45 bids for trust status... Unions ousted from health boards... Manager quits to steer Guy's... GPs pull back... White paper cash warning...
So far 45 bids for self- governing trust status look likely to be submitted by next month's deadline, according to an HSJ survey. They include a proposal for two cottage hospitals, three for hospitals yet to be built and two for whole health authorities. But the response to the early deadline has been patchy, with Oxford, Northern and East Anglian regions so far recording no bids. Many major teaching hospitals say they have been put off by the lack of information.
Medical school and trade union representatives have been swept off Scottish health boards, to be replaced by general managers in a surprise early move. Proposals to streamline the boards were outlined in the Scottish chapter of the white paper, but observers say they have been astonished by the move, pre-empting legislation.
South East Thames regional general manager Peter Griffiths is to give up his job after less than a year to steer Guy's Hospital to trust status. The appointment, funded by a£100,000 donation from entrepreneur Sir Philip Harris, will be combined with a post at the NHS management executive to lead implementation of the white paper, Working for Patients.
GPs have stepped back from their threat to resign from the NHS in protest at the white paper and changes to their contract. A special conference of local medical committees threw out a motion that imposition of the contract by health secretary Kenneth Clarke would 'constitute a resignation issue'.
Total government spending on the NHS would reduce under the white paper proposals, leading primary care expert Professor Brian Jarman has warned the Commons social services select committee. Planned funding for GP budgets would cover only half their costs, he claimed.