HSJ’s round up of Wednesday’s key stories

Simon Stevens paves way for changes to provider sector

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, announced the latest vanguard programme to look at how trusts can create buddying arrangements across medical specialties and share back office functions. Organisations have until the end of July to come forward with their ideas for the new vanguard.

Mr Stevens also said the “success regime” to help struggling areas and proposals to tackle agency spend would be launched in the next few weeks, while a review of urgent and emergency care could result in metrics being changed.

However one (sadly anonymous) HSJ reader feels that NHS England is over reaching. A rather indignant and block capitals filled comment below our story on Mr Steven’s speech reads: “Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England - legally called the NHS COMMISSIONING Board do remember - making an announcement about NHS PROVIDERS?? How interesting…”

A nerve’s clearly been hit somewhere.

Trust ‘spin-out’ devolves power to the front line

University Hospitals of Leicester Trust has taken what could be the first tentative step on the road to mutualisation.

The trust will spin-out its elective orthopaedic, trauma, and theatre teams into their own “business unit” to give staff a greater sense of ownership over their work and increased autonomy.

Don’t start getting out the bunting for the first trust mutual just yet though.

A report produced by Leicester has identified significant barriers to mutualisation, including the VAT regime.

But if any organisation is going to become a mutual, the trust remains a good bet to be the first.

As chief executive John Adler told HSJ: “We appear to be the people most interested in it still.”