ADASS, Turning Point and the King’s Fund give opinions on Norman Lamb’s statement

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4.56pm: The selection of integrated care pioneers opens up the welcome prospect of better coordination of care becoming the norm within a few years, writes Catherine Pollard in our Opinion piece.

4.31pm: If you missed the launch of the HSJ Commission yesterday, you can check out all the coverage here. The commission aims to collect evidence on the care of frail older people and note whether and how it is deteriorating or improving and is chaired by Dame Julie Moore.

4.27pm: ‘Regulator chiefs summoned to Number 10 over winter pressures’ was one of our most commented upon stories this week. Quick sample:
This is about system leadership at a local level - CCGs and LAs need to get their heads out from where the sun don’t shine and work with providers to design a local system that will work.
I thought we’d see a push on elective procedures during Sept / Oct / Nov to relieve the pressure on the system in the Dec - Feb period, but NO. Some simple measures, with a little forward planning, could go a long way to easing pressure on the system.

4.22pm: Oasis, the UK’s largest provider of private dental care services and a major provider to the NHS, has appointed Jordi Gonzalez as chief financial officer. Mr Gonzalez joins from Spanish dental chain Vitaldent Group where he became CFO in 2011.

2.47pm: Plans to reconfigure Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust’s services have been referred to the health secretary. Under the Meeting the Challenge set of proposals, the accident and emergency departments at Pontefract and Dewsbury hospitals will be downgraded and only deal with minor cases.

2.45pm: Responding to the Caring for Our Future Consultation, the County Councils Network welcomed the government’s proposed reforms to Care & Support in England but noted counties have raised serious concerns over potential funding shortfalls, the demand pressures on their workforce and the operation of the universal deferred payment system.

2.36pm: Figures from the world of health have reacted to Norman Lamb’s announcement of the ‘integration pioneers’ today.

  • ADASS president Sandie Keene has called it “a landmark day: a day which will be remembered as one which heralds a new social and health care services journey at whose end will be a far more seamless set of services for all adults within their localities - an integration which will bring better delivery, better satisfaction and better value than ever before,” she said.
  • Lord Victor Adebowale, chief executive of Turning Point, said: “At the heart of integration is the knowledge that the distinction between health and social care does not mean anything to the patient; patients want excellent care that meets their individual needs. The launch of integration pioneers is an important step towards that.”
  • Chris Ham, King’s Fund chief executive (pictured), said: “The government must play its part to support the pioneers by removing policy barriers that may make it difficult to achieve closer integration of care. These barriers include how care is paid for and regulated and the challenges created by commissioning being fragmented between CCGs, NHS England and local authorities.”

2.28pm: Join our panel to discuss the best ways to encourage innovation in the NHS on 6 November. The discussion will take place in the comments section of this page at 12.30-1.30pm on Wednesday 6 November. You can post your questions and comments before the discussion. If you want your question to be answered by a specific panel member, please address it to them.

1.37pm: A Cardiff hospital has been forced to apologise for flaws in the way it diagnosed miscarriages over many years, reports the BBC. It follows the case of a woman wrongly told she had miscarried nine weeks into her pregnancy after a scan at the University Hospital of Wales. Emily Wheatley, from Monmouth, went on to have a healthy baby daughter.

1.30pm: The Daily Mail writes that a new drug offers hope for tens of thousands of sufferers of Parkinson’s, according to researchers. The first treatment for hallucinations and delusions has been developed which dramatically improves symptoms and quality of life.

1.25pm: The Mirror reports that police are having to ferry up to 100 people a week to hospital due to ambulance shortages. Patients taken to A&E by officers when paramedics did not arrive promptly included a 13-year-old girl who was bitten in the face by a dog, it says.

1.12pm: Death rates from prostate cancer have fallen by a fifth in the last two decades, according to Cancer Research UK. Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among men and the fourth overall, reports the Guardian. But, the charity says, considerable progress has been made in life-saving treatment.

Also in the Guardian, Helen Milner reports that across the UK, 11 million people have poor digital skills and half those who are offline have a disability. Digital inclusion is now a matter of life and death, she says.

12.17pm: Nick Clegg has defended the government’s decision to downgrade two accident and emergency departments. Speaking in the week that emergency departments at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals were downgraded, the deputy prime minister said: “There are of course always changes in the NHS. That’s something that has always happened and will continue to happen.”

12.15pm: Computer problems which seriously disrupted hospitals in a major health board area for two days at the beginning of October are now being investigated. The glitches caused Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s IT system to grind to a halt on 1 October, leading to the cancellation of around 700 medical appointments.

11.27am: A council leader has reacted angrily to claims that he intimidated staff of Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group. The CCG accused Richmondshire District Council leader John Blackie of bullying and intimidation and warned that its staff could leave similar events if anything similar occurred in future.

11.21am: The Department of Health’s integrated care “pioneers” will be monitored centrally to check progress against their plans and could be stripped of their status if they lose their way, health minister Norman Lamb has said.

11.13am: A hospital trust has revealed it failed to properly record the waiting times of 60 per cent of its elective inpatients, causing hundreds of them not to receive treatment within the 18-week deadline. North West London Hospitals Trust admitted it failed to start the clock when 2,700 people on its inpatient waiting list were referred to it for treatment.

9.56pm: Complementing Daloni Carlisle’s article on what the NHS can learn from the army, Matthew Cooke says that it’s time to adopt a can-do attitude and challenge the attitudes, behaviours and cultures in the NHS as a whole, not just trauma care. Read it here.

9.49pm: Fourteen initiatives are showcasing innovative ways of creating change in the health service, which the Government and national partners want to see spread across the country, care and support minister Norman Lamb announced today. Results include:

  • 2,000 fewer patient admissions over a two and a half year period, achieved through teams of nurses, social workers, occupational therapists and physiotherapists working together to prevent crises.
  • Reducing waiting times from eight weeks to 48 hours at physiotherapy services by making professionals work closer together.

9.34am: The risks to public health from exposure to emissions from shale gas extraction are low if operations are properly run and regulated, according to a Public Health England report. This review of the scientific literature focuses on the potential impact of chemicals and radioactive material from all stages of shale gas extraction, including the fracturing (fracking) of shale.

9.27am: Welcome to HSJ Live, the easiest way to keep tabs throughout the day on what’s broken and breaking in the world of healthcare news and opinion.

Today in our commissioning channel, George McNamara says that with a quarter of all hospital beds occupied by people with dementia, the NHS needs to improve how it provides care for those with the condition.

And in our leadership channel, Daloni Carlisle says that transformational work in army field hospitals has shown meaningful change can result from a focus on evidence-based data and the will to innovate. Read her article here.