The Christie Foundation Trust will be investigated by the regulator, plus the rest of today’s news and comment.
5.34pm Monitor has launched an investigation into The Christie Foundation Trust in Manchester.
The regulator will look into concerns that the trust board is “not functioning as effectively as it should and has not adhered to the required corporate governance standards”.
Lord Bradley, the chair of the trust for the past three years, announced his intention to resign following a board meeting at the trust on 24 February. He stated that he will leave the trust as soon as a replacement can be found.
Monitor said the focus of its investigation is into the governance arrangements at the trust, and not the allegations which led to the suspension of the chief executive last year.
4.40pm In a message to all NHS staff Jeremy Hunt says he has written to trusts to reassure staff about speaking out. Here’s his full message:
“One year on from Francis, my top priority remains to support you in creating a more patient-centred, compassionate NHS. So this week I have written to all NHS Trusts to reiterate how strongly I feel that staff should be able to raise any concerns about patient care and safety. We have put in place reforms to give you that reassurance, but in light of recent media reports I want it to be absolutely clear that whistleblowers speaking out about poor care should be confident they will be listened to.
“To support you in this we have made a number of important changes. We have ensured that all NHS employment contracts include the right to raise concerns about care and amended the NHS Constitution to strengthen the commitment to supporting staff who do so. We are also funding a national helpline – independent from employers and the Department of Health and completely confidential – to provide advice to anyone in health or social care who wants to raise a concern. The number is 08000 724 725. We are also introducing a new duty of candour, so that when things go wrong, organisations have a duty to admit mistakes and tell patients what has happened. The professional regulators will be working together to include a new consistent professional duty of candour in codes of conduct. Together, these changes are intended to support you by building the open culture we need and where you can be confident that you can speak up for the patients in your care.
“Finally I’d like to thank everyone who has been part of a magnificent NHS response to the recent floods. This has been the wettest winter in nearly 250 years, and I know from my own constituency that NHS services have been providing vital help to communities in affected areas.”
4.05pm Over in our Insight and Influence section Ridouts solicitor Joanna Shar writes that the next wave of CQC inspections will be a challenging time for hospital trusts and the regulator alike as all parties will be in an experimental phase.
2.23pm The chair of a large teaching hospital has resigned in protest after claiming the NHS Trust Development Authority had pre-judged the results of a Care Quality Commission inspection, HSJ can reveal.
A high level row over the fate of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust is revealed in a series of leaked emails between CQC chief inspector of hospitals Sir Mike Richards and the trust’s former chair, Sir Peter Dixon.
Sir Peter complained to Sir Mike that the TDA wanted to place the organisation into special measures because of financial problems but to “hide behind” a CQC report criticising quality.
1.59pm Elsewhere in our Leadership section we have an interview with the new clinical chair at Oxfordshire CCG, Joe McManners, who says that his area is starting to face challenges that will soon hit the rest of the NHS.
At yesterday’s board meeting, the NHS England chief executive said: “One thing the politicians need to do now is… not to fiddle around with the organisation of the NHS.
“No top-down reorganisation I think is the thing that is important.”
Sir David will retire at the end of the month, when he will be replaced by Simon Stevens, a former health adviser to Tony Blair as prime minister.
1.25pm What did you have to say about inequality in end of life care? Here’s a round-up of some of our readers’ comments during the Twitter chat we hosted on this subject last week.
1.12pm NHS England has reported that last week was the busiest week for accident and emergency departments since data started being collected in November 2010.
There were 429,998 attendances and 106,043 emergency admissions and 94.8 per cent of patients were seen within four hours - just under the 95 per cent target.
Chief operating officer and deputy chief executive for NHS England Dame Barbara Hakin said: “The number of emergency admissions has been consistently high for the past few months, and is in line with the emerging trend which has seen a 31 per cent rise in number of people needing emergency admission to hospital over the last ten years.
“Despite the challenge this brings, the NHS continues to provide patients with a good service. This week 94.8 per cent of those attending A&E were transferred, admitted or discharged within four hours during the week ending 2 March. This is down to the hard work of frontline staff who deserve the credit for pulling out all the stops to deliver for patients.”
Amanda Pollard, who was a compliance inspector in West Kent, claims she was forced out of her job at the CQC after she raised concerns about the regulator’s former management and the quality of its inspection regime to the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust public inquiry.
Her claim for constructive dismissal will be heard at an employment tribunal in central London from Monday, and is scheduled to last 6 days.
12.25pm On our Leadership channel Tony Yeaman, national head of healthcare at law firm Weightmans LLP, writes that healthcare providers will find themselves dealing with some complex and demanding issues in the transformation of organisational and systemic culture.
11.54am The government has published the legal measures it hopes will allay fears over the controversial care.data programme, and insisted they will not prevent information being available for commissioning, research and public health.
The changes were laid this week as proposed amendments to the Care Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament.
One amendment states the Health and Social Care Information Centre would only be able to release data where it “would be for the purposes of the provision of health care or adult social care”.
11.37am The Medical Protection Society has welcomed the importance placed on a culture of openness in the review of the threshold for the statutory duty of candour, but is concerned about when the duty will apply.
Doctors already have professional responsibilities to be open with their patients and MPS believes that the new duty should act only as a final legal safeguard in the most severe cases, where there is death or serious harm.
Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, medicolegal adviser at MPS said: “MPS has long advocated an open culture of learning and improvement rather than one of blame for professionals when something goes wrong.We need an environment where staff are trained and supported in admitting errors and learning from mistakes and we are pleased to see the report recommends that time, money and effort be invested in this.
“The report acknowledges that a compliance-based approach will fail, making it all the more important that the new legal obligation is correctly focused where it can make a difference.
“In certain circumstances, identifying the extent of harm can be difficult and is a matter of judgement. Too broad a statutory definition will mean many more instances of a duty to report, a more extensive monitoring system and more confusion and fear amongst professionals due to the subjective judgments needed for lower levels of harm. “
The redesign is likely to result in significant changes to its clinical workforce, including the creation of new job roles.
Trust chief executive Rachel Newson told HSJ the programme had been inspired by the “value based healthcare” approach espoused by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter.
The trust, which is the main current provider of the services affected by the tender, had jointly bid for the contract with Optum, formerly UnitedHealth UK.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, which is tendering the integrated older people’s contract, announced the bidders which had reached the final stage of its process on Thursday.
11.06am The Daily Mail reports that a registrar left a surgical glove inside a patient after performing an operation she learnt through watching a DVD.
The first chapter looks at postgraduate education for NHS staff is as much about preparing them for the new focus on professional accountability as it is self-development. Alison Moore discusses how recruiters are looking for excellent and inquisitive candidates.
10.39am Strict guidelines regulating the amount of sugar in school meals have been dropped because ministers say they are too complex, The Telegraph reports.
The government wants to scrap detailed nutritional guidelines setting out the level of vitamins and minerals in lunches to “cut bureaucracy for schools”.
10.38am The Times also reports on the Health and Social Care Information Centre calling for a review into the handling of sensitive data. The HSCIC said it will make clear what information has been released and why.
The report looked into a cross-section of 18 hospitals trusts inspected under the CQC’s overhauled inspection regime.
10.16am The Department of Health has decided that funding Independent Midwives UK members’ insurance will not give patients protection.
Independent Midwives UK put forward a proposal for indemnity insurance covering independent midwives to the Department of Health requesting £10m in funding.
This follows independent advice that the business model proposed by Independent Midwives UK is unlikely to be successful in providing long-term protection for patients, regardless of the amount of funding provided.
The timing of the decision has been driven by a new EU Directive. Soon all regulated healthcare professionals, including independent midwives, will require indemnity insurance to continue to practise.
Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: “This Government supports personalised one to one care in maternity, that’s why we’ve invested in over 1,500 additional midwives since 2010 with a further 5,000 in training. In that context IMUK represents approximately 150 midwives, around 0.4 per cent of the 41,000 midwives practising in the UK.
“All patients should expect that their doctor, midwife or healthcare professional is properly insured so that they are protected if things go wrong. We are clear, and have received independent expert advice, that IMUK’s proposal does not represent value for money for the taxpayer, and will not be successful in providing long-term protection for women.
“We have put resources into assessing IMUK’s proposal and helping them find solutions that will allow them to continue to practise – and would also welcome them into the NHS if they chose that option.”
10.02am The Daily Telegraph reports that seeing a familiar GP can help improve a patient’s health, research suggests.
Patients are more likely to share problems with a GP they know well, according to the study by the University of Bristol. However one in four patients find it difficult to consult the doctor of their choice, the researchers said.
9.47am The Guardian also reports that campaigners are worried that draft updated guideline on sugar consumption from the World Health Organisation are not clear enough.
The WHO recommended that no more than 10 per cent of our calories should come from sugar, but suggested less than 5 per cent would be preferable.
Aseem Malhotra, cardiologist and science director of pressure group Action on Sugar said most people would find it hard to calculate how much sugar they are consuming and packaging labels do not help.
The report by the Royal College of Surgeons and the chief executive of Salford Royal Foundation Trust Sir David Dalton may put pressure on Jeremy Hunt to introduce a full duty of candour, which patients’ organisations have been demanding for years.
9.33am We have a new addition to the HSJ team to introduce to our readers. Emma Maier has been appointed deputy editor. Emma was previously the editor at HSJ’s sister title Local Government Chronicle.
Her career has included roles on Community Care and Third Sector magazines. During her time on LGC, Emma pioneered the development of joint reporting of health and social care integration with HSJ.
Emma can be followed on twitter at @EmmaMaier.
Emma’s move comes amidst a number of changes among the senior team at HSJ. Dave West becomes senior bureau chief responsible for HSJ’s coverage of commissioning and care quality issues. David Williams and Sarah Calkin are promoted to senior correspondents within the commissioning and quality bureau.
Crispin Dowler becomes bureau chief responsible for the coverage of healthcare providers and finance issues. James Illman becomes a correspondent within this bureau.
Full details of the HSJ editorial team and their responsibilities can be found on the Contact Us page.
7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live.