

Jon Andrewes was chair of Torbay Care Trust and its successor Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust from 2007, and chair of Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in 2015. He was also previously chief executive of St Margaret’s Hospice in Somerset.

Mr Andrewes lied about having degrees and a PhD, as well as his work experience with a series of charities. He earned more than £1m over 10 years in the jobs.

He admitted obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and two counts of fraud and was jailed for two years by Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC at Exeter Crown Court.