The NHS Trust Development Authority has confirmed that Sir Ian Carruthers has been appointed chair of Portsmouth Hospitals Trust,, and the rest of today’s news and comment

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5.45pm The BBC reports that the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has rejected the new takeover offer from US-based Pfizer.

Had the deal gone ahead it would have been the biggest takeover of a UK company by a foreign company.

5.30pm Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group has become the first CCG to face a legal challenge, the BBC reports.

The NHS is facing the first legal challenge of its kind into how family doctors in England consult patients over the allocation of health service budgets.

The campaign group Protect our NHS has applied for a judicial review into how the CCG is spending its £500m budget, claiming it is failing in its legal duty to consult the public over decisions.

The CCG denies the allegations.

5.15pm Our Humble Servant welcomes to you to Better Care Day - our new annual telethon to raise money for poor, impoverished local authorities.

4.25pm Sir Ian Carruthers has been appointed chair of Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, the NHS Trust Development Authority has confirmed.

Sir Ian was previously chief executive of NHS South of England and the South West Strategic Health Authority. He was also interim chief executive of the NHS. 

He has held chief executive roles at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Strategic Health Authority and Dorset and Somerset Strategic Health Authority.

He is currently chairs both Healthcare UK and the NHS Supply Chain Customer Board, is chancellor at the University of West of England and holds non-executive director roles in the private sector. 

Sir Ian said: “Taking up this post… gives me the opportunity to work with one of the biggest acute hospital providers in the south of England.

“I hope that my significant experience of the NHS and other sectors at a regional and national level can be of benefit to the Trust as it continues to work towards a sustainable future.

“I am looking forward to working with everyone at the hospital and the clinical commissioning groups, the local authorities and other providers of healthcare as we all share the aim of improving health and healthcare to the local community.

“I would like to thank Alan Cole for his work as acting chairman and I look forward to working with him and the entire board as we continue to strive to provide patients with the best possible standard of care.” 

Trust chief executive Ursula Ward said: “I am delighted by the appointment of Sir Ian, who will bring a wealth of experience and insight to our already successful hospital trust.  His experience across a broad range of environments, including the NHS services at the highest level, will benefit us greatly.  This is not only great news for the trust and its staff, but also for our wider health community. 

“Together we will work hard to ensure our local population continues to receive great clinical services, with high quality outcomes and an excellent patient experience.” 

Sir Ian is expected to take up the post before the end of the month. 

3.30pm In The Guardian, the UK has one of the highest death rates in western Europe among children under the age of five, according to a study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.

“We were surprised by these findings because the UK has made so many significant advances in public health over the years,” said Christopher Murray, the institute’s director.

Dr Murray, who led the study, added: “The higher than expected child death rates in the UK are a reminder to all of us that, even as we are seeing child mortality decline worldwide, countries need to examine what they are doing to make sure more children grow into adulthood.”

3.10pm The shortlist has been announced for the 2014 Patient Safety Awards. 

The shortlist is available exclusively on HSJ’s tablet app. It will be published on next week.

The awards, held by HSJ and Nursing Times in association with NHS Employers, will be presented in London on 15 July.

You can book a place here.

Read about last year’s winners and finalists here

3.00pm The Telegraph reports that all NHS staff are to receive specialist training in dementia within four years, following pledges from ministers to do more to tackle the devastating disease.

Experts says too many health workers do not know enough about the condition, leading to major failings in the care of the most vulnerable, who are too often left without the right care, and even without food and drink.

2.25pm Following on from The Telegraph’slead story today that MPs have demanded a criminal investigation into evidence that dozens of doctors pre-signed abortion forms, paper has dedicates an editorial to the story, arguing that “no doctor should be immune from the law”.

2.00pm On the front page of The Daily Telegraph: a cross-party group of MPs has written to the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police demanding a criminal investigation into evidence that dozens of doctors pre-signed abortion forms without knowing anything about the women concerned.

Eleven MPs are supporting the call for a Scotland Yard inquiry after the General Medical Council ruled out action against 67 physicians found to have been involved.

The GMC said the practice was “wrong” and that it has ordered the doctors to “obey the law” but nevertheless decided against bringing fitness to practice hearings saying that what they had done was “common practice”.

The breaches first came to light during inspections by the Care Quality Commission triggered by a Telegraph investigation which uncovered evidence of doctors agreeing to abortions because of the gender of the baby.

1.30pmThe Times (paper only) also reports that early-stage sperm cells have been created from the skin of men with a genetic defect that makes them infertile.

Scientists believe that the technique may bring hope to men unable to generate sperm.

1.00pm The Times reports that a 10-year-old boy who was struck on the head while on a bouncy castle died after paramedics and a GP failed to spot that he had a fractured skull, an inquest was told yesterday.

Gianni Khan was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital, but the on-site GP told his mother to take him home. Paramedics were called the next day when his condition worsened but he was not taken back to hospital.

12.30pm Also in The Daily Mail, a care worker has been arrested after the sudden death of a woman resident in her 80s at a privately run home, police confirmed last night.

The female employee, known to the deceased, was being questioned by police as several rooms in the 29-bed care home were sealed off and search.

12.15pm In today’s papers, The Daily Mail writes that cancer patients treated on the NHS are dying too soon because they are being refused surgery, radiotherapy and breakthrough drugs, according to a report from Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity also found that patients’ chances of being cured hinge on where they live and their age.

12.01pm: As well as hosting its annual conference yesterday, NHS Clinical Commissioners, the CCG representative body, published a “manifesto” to help CCGs deliver. It set out “eight critical asks that will enable the potential of CCGs”. It is available online.

12.00pm Last month HSJ hosted a third Twitter chat in association, on how to care for people and the end of life outside of the hospital setting, led by Phil McCarvill, senior research fellow for health at the Institute for Public Policy Research, and Michael Cooke, head of analytics at Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Dr McCarvill picks out the best ideas from the Twitter chat, including discussions on how we can commission care that keeps terminally ill people, who have no medical reason to be there, out of hospital.

11.43am St George’s Healthcare Trust has become the first to have its foundation trust application approved by the Trust Development Authority since the revamped Care Quality Commission inspection regime was introduced.

The decision was taken after the south London trust received last week a ‘good’ rating by the CQC following a recent inspection.

11.25am More than 40,000 patients suffered “significant” harm while cared for in the NHS in England during a six-month period last year, new figures show.

Between April to September last year, health officials recorded 725,314 patient safety incidents, according to new figures from NHS England.

Of these, 43,518, or 6 per cent, were deemed to have caused moderate harm to a patient which means they suffered “significant but not permanent harm” and required increased treatment.

10.30am EXCLUSIVE: The recent and continuing surge in new NHS posts for nursing and other frontline roles has been welcomed by health minister Dan Poulter as the “right thing to do” in response to the Mid-Staffordshire scandal.

Trust recruitment drives should not, however, deviate them from eliminating what the government sees as their wasteful procurement practices and use of agency staff, Dr Poulter told HSJ in an exclusive interview.

10.05am This week’s issue of HSJ magazine is now available to read on our tablet app.

In this week’s issue, Nuffield Trust chief executive Nigel Edwards questions the recent rhetoric on the virtues of community care and calls for a new model.


  • Being admitted to hospital a few hours later in the day often means patients spending several days longer on wards, according to new analysis shared with HSJ
  • NHS chief executive Simon Stevens sets out an alternative approach for the acute sector at the Commons health committee
  • The NHS has been given a reprieve from an estimated £500m tax bill
  • Chris Hopson and Dame Gill Morgan argue why the foundation trust project must be seen through
  • Robin Hewings and Barabra Young highlight ways to stop the the cost diabetes to the NHS reaching £17bn

To find the latest issue, simply navigate to “This week’s issue” on the app, or tap on the cover image on the homepage.

HSJ’s tablet app is free to download for both iPad and Android devices. iPad users can download it directly here, Android users will need to download it from the Google Play store.

9.45am Simon Stevens has confirmed he plans to give some clinical commissioning groups the ability to co-commission primary care with NHS England.

Mr Stevens announced yesterday afternoon that he would invite CCGs to “come forward and show how new powers would enable them to drive up the quality of care, cut health inequalities in primary care, and help put their local NHS on a sustainable path for the next five years and beyond”.

NHS England said CCGs should “describe the additional powers and responsibilities” they would like. It is unclear whether CCGs’ new powers could stretch to holding budgets or contracts for core GP services.

7.00am Good morning. The GE Healthcare Finnamore Emerging Leaders essay competition culminated in an Apprentice style grilling by the judges, as Alison Moore reports.