HSJ’s daily digest of Wednesday’s significant developments for healthcare leaders

Readers have been galvanised by the news that health secretary Jeremy Hunt has told NHS England that “league table” style ratings should be used to for its clinical commissioning group assurance regime for 2015-16.

HSJ understands that Mr Hunt’s proposals include using quality and performance indicators to create a “points” score for CCGs’ overall performance.

The same approach would be used to rate CCGs’ performance on specific population categories, such as the “frail elderly” or people with mental health problems.

One particularly animated reader writes: “If you can’t understand a complex system then just create a simple number score to make you feel better. Just like the friends and family test. Simple.”

Some staff in NHS England, along with CCG leaders, are opposed to and are questioning significant elements of the proposals, HSJ learned.

The Twittersphere indicated unusual interest this afternoon in a health hustings debate shown on the BBC’s Daily Politics show. Representatives from the three main parties, plus UKIP, the SNP and the Greens unpacked their offerings to the electorate.

We learned that:

  • the Greens would want to take away GPs’ contractor status and make them salaried employees;
  • if in post as health secretary at the beginning of the coalition government, Mr Hunt would have passed Andrew Lansley’s Health Act 2012 but would have “communicated it differently”; and
  • UKIP would look to “unwind” costly private finance initiative schemes.

Elsewhere, the Health and Safety Executive has been criticised for not intervening over the deaths of mothers and babies at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust.

James Titcombe, whose son Joshua died at the trust in October 2008, has criticised what he called an “arbitrary policy decision” by the HSE not to bring prosecutions over poor care at the trust’s Furness General Hospital between 2004 and 2013.

However, he praised Cumbria Constabulary for its decision to investigate poor care at the trust.