HSJ live logo

HSJ live logo

  • BMA writes to trusts warning them not to reduce consultant Supporting Professional Activities hours
  • Major Institute for Fiscal Studies/ Nuffield Trust report reveals move away from treatment at local hospitals
  • Telegraph reports on size of pay-offs for top SHA bosses
  • Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals FT slammed by regulator

17:03pm Basildon has responded to criticism from the Care Quality Commission. Chief executive Clare Panniker said the trust had already made a number of immediate changes to address the most pressing areas of concern.

She added: “I want to assure the local community that we are absolutely committed to improving the standards of care which we deliver to children.”

16.50pm Anthony Leeds, NHS physician and medical director of Cambridge Weight Plan, writes an opinion piece for the HSJ Resource Centre on how the UK can learn its lesson from different countries in helping people lose weight and fight the epidemic of obesity.

He highlights the importance of cultural differences in tackling this crisis, saying that health services need to ensure “dieting strategies are culturally compatible.”

“For example, many women of Asian origin can struggle to lose weight. They are under pressure to entertain friends and family and celebrations are hugely significant. Food is at the heart of many occasions and to decline food can cause offence.”

Although the US leads the way, with its gargantuan obesity epidemic, the UK is not too far behind.

13.46pm The British Medical Association this morning wrote to medical and HR directors at trusts warning them not to reduce the amount of time set aside for consultant training, education and research.

The letter from consultants’ committee chair Paul Flynn said: “It has come to our attention that full-time consultant posts are being advertised in a number of trusts in England with fewer than 2.5 supporting professional activities (SPA) programmed activities.

“As you will be aware paragraph 7.3 of the 2003 model consultant contract states that a consultant’s job plan will typically include an average of 7.5 programmed activities for direct clinical care (DCC) duties and 2.5 programmed activities for SPAs.”

Each unit of programme activity or SPA equals four hours of work and many trusts are trying to get greater productivity from their consultant workforce as part of savings plans of more than four per cent a year.

12.52am Research published by Ernst & Young and NHS product comparison website Peto has found price variation between essential NHS supplies “means £1bn of savings could be lost before the next election”.

Researchers found NHS trusts across England are paying over the odds for products across the board from adults warming blankets, medical forceps to knee implants (see attached document for the research).

12.30am The Care Quality Commission has raised “serious concerns” about children’s services at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust, branding them “completely unacceptable”.

The watchdog issued the trust with two warnings and ordered it to commission an independent investigation into paediatric services after an unannounced inspection prompted by a number of serious incidents.

11.00am The chief executive who led Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust when it was engulfed by a scandal of poor care has taken up a senior role at an addiction charity with links to the NHS.

Martin Yeates, who was heavily criticised during the recent public inquiry into the trust, has been appointed chief executive of Impact Alcohol and Addiction Services, which is based in Shropshire. Story details here.

10.39am The Telegraph has reported NHS Midlands and East chief executive Sir Neil McKay will receive a redundancy package worth £1.01m when the strategic health authority (SHA) is wound down next year.   

The newspaper also reports Sir Ian Carruthers, chief executive of South of England SHA, will receive a package worth £954,000.

10.37am HSJ reporter David Williams has been tweeting about the proposed south London hospital reconfiguration. He tweets that campaigners wanting to save Lewisham Hospital’s accident and emergency unit have been leafleting at his local station this morning. Their entire argument seems to be about South London Healthcare Trust’s private finance initiatives, which they argue is the reason why Lewisham’s services have to be downgraded. HSJ readers will know that the financial problems in south London are more complicated than that.

David also tweets that, despite being a Lewisham resident, the campaigners’ leaflets are the only indication he’s seen that there’s a “consultation” going on at all. “As a resident I’m yet to hear a clinical argument in favour of the south London reconfiguration”, he says. “Useless.”

10.00am A report into the impact of NHS reforms from the Labour government has revealed the proportion of patients seeing their local trust has significantly fallen, while those attending privately-owned centres has risen. The research was carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and commissioned by the Nuffield Trust in order to determine how the reforms of 2006 and 2008 have changed where care takes place.