The share of NHS community health service funding going to private providers has sharply increased in recent years, a new study reveals, plus the rest of today’s news and comment
5.00pm Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Foundation Trust has said it is struggling to clear a backlog of patients waiting for planned treatment because private providers are turning away more than expected.
The trust has a backlog of patients on its admitted elective waiting list and in May only 83.9 per cent of patients treated were within 18 weeks of referral, against the national target of 90 per cent.
It had hoped to send around 500 patients to private sector providers to ease pressure.
However, the foundation trust reported, private providers declined to treat a larger than expected number of patients due to the complexity of their conditions. As a result it has only been able to outsource about 250 patients.
4.08pm The System C group, which provides IT solutions to the NHS, has brought back joint chief executives Ian Denley and Markus Bolton to run the company they ran together for many years and which Bolton founded in 1983.
Both Denley and Bolton left System C shortly after selling the company to McKesson in May 2011.
3.55pm Labour MP Clive Efford has put forward a private member’s bill which includes a move to “amend the provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 relating to Monitor” and “to repeal the regulations made under section 75 of that Act”.
3.15pm You have just three days to enter the HSJ Awards 2014. Make sure you get your entries in for one or more of the 22 categories, which will be judged by a panel of experts and peers.
You can leave your views or questions for Sr David in the comment thread. Join us at 12pm on Tuesday 8 July for the live Q&A.
2.12pm The Health and Social Care Information Centre has admitted it has no power to force private companies holding potentially sensitive patient data obtained from its predecessor body to comply with its requests to delete the information.
The centre announced last month it had written to three re-insurance companies asking them to delete patient data they had obtained legally from the NHS Information Centre.
New regulations are to be introduced under the Care Act this autumn restricting the flow of potentially identifiable data solely to purposes of benefit to the health and social care systems.
1.25pm In Michael White’s latest column he suggests that public polls which support increased taxes to help fund the NHS may not be the good news they appear.
The move follows the NHS England chief executive’s offer to CCGs in May to become “co-commissioners” of primary care alongside his organisation’s area teams, which currently manage it.
NHS England has received expressions of interest from 183 CCGs - more than four in five of the 211 total - which it will approve or refuse by October.
11.00am HSJ reporter Sarah Calkin is tweeting from the Improving Patient Safety Towards Harm Free Care conference, where Jeremy Hunt is delivering the opening address.
Follow @sjcalkin for live updates.
10.55am An independent review into end of life care has been launched, chaired by the chief executive of the National Council for Palliative Care, Claire Henry.
The review will look at what people want, the support they need and the services required to make choice a reality.
Experts in end of life care will join Ms Henry to make up the board bringing experience from a range of perspectives, including: charity, health and social care, policy making, carer and personal experience of end of life care services.
The board will present its findings and advice to Government in February 2015.
10.45am In the Telegraph’s comment section, Mary Riddell argues that “prevarication” by Labour on its plans for the funding of the health service could be “disastrous”.
“If the opposition wants to spend the [election] campaign talking about health, as opposed to welfare or immigration or Europe, then it had better have something big to say,” she writes.
A panel of six leading cardiologists yesterday insisted that the “the jury was no longer out” about the benefits of the drugs in preventing stroke and heart attacks, compared with risks which have been overstated.
The lack of agreement with this large London teaching hospital makes up the lion’s share of the £91m that is still in dispute across specialised services nationals, according to a report by the national director for commissioning operations, Dame Barbara Hakin, to the NHS England board meeting this week.
This states while most “contract issues are resolved” there was a “total of £91m in dispute, of which £75m relates entirely to one particular foundation trust in central London”.
10.30am A leading figure in the British medical profession has said doctors should be able to help terminally ill patients end their lives days or weeks before they would be expected to die, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Professor John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, called for a change in the law so that doctors caring for people who are dying can end their suffering by giving a lethal dose of drugs to those who want it without risk of prosecution.
10.25am The Times reports that new research published in PLOS Medicine suggests that mothers who have a caesarean section are at greater risk of having a future stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy.
10.20am NHS England this week confirmed it had still not managed to set plans to balance its £97bn budget for 2014-15, in what experts saw as a sign that the NHS overall could face financial crisis sooner than expected.
A report to the national commissioning body’s board meeting this week by its chief financial officer, Paul Baumann, showed that three months into the financial year he was still unable to present it with a balanced financial plan for approval.
Plans submitted by clinical commissioning groups and NHS England’s own direct commissioners in late June showed an aggregate overspend of £137m against the commissioning system’s £97.3bn spending limit for the year.
10.05am Prime Minister David Cameron has announced he is launching a review into how to tackle the growing threat of resistance to antibiotics.
Around 25,000 people already die each year from infections resistant to antibiotic drugs in Europe alone and the lack of new drugs which are capable of fighting bacteria has been described by the World Health Organization as one of the most significant global risks facing modern medicine.
Mr Cameron has commissioned an independent review, led by the economist Jim O’Neill and co-funded and hosted by the Wellcome Trust, to explore the economic issues surrounding antimicrobial resistance.
The review will set out a plan for encouraging and accelerating the discovery and development of new generations of antibiotics, and will examine:
- The development, use and regulatory environment of antimicrobials, especially antibiotics, and explore how to make investment in new antibiotics more attractive to pharmaceutical companies and other funding bodies.
- The balance between effective and sustainable incentives for investment, and the need to conserve antimicrobial drugs so they remain effective for as long as possible.
- How governments and other funders can stimulate investment in new antimicrobials and timeframes and mechanisms for implementation.
- Increasing international cooperation and support for action by the international community, including much closer working with low and middle income countries on this issue.
The Prime Minister said resistance to antibiotics was a “very real and worrying threat” and could lead to a future in which currently treatable injuries and ailments could prove fatal.
As part of the effort to address the issue an international group of experts will aim to stimulate the development of a “new generation of antibiotics”, The Times reported.
“This is not some distant threat but something happening right now,” Mr Cameron told the newspaper. “If we fail we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine where treatable infections and injuries will kill once again.
9.50am The Daily Mail reports that nearly half a million women are being denied low cost pills that could prevent breast cancer.
NICE advised doctors to offer Tamoxifen or Raloxifene to high and moderate-risk women for prevention last June.
However, a year later the drugs are yet to be licensed for use.
9.40am The share of NHS community health service funding going to private providers has sharply increased in recent years, a new study reveals.
One pound in every five spent on community services in 2012-13 was on private providers, according to the research by the Nuffield Trust, which it has shared with HSJ.
This represented a 34 per cent increase in community services funding going to the private sector in one year alone.
7.00am Welcome to HSJ Live. To start that day, looking back on her time and experience in the NHS, Janet Williamson, deputy chief inspector of general practice and dentistry at the Care Quality Commission, offers advice on how best to effectively lead healthcare improvement work and take ‘luck’ out of the equation.