The deadline to nominate your organisation for this year’s HSJ Awards is tonight, plus the rest of today’s news and comment
4.28pm In an update to our story on the A&E stats row the House of Commons has just put an updated version of its A&E waiting times blog, which includes a statement at the top saying they “got it wrong”:
“This post has been amended on 4 July. It was taken down on 3 July on the initiative of the Library. The post’s analysis of the data has not been changed. However, the description of the Prime Minister and Health Secretary’s use of these statistics did not meet our expected standards of impartiality. Also, we speculated on the patient’s view of the different measures of waiting time without firm evidence.
“We strive to be a trusted and authoritative source of unbiased information that informs democratic discourse and encourages debate. On this occasion we got it wrong and we will learn lessons.”
3.55pm The College of Emergency Medicine has responded to the story about a House of Commons A&E waiting times blog questioning the Prime Minister’s use of certain figures:
President, Dr Cliff Mann, said: “From my point of view a debate about these figures has limited value because these figures are of little relevance and doubtful accuracy. The important figures remain the demand (attendances and admissions) versus supply (head count of senior decision makers) this ratio is not improving and in many places is getting worse. This is why the College of Emergency Medicine is calling for action on its 10 Priorities for resolving the challenges facing Emergency Departments.”
3.20pm In our Comment section Local Government Chronicle editor Nick Golding writes that health and wellbeing boards could play an important part in making integration happen and injecting democratic accountability into the NHS, but only if they are willing to interact with other organisations.
2.45pm Specialist heart hospitals are lobbying Monitor to speed the introduction of new tariffs for aortic surgery, arguing the current national pricing is losing large sums on some complex procedures.
The Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Foundation Trust and the Royal Brompton and Harefield FT said they had been unable to get confirmation as to when a more-refined approach to costing these procedures – which are already adopted by the Health and Social Care Information Centre – would be fed into national payment by results prices.
Liverpool Heart and Chest chief finance officer David Jago said his trust estimated it was losing just over £1m a year on complex aortic surgery, due to a combination of the current pricing structure and inaccuracies in the costing data used to set present national prices.
Analysis released by the respected research unit dismissed the Prime Minister’s claim that the “average waiting time” in NHS hospitals had fallen from 77 minutes under Labour to just 30 minutes.
It argued the data “did not support” the assertion, made during PMQs on Wednesday, describing it as a “simplistic reading” of statistics.
Labour seized on the assessment to accuse Mr Cameron of “cynical spin”, while a furious Number 10 insisted the premier had been “100% accurate”.
As reported by HSJ yesterday, the Department of Health’s current policy director Ian Dodge has been appointed the director of commissioning strategy. He will take up his new post on Monday.
At the organisation’s board meeting yesterday, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens described Mr Dodge as the “successor to Bill McCarthy”, its former policy director.
1.30pm A whistleblowing nurse has been awarded £80,000 by an employment tribunal that found she was unfairly dismissed after suffering “detriment” for making protected disclosures over patient safety concerns.
Elaine Fernandez won the case against Allied Healthcare Group, a provider of nursing services across the UK.
The tribunal described Ms Fernandez as a “dedicated and hardworking” member of staff who was seen by Allied Healthcare as a “troublemaker” who threatened its commercial interests.
1.20pm Sir David Dalton, who is leading a review into future models for providers, will be answering readers’ questions in a live Q&A on Tuesday 8 July at 12pm.
12.35pm A failed care pathway example illustrates why we should have more care and support for people like Mrs Andrews – whose story is featured in a recent HSJ video – outside of hospital, writes Gill Andrews, vice-president of the British Geriatric Society.
Trust representatives and members of the Unite union failed to reach any agreement to end the dispute during talks yesterday with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service and a second meeting is scheduled for next Thursday.
As a result 53 staff will remain unable to enter the hospital’s pathology lab. They were locked out on Thursday 27 June.
Unite members were due to begin industrial action short of a strike over a new contract which would see some workers lose salary and face working more night shifts.
Over 60 per cent of the NHSCC membership cast their votes for the Board. Co-Chaired by Dr Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer at NHS Blackpool CCG, and Dr Steve Kell, Chair of NHS Bassetlaw CCG, the board is made up of 26 people (including some job shares).
11.00am Health regulator Monitor’s effectiveness has been brought into question by an influential group of MPs.
The regulator “must get better” at identifying NHS hospital trusts at risk of failure, the public accounts committee has said.
Its latest report highlighted the large proportion of foundation trusts, which Monitor regulates, that are in financial difficulties.
10.40am The Commons public accounts committee has criticised Monitor for a “lack of frontline NHS experience” and said its new responsibilities create “a risk of actual or perceived conflicts of interest”. The comments are made in a new report from the committee published today.
Committee chair Margaret Hodge said: “Monitor has got to get much better at identifying and taking radical action in trusts at risk of failure. However, its effectiveness is undermined by a lack of frontline NHS experience.
“Only 7 of Monitor’s 337 staff have a clinical background and only 21 have experience of running or working in the NHS, which damages Monitor’s credibility and ability to diagnose problems and develop solutions.
“It is currently spending £9 million a year out of its £48 million budget on consultants to fill gaps in expertise.
“At the same time Monitor’s remit is expanding beyond protecting NHS foundation trusts from failure. It now has a wider duty to protect and promote the interests of patients and a role in ensuring the continuity of essential health services.
“This creates a risk of actual or perceived conflicts of interest. For example, in setting prices for NHS-funded care, Monitor will need to balance its responsibility to support the financial viability of NHS foundation trusts with the objective of promoting more care outside hospitals in the community in the interests of patients.
“Monitor must demonstrate how it will prioritise the protection of patients’ interests above those of NHS foundation trusts, to allay concerns that its new responsibilities are conflicting.
“It must also demonstrate how it will build up the skills and capacity internally and within trusts to provide the quality of staff and leadership needed to take the NHS forward in these difficult times.”
10.23am How can the best providers of NHS care be incentivised to work across different locations? Does the structure of an NHS provider of care matter to patients?
HSJ will host a live Q&A with Salford Royal Foundation Trust chief executive Sir David Dalton, who is leading a review into provider models. The scope for the discussion will be wide ranging, and Sir David is keen to hear the thoughts of leaders and staff at provider organisations, patients and commissioners. The Q&A will be at 12pm on Tuesday 8 July, and you can find out how to pose your questions and comments to Sir David here.
10.00am This week’s issue of HSJ magazine is now available to read on our tablet app.
In this week’s issue an exclusive HSJ/FTI Consulting poll reveals strong public support for the NHS but fear for the future of free healthcare. Learn more and download the HSJ tablet apps here.
9.20am: Good morning, welcome to HSJ Live.
Today is the last day you can enter your organisation in the HSJ Awards 2014. The deadline is tonight - so it really is the final chance to be in the running for the largest and most sought after awards in British healthcare
Now in their 33rd year, HSJ Awards’ 22 categories recognise and reward best practice in healthcare organisations throughout the country.