London trust’s forecast deficit is around double what it was at the start of the year, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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3.38pm: Medway Foundation Trust has kept its “inadequate” rating despite slight improvements found by a Care Quality Commission inspection team during its latest visit.

Following the sixth inspection of the hospital in just over two years, inspectors found that although there had been improvements in the assessment and management of patients in the emergency department it is still struggling.

3.03pm: A story in the Times today on a National Audit Office Report puts the challenges of health and social integration into sharp relief.

Thegovernment’s spending watchdog claims ministers are failing to grasp the complexity of moving people with learning disabilities who are currently confined to hospitals out into the community, the paper says.

According to the NAO, patients are being kept in hospitals unnecessarily as councils sought to protect their social care budgets. The cost to the NHS was put at £3,426 a week.


2.11pm: Ben Clover has revealed further details about the Barts’ deficit on Twitter. Follow Ben at@BenClover


1.47pm: Barts Health Trust’s forecast outturn deficit has swelled to £93m, HSJ senior correspondent Ben Clover reports. This is around double what it was at the start of the financial year, and equivalent to 9 per cent of its turnover.

Follow @BenClover on Twitter for more from the trust’s board meeting.

12.37am: Monitor’s chief executive has indicated some support for a merger between his organisation and the NHS Trust Development Authority.

He told HSJ in an exclusive interview he could “see a lot of sense” in joining the two bodies. The idea was floated by Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burhham last week.

12.18am: Monitor has closed its investigation into Liverpool Women’s Foundation Trust, the regulator has announced. The probe has launched last July after the Care Quality Commission flagged up concerns about service quality and staffing levels.

Monitor says the trust had taken steps to address the issues raised by the CQC and that “no further formal regulatory action” was needed.

11.00am: Lord Hunt describes efficiency targets in the NHS’s Five Year Forward View as “courageous”- a term which he says can be correctly interpreted as “unbelievable”.

10.55am The Labour peer has now moved onto the rejection by tariff debacle, describing it as a “cry from the heart” of the NHS from providers under pressure.

10.49am: Lord Hunt tells the audience he is in a “state of dispair” about how different parts of the system are blaming and competing with each other. He says providers are being pressured by regulators to sign off better care fund plans

10.45am: HSJ reporter Judith Welikala is tweeting from a King’s Fund debate, where Labour peer Philip Hunt, the Lib Dem’s Paul Burstow and Sir John Oldham are discussing integrated care.

10.22am: Monitor will establish a new unit tasked with helping trusts improve performance and lead the regulator’s role implementing reforms set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View, the regulator’s chief executive has revealed to HSJ.

David Bennett said in an exclusive interview the new “provider sustainability” directorate would aim to bring in-house a large chunk of the work it buys in from consultancies such as McKinsey and PwC. It will be funded from the £30m budget the regulator currently has for external consultants.

He said he hoped, in time, that unit woudl become the “engine room” for the “whole system interventions” in challenged health economies described in the forward view.

While at the other end of the spectrum, it will be the conduit for Monitor’s involvement in the health economies chosen to be in the “vanguard” of new care models, coordinating the support they need on issues like pricing or choice and competition.

10.04am: Sir John Oldham, Lord Hunt, Paul Burstow and Stephen Dorrell will all be speaking at the King’s Fund’s integrated care event today. HSJ reporter Judith Welikala is there. Follow her on Twitter at @JudithWelikala for the latest updates.

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We begin the day with Michael White’s weekly politics piece. This week Michael writes that the “ghosts of political past” have haunted the election run-up.

Stephen Dorrell, Alan Milburn and other grandees have found their voice about their parties’ policy directions, piling unhelpful headlines on the current health incumbents as they gear up for the general election.