HSJ chief executive of the year Samantha Jones will join NHS England this month as director of new models of care for NHS England, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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South, South West and Central Southern CSUs will merge into a single organisation on 1 April.

The new organisation, which will be called South, Central and West Commissioning Support, will cover a 10 million population across 37 clinical commissioning groups. It will span Sussex, Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

4.00pm Tower Hamlets CCG chair Sam Everington will be helping NHS England to develop primary care driven models set out in the five year forward view.

As revealed earlier Samantha Jones, chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust has been appointed as director of new models of Care, and will join NHS England on secondment. 

Sam Everington will help lead national work on primary care-driven care models and service redesign. Dr Everington is a senior GP in Tower Hamlets, a CCG chair, board member of NHS Clinical Commissioners, trustee of the Kings Fund, and member of the BMA Council.

In addition, Dr Don Berwick will provide advice in international models of care integration, beginning with an event on January 23rd.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust helped to design the new University of Bolton course to help address its nursing shortage, with all students accepted on to the programme offered a job at the trust after graduation.

Each year 50 places will be available on the three year course, with students applying through UCAS and self-funding their study via the student loan system.

2.25pm Lincolnshire Community Health Services Trust has suspended normal activity and non-urgent work to support United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, which is now on its second day of ‘black alert’ - the most serious.

Fifteen hospitals have now declared a ‘major incident’ because of pressure on their A&Es.

1.40pm NHS England has launched the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme, which invites people around the world to apply to develop on a larger scale innovations in healthcare that have been tried and tested.

The programme is in partnership with UCL Partners and the Health Foundation and will focus on the conditions and cultural change needed to enable the NHS to adopt innovations at scale and pace, aiming to improve outcomes and give patients more equitable access to the latest products, services and technology.

Applicants should be experienced innovators in healthcare who are currently leading or working on new technologies, services and processes that have the potential to make a real difference to patient outcomes.

The programme will offer successful candidates a range of support to develop and spread their innovations across parts of the NHS – such as access to international leaders in healthcare development and established networks through mentors including Lord Ajay Kakkar, Lord Ara Darzi, Sir John Tooke and Sir Sam Everington. 

At NHS England the programme is being led by Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, senior fellow in the chief executive’s office. UCLPartners and The Health Foundation will deliver the programme, working in collaboration with patient groups and Academic Health Science Networks across the country to support delivery of the innovations into practice.

Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s Medical Director said: “Britain has made a significant contribution to medical science and humankind. The smallpox vaccine invented by Edward Jenner is said to have saved more lives than have been lost in all wars. Sir Ronald Ross won the first British Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for his discovery that malaria was carried by mosquitoes. Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin and Crick and Watson discovered the structure of DNA. We are responsible for the first test tube baby, the first stem cell transplant and the ability to stop and restart the heart - which is the basis of modern heart surgery.

“The Innovation Accelerator will build on our enviable history of discovery and innovation by embracing cutting-edge healthcare innovators from around the world to improve patient care while reducing costs and providing better value for the taxpayer.”

Dr Mahiben Maruthappu, Senior Fellow in NHS England’s Chief Executive’s office, said: “Innovation is integral to a sustainable and successful NHS, and scaling cutting-edge innovations can improve patient care.”

“The NHS Innovation Accelerator aims to build on our proud tradition of supporting advancements in healthcare, helping to secure our position as one of the best and most progressive healthcare systems in the world.”

The first wave application process is now open. For more information, including criteria and the application form, please visit www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/innovation/nia/. The closing date for applications is 17 February 2015.

1.15pm Hunt asked if the government will invest in extra hospital beds until primary and social care is facilities are improved.

1.05pm Hunt says there is a plan in place in North West London to support weekend GP opening.

1.01pm Hunt says he agrees there should be long-term certainty over funding but this can only be delivered with a strong economy.

1.00pm Lib Dem Paul Burstow asks if £8bn will be made available to the NHS to “secure the closure of the funding gap Simon Stevens identified”.

12.55pm Ken Clarke, who is a previous health secretary, says winter pressures in A&E are not new, and asks about the long-term plan for urgent care.

12.50pm Hunt says 27 per cent of callers to NHS 111 over Christmas said they had been planning to go to A&E and then didn’t following their call.

12.48pm Health committee chair Sarah Wollaston asks Hunt if staff can be reassured they will not be made to chase targets and can put clinical priorities above all else.

12.47pm Hunt says Burnham was informed about the proposed change to ambulance standards three months ago.

12.45pm Hunt says this is not the time to play politics by talking about “government failure”.

12.45pm Andy Burnham has tabled an urgent question in the House of Commons on the pressures on A&Es.

Burnham references HSJ’s story on South East Coast Ambulance Service implementing a policy to leave patients waiting at A&E to respond to 999 calls.

12.25pm Around half the extra money for clinical commissioning groups from George Osborne’s NHS spending boost will go to just a quarter of groups.

NHS England decided to allocate £1.1bn of the extra 2015-16 funding directly to CCGs, and to give much bigger increases to those that are a long way behind their “target” budgets under its allocation formula.

HSJ has analysed the impact of the resulting revised allocations, which were published by the national body shortly before Christmas.

The West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust chief executive will be leading the national implementation of changes to health and social care services set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

Ms Jones joined West Hertfordshire Trust in February 2013 and has been widely praised for her work to improve the culture and patient safety focus across its three hospitals in Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead.

10.30am The Spectator reports that Andy Burnham has tabled an urgent question on A&E for the House of Commons today.

Isabel Hardman writes that this is a strange move because it will directly follow Prime Ministers’ Questions, where Ed Miliband would be expected to ask questions on the NHS, and which David Cameron could now deflect if Jeremy Hunt is due to answer Burnham’s question following PMQs.

10.15am The Times reports that a retired doctor at Stoke Mandeville hospital performed a back street abortion on a 16-year-old former patient before raping her immediately afterwards, a court heard yesterday.

Michael Salmon, 79, a former consultant paediatrician, is accused of three counts of rape, 11 of indecent assault and two of using an instrument with intent to procure a miscarriage. The charges relate to eight girls, aged from 11 to 18, who were allegedly attacked between 1973 and 1988.

10.00am The chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals, Samantha Jones, will join NHS England as Director of New Models of Care.

The former chief executive of Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, Jac Kelly, will take over at the trust on an interim basis.

9.55am Labour has called for an emergency summit to discuss the pressures on A&E departments.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham wrote to Jeremy Hunt last night calling for the summit.

He wrote: “I believe you should call an urgent summit, including representatives from local government, the police, fire and ambulance services, as well as emergency care and other NHS professionals, to assess the situation and put in place a coordinated plan to ensure patient safety and support the performance of A&E departments across England.”

However, The Guardian reports that the government has rejected the proposal with a government spokesperson saying it was more of an attempt to generate headlines than come up with a solution.

9.45am The Times reports that a surge in patients sent to A&E by unqualified call handlers was blamed last night for helping to tip hospitals into ‘meltdown’.

Operators on the non-emergency helpline NHS 111, who have no medical training, were needlessly advising callers to attend A&E in what has become a “huge problem”, experts said.

Official figures show that NHS 111 sends 50 per cent more patients to A&E at the weekend.

9.40am Another hospital has declared a ‘major incident’ because of unsustainable demand on its A&E.

Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust called the incident at 7pm last night.