NHS England expects clinical commissioning groups to fund more hospital activity than initially planned this year, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

HSJ Live logo

12.40pm NHS England expects clinical commissioning groups to fund more hospital activity than initially planned this year, prompting concerns that this could undermine non-acute services intended to reduce emergency admissions.

The organisation said it expects up to 3 per cent growth in CCG funded elective and emergency activity compared to 2013-14, which is “considerably north” of commissioners’ current plans for this year.

12.39pm The Commons health debate has now ended.

12.36pm Former health minister Norman Lamb has given a short tritbute

Mr Lamb has asked whether Jeremy Hunt will guarentee that he will do everything he can ensure that people with mental health problems are treated in the same timely manner as those with physical health problems.

Mr Hunt said it is an “incredible privilege” to work with Mr Lamb and praised his work on mental health in the last government. “It is my aboslutely intention to make sure that his legacy is secure,” Mr Hunt added.

12.27pm Labour MP Ian Lavery, discussing the NHS’ £1.8bn spend on agency staffing last year, asked how many fully qualified NHS nruses could have been appointed with those types of finances?

Jeremy Hunt responded that there were 5,000 additional nurses under his watch.

12.18pm Shadow Health minister andy Burnham, also vying forLabour’s leadership asked why the cost of agency spiralled by 150 per cent under the last government. He sharply criticised the government, saying hospital trusts were left with little alternative but to rely on private agencies.

12.13pm Leicester MP Keith Vaz has asked what the government is doing in terms of reducing sugar in food and drink to reduce diabetes.

Health minister Jane Ellison said the government looking at a “whole system approach”.

12.11pm MPs are now discussing the funding of hospices at the Commons care debate.

Health minister Alaistair Burt said this ties into a greater issue of end of life care.

12.06pm Shadow care minister and leadership hopeful Liz Kendall 2010 conservative manifesto promised greater access to GPs but “it has got worse”.

“Can the secretary of state tell us why he failed?”

Mr Hunt replied that the government has “actually made good progress”

12.05pm SNP health spokesperson Philippa Whitford has asked how the government is intending to fund 5,000 extra GPs when there are not enough GP already. She added that it ten years to train a GP

Mr Hunt said the government will look at terms that GPs are working under, and the issue of burnout.

“it’s also the case that we need to raise standards in general practice”, pointing to the introduction of the CQC’s inspection regime for practice in the last parliament.

Under the this government,

12.02pm Mr Hunt said the underfunding of general practice has been a historic problem, because hospital targets has tended to suck funding away from practices, “and that is something we will put right”.

12.01pm Jeremy Hunt said “illnesses don’t happen five days a week” and “we need to respond to changing consumer expectation”.

11.59am Labour Mp Gisela Stuart asks whether there will be greater use made of physican assistants, in the contxt of problems with retention in doctors.

Mr Gummer said “yes we are”.

11.58am Mr Hunt said the integration of health and social care will “have at pace” during this parliament.

11.56am Mr Hunt said we “did have a big problem with disagnose” but there has been work to imrove that, but in some parts of the country there is not sufficient support once after diagnosis is made.

11.55am Jeremy Hunt said there is “much work to be done to ensure that the quality of dementia care is as good as it should be post diagnosis”.

11.54am On the matter of improving GP premise, Mr Burt refers to the £1bn infrastructure fund.

11.52am Alastair Burt has revealed that his father is a GP. He has thanked his father and all other GPs for their devotion to the service.

11.51am Labour MP Sir Kevin Barron asks about the role community pharmacy have in sharing the burden of out of hospital care.

11.49am Health minister Alastair Burt has thanked his predecessor Norman Lamb for his work in the last parliament.

11.48am Greg Mullholland said NHS England has behaved in an “utterly accoutnable manner” for decisions about Translana and other drugs.

11.46am Conservative MP Caroline Nokes discusses how a constituent was given approval for treatment for Translana, a treatment for muscular dystrophy which was later

Health minister Ben Gummer said the goverment is pushing for a policy decision from NHS England by the end of this month, and for interim guidance from NICE before the end of the year.

11.43pm Jeremy Hunt is now answering questions at the first Commons health debate of the new parliament.

Labour MP Clive Lewis (Norwich South) has said 400 people expected to put on an paramedic course only to discover there is no course because the University of Anglia couldn’t get accreditation.

11.34am “We will wrest the initiative away from expensive staffing agencies that have been ripping off our hospitals with exorbitant rates, and require hospitals to use nationally negotiated frameworks that make use of the NHS’ collective bargaining power. We know from our tough new inspection regime that the best care is given by regular nurses in stable teams so it is time to wean the NHS off an understandable but growing addiction to temporary staffing that happened in the wake of Mid Staffs.

“We are also introducing new controls on the use of management consultants in our health service, so that money is directed to patients rather than bureaucracy. Finally, we are grasping the nettle on excessive executive pay - with new guidelines on directors’ pay to ensure that rates remain reasonable and fair to more junior staff who have faced pay restraint in recent years.”

11.32am “As the prime minister set out in his first big speech after the election, the government has pledged at least £8 billion more to fund the NHS’s own plan to transform services, including a truly 7 day offer that cuts the unacceptably high mortality rates for those admitted at weekends. £8 billion was what the NHS asked for. But with that commitment from taxpayers the time for debating whether or not it is enough is over: the NHS now needs to deliver its side of the bargain, which is to make substantial and significant efficiency savings.”

11.31am Here’s a few interesting quotes from the health secretary’s piece: “Can we really afford the kind of care we all want? It is an understandable worry with an ageing population, rising consumer expectations and tight public finances. With a strong economy, the answer is yes - but only if we care as much about every pound the NHS spends as every patient it treats. Because money wasted is money that can’t be spent on patients.”

11.30am Jeremy Hunt wrote a piece in today’s Daily Telegraph on his plans to control agency fees. You can read it here.

10.00am East Lancashire Hospitals Trust has forecast a deficit of more than £22m for this year.

The trust achieved a surplus of £1.3m for 2014-15, but has had to carry forward £10m of failed savings into this year’s efficiency programme, board meeting minutes from April said.

Papers from the meeting said the trust, which runs the Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals, has a “sound track record in managing its finances”, but there has been a “step change” in budget pressures relating to its workforce plan.

9.47am: Analysis shared exclusively with HSJ shows two-thirds of the spending on locum doctors employed in NHS trusts is being driven by the need to fill vacancies.

The report by financial and workforce management company Liaison also shows average locum consultant pay rates have soared to 46 per cent higher than national framework rates, and a north/south divide in agency pay.

9.30am: Health secretary Jeremy Hunt will today unveil plans to cap agency and management consultancy spending by NHS trusts.

The proposals, which will come into effect in autumn, include a maximum hourly rate for agency supplied doctors and nurses working in the NHS. There will also be a requirement that trusts seek “specific approval” from regulators when signing a consultancy contract worth more than £50,000.

HSJ understands the Department of Health has estimated the proposals will lead to £400m in savings on agency staffing and reduce consultancy spending by £150m.

Meanwhile, in an article in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hunt writes “deliver its side of the bargain” and make substantial savings. He writes that the “time for debate” on funding is over.