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.

If someone forwarded you this email you can sign up for your own copy here.

Naylor review II

Five land redevelopments on NHS property in London are worth more than £1bn each, Sir Robert Naylor revealed on Tuesday.

In an incisive and witty analysis, HSJ’s Ben Clover tells us where they are likely to be.

The former University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive was commissioned by the Department of Health last year to produce a review on the opportunities across the NHS estate.

The main report, released last month, accompanied work by his team looking specifically at London, where the majority of the opportunities are.

The London report has not been released for commercial confidentiality reasons, but Sir Robert said at a King’s Fund event that there were 16 potential schemes in London, including five each with a value of more than £1bn.

Bring on your wrecking ball

Lord Carter nearly – but not quite – said the NHS should take a wrecking ball to its community services estate.

The Labour peer, who is a government advisor on efficiency, and sits on the NHS Improvement board, told a conference that “time and time again” his team found community hospitals costing £100,000 per bed year to keep open, which “isn’t going to work”.

Many health economies have closed, or are seeking to close, community hospital beds, arguing they are inefficient to run. However, it is often controversial, and in some areas there are concerns about reducing the overall number of beds amid huge pressure on capacity.

Lord Carter said: “On property in community trusts one thing that jumps off the page at you is the very high cost of community hospitals because many are too small.”

He later praised the “remarkably effective estates rationalisation programme” of the US army whose “secret was… ‘the wrecking ball’”.

NHS efficiency mavens, estates directors and leaders of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces can draw their own conclusions about what to do next.

Trusts win A&E cash

Seventy hospitals have been allocated a share of a £56m tranche from the £100m of capital funding ringfenced in the budget for accident and emergency departments.

The funding was made available by chancellor Philip Hammond to help trusts fund upgrades to their A&E departments, such as onsite GP facilities and other streaming models.

Prior to Theresa May calling a general election last week, the funding announcement had been expected in May. It was brought forward just hours before election purdah began at midnight on Friday. It is not clear when the remaining £44m will be allocated.

The money is spread across a wide range of trusts – from large providers leading chains like Salford Royal FT (£500,000) to some of the smallest NHS trusts such as The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (£952,361). See all the allocations

Colchester Hospital University FT and Barking Havering and Redbridge Trust, which both received £1m, were among several trusts with well documented performance problems to secure funding.

Election 2017: Labour pledges NHS staff pay rise

Both the health secretary and his shadow were on the campaign trail on Wednesday, with Labour’s Jon Ashworth giving some policy hints and Jeremy Hunt focusing on Brexit.

Mr Ashworth announced that if it forms the next government, Labour will introduce a “new law to make safe staffing legally enforceable”.

He also committed to scrapping the 1 per cent annual pay rise cap – in force since 2013-14 following a two year pay freeze.

Meanwhile, on Radio 4 and the Good Morning Britain sofa, Mr Hunt said the NHS’s financial future depended on a successful Brexit deal.

He told the nation’s early risers: “If we get a bad outcome, it will be terrible for the British economy. We won’t be able to lock in our recovery, there will be less money for the NHS – all of our public services…

“If you want to get more money into the NHS, if you want to pay nurses more – and we all want to do that – there is only one thing that matters in this election and that is getting a good outcome from the Brexit negotiations.”