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5.30pm: Michael White’s latest HSJ column on politics has been published, in which he examines why the amount of NHS funds spent in the independent sector has remained static.

2.57pm: Researchers David Stuckler and Martin McKee have blogged about the excess deaths among older people which occured during 2012 and into 2013. They look at the causes of the deaths and consider what this says about the reasons for them.

HSJ’s original piece revealing the figures, as identified by a Public Health England analysis team, is here.

1.43pm: NHS England has issued a statement welcoming the additional IT investment announced by the DH today, which it describes as “the £250m extension to the ‘Safer Hospital, Safer Wards’ Technology Fund, increasing its value to over £500m to help patients get better and safer care”.

There have been different approaches to describing the scale of the investment, with the DH’s press release using the figure of £1bn in a press release. This includes matched funding by trusts, and some money previously announced.

NHS England says: “The fund is available to NHS Trusts to support the widespread adoption of modern, safe electronic record-keeping, replacing outdated paper based systems for patient notes and prescriptions with integrated digital care records (IDCRs).The ‘Safer Hospitals, Safer Wards’ Fund will also help to deliver NHS England’s commitment to allow everyone to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions online by March 2015. “

1.18pm: University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust has announced the appointment of a new chief executive. Fiona Dalton, former deputy chief executive and chief operating officer at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, will take up thepost in November following the departure of Mark Hackett, who left for University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust in July after nine years at UHS.

1.03pm: The BBC is also covering the story about breast cancer deaths related to misuse of drugs.

12.57pm: There has been a security alert at security alert at Whipps Cross hospital, London, local press report his morning.

12.37pm: HSJ chief correspondent and finance reporter Crispin Dowler has also written a column on the continuing care liabilities issue.

12.33pm: We have published a big news story today reavling that primary care trusts have left “contingent liabilities” worth £661m to their commissioning successors, who will have to fit the bill.

Crispin Dowler reports: “Clinical commissioning groups may have inherited unfunded liabilities for hundreds of millions of pounds worth of continuing healthcare claims made before they came into being, Department of Health records show.

“The net value of the “contingent liabilities” in primary care trusts’ accounts rocketed to £660.5m in 2012-13, up from just £55.6m in 2011-12. According to the DH’s annual accounts, in which the figures are revealed, the PCTs’ contingent liabilities are “mainly in respect of continuing care liabilities”.

“The news is likely to prove controversial with clinical commissioners, who warned last year that PCTs should not be allowed to record significant contingent liabilities in their final year before abolition.”

10.46am: Councils’ public health grants are to be ringfenced for a third year, Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie has revealed. Our report here.

10.35am: University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has announced the appointment of Sue Smith as its new chief nurse. She began here career at Morecambe Bay in 1989, and joins from North Tees Foundation Trust where she is nursing director.

It follows some confusion over the exit of the previous chief nurse from the scandal-hit trust.

Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is a testament to the hard of work of everyone involved with the Trust that we have attracted someone of Sue’s calibre to come and join us; it is a real coup for us.

“I know that Sue is absolutely committed to delivering first class care and will provide clear, professional and strong leadership. Sue has held a number of posts on the wards, as well as specialist roles in diabetes and recruitment. Sue has also operated at Board level in a number of very well respected Trust’s, with specific responsibility for patient safety and infection prevention”.

Sue Smith said: “I am really excited to be joining the Trust at this time in their development. I care about the patient and ensuring that all staff take the time to listen to them.

“Whilst I am a Board member, first and foremost I am a nurse, and I am passionate about getting it right first time for everyone who uses our hospitals. One of my priorities will be on ensuring the patient’s needs are the focus of what we all do”.

10.32am: The Daily Telegraph reports that the “hundreds of women are dying needlessly every year as they stop taking breast cancer drugs because of the unbearable side effects”. It quotes research saying 400 lives could be saved annually if people completed their full course of drugs.

10am: Further on the IT announcement, the DH today said it would put in an additional £240m for IT in hospitals, aimed at electronic record systems. It announced £260m earlier in the year. Those applying for the money will be required to match the funding, making a total “investment” of £1bn.

The DH press release said: “The government and NHS will join forces to invest £1 billion in technology over the next three years to improve patient care and ease pressure on A&E departments, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today.

“The money will form part of the government’s long term solution to pressures on A&E by freeing up doctors, nurses and care professionals’ time to care for patients and cut down on paperwork and bureaucracy.

“This new funding will help deliver the government’s commitment to allow everyone to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions online by March 2015, as well as give everyone who wants it online access to their GP record.

“One of the key things the money will be spent on will be systems which allow hospitals, GP surgeries and out of hours doctors to share access to patients’ electronic records”.

9.53am: Regarding the government’s announcement on IT investment, we have a Press Association story on it.

9.50am: To recap a major story from yesterday, HSJ revealed that a second hospital trust, George Eliot, may be franchised to the independent sector. Read our full story.

The Guardian has also covered the story, crediting HSJ.

9.47am: Several media outlets report that risk of stroke is less likely to be picked up in women than men. The Times reports:“Women are dying of strokes as doctors miss danger signs because many of those at risk are well groomed and look healthy, it is claimed. The comments came after a study of 15,000 people found that women were half as likely as men to be treated for atrial fibrillation, an abnormal cardiac rhythm that is one of the leading causes of heart trouble.”

9.43am: The Department of Health has announced an IT investment programme.

The Financial Times has covered it here.

The Guardian has covered it, including patient data governance concerns.

8.50am: Good morning, a major progamme at Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust has seen 96 per cent of emergency patients waiting less than four hours.

The programme began in 2012 following the difficult winters of 2010-11 and 2011-12, which saw increasing numbers in its A&E department. A pilot put acute physicians at the front door and provided early senior decision making, in addition to introducing an ambulatory care area, where patients on ambulatory pathways are treated in chairs, freeing up its emergency medical beds for other patients.

The initiative quickly proved that early senior intervention and decision making reduced delays in assessment, and the number of A&E breaches and unnecessary admissions.