12.14pm: The NHS Commissioning Board has started its consultation on standards for specialised services. The six-week consultation aims to inform the development of a set of standards that will see all specialised services delivered to the same standard nationally. The NCB’s commissioning replaces that of the 10 different specialised commissining groups that operated in each strategic health authority area. The NCB said significant variation could be found in the commissioning standards for many procedures, particularly treatment for the morbidly obese.
11.13am: Quick round-up of stories in the Mail and Telegraph. The Mail reports patients at high risk of cancer could be prescribed regular doses of aspirin but that it can cause stomach bleeds and ulcers that often require hospital treatment. The Telegraph carries a report of the findings of the National Audit of Schizophrenia. The audit highlighted concerns about the co-ordination between GPs and specialist services, consultation with service users and “availability of talking therapies”.
11.03am: In case you missed it last night, an interesting non-health secretary related story: David Bennett, the chief executive of health sector regulator Monitor, has said he wants to examine the possibility of a public sector buyout of the huge private finance initiative contract encumbering Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust.
10.35am: In today’s leader, HSJ editor Alastair McLellan unpicks the messages new health secretary Jeremy Hunt is sending to the sector.
10.20am: Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been telling HSJ why he wants technology adoption to form a central part of the NHS’s £20bn savings drive. “We haven’t got to the stage of calling it technology QIPP,” he says, “but we should think along those lines”.
10.15am: You can read here about why the health secretary wants to emulate the super-head model used to turn around failing schools to tackle poor performance in the NHS.
10.02am: More from HSJ’s exclusive in-depth interview with health secretary Jeremy Hunt. On the inquiry into care failures at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, the health secretary says he expects inquiry chair Robert Francis QC to propose “pretty serious policy changes and possibly some structural changes”, and that he would give “fair consideration” to a new health bill “if the recommendations demand it”.
9.50am: Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been speaking to HSJ in his first detailed policy interview since taking office. In our lead story this morning, Mr Hunt tells HSJ editor Alastair McLellan he believes listed company Circle’s management of Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust has proven the private sector is able to provide equal standards of treatment and care to those of the NHS. But he insists it is “not my job to hold a candle” for public or private providers when deciding what is best for patients.
8.12am: Good morning, today on HSJ Chris Gordon writes on the design and delivery of a clinically-led organisation. There remains a widespread deficit of clinical involvement in hospital management. “Many trusts have found it difficult to either generate the support of medical staff for the necessary culture change or do not appreciate the need to restructure their businesses”, he says.