Live news and comment as results come in for an election which could have significant consequences for the NHS
Election night coverage
5.35pm: Here is today’s HSJ daily digest.
Today’s must know story is that half of all nurses at ‘inadequate’ trusts worried about staffing
Today’s risk comes from mental health trusts that fear commissioners will not pass on funding increases
Today’s talking point: if you haven’t had enough already, “it’s the election, stupid”
3.50pm Last week we ran a story on 10 potential MPs to watch in health - prospective parliamentary candidates with a background or particular interest in health running in ‘winnable’ seats.
If you’re interested in tracking their electoral fortunes over the night and into the wee hours, MHP, who compiled the list, have provided a handy guide for when the candidates’ constituencies are due to declare.
3.08pm A contract to deliver prison health services at two Liverpool prisons has been awarded to Lancashire Care Foundation Trust.
The five year contract to deliver the services at HM Prison Liverpool and HM Prison Kennet was awarded to the mental health and community trust by NHS England following a tender process.
The total value of the contract is expected to be published when it is signed next week.
Lancashire Care has been running services at the two prisons on an interim basis in partnership with Mersey Care Foundation Trust since the start of the year.
The trusts stepped in at the prisons after the previous provider, Liverpool Community Health Trust, pulled out from the contract.
Liverpool Community stopped delivering the services after a highly critical Care Quality Commission inspection last year found it was not meeting quality and safety standards.
The inspection found “low morale and a blame culture” among staff, and loose, unidentifiable tablets which had been popped out of their blister packs on one of the wings.
2.44pm Croydon Health Services Trust has been given permission to appeal the findings of an employment tribunal, HSJ understands.
The tribunal last year found in favour of Kevin Beatt, a consultant who was sacked by the trust after raising concerns about the safety of equipment at the hospital.
The tribunal found that Dr Beatt, a cardiologist at the trust for seven years until 2012, was unfairly dismissed because he raised concerns over the safety of radiation equipment in his department.
The Royal College of Physicians conducted a review of the cardiology department and found some problems that could affect patient care, according to the tribunal judgment.
2.37pm A new national strategy for mental health will be ‘clear, tangible and costed’, according to the chair of NHS England’s taskforce for the sector.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, has told HSJ the plan will be a “route map” for the sector to 2020.
Mr Farmer is leading the taskforce to create the strategy. It is expected to be published later this year.
2.35pm More than half of NHS mental health trusts fear their commissioners will not pass on funding increases for 2015-16, according to a survey of the sector.
In addition, 19 per cent of the providers said they believed investment was being withheld due to the local clinical commissioning group’s financial position.
2.33pm More than half the nursing workforce at the eight hospital trusts rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission have said there are not enough staff for them to do their job.
A subset of data, given exclusively to HSJ by the Picker Institute, from the most recent NHS staff survey shows that 52 per cent of adult registered nurses disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement: “There are enough staff at this organisation for me to do my job properly.”
2.23pm Almost 60 per cent of senior council officers want greater powers over health, a survey by HSJ’s sister title, Local Government Chronical, has found.
LGC asked senior officers about their plans and ambitions for devolution.
The survey found that 58 per cent wanted greater powers over health, as seen in Greater Manchester where the combined authority is being given control over the area’s £6bn health and social care budget.
This was most popular in London and the north-east where more than 80% of respondents cited it, compared with just a third in the south-west.
However, despite the clamour for devolution, the majority of the 229 respondents would not support the introduction of an elected mayor in return for more powers, a condition laid out in the Conservative manifesto. Fewer than one in five participants (19%) said they were in favour of adopting an elected mayor model, while 57% were opposed and the remainder said they did not know.
1.37pm HSJ and HSJi were shortlisted for four awards in the British Media Awards last night and won two silvers for ‘launch of the year’ and ‘content team of the year’ against some pretty stiff competition. Here’s a picture of some happy HSJ colleagues at the event:
— Dave West (@Davewwest) May 6, 2015
1.32pm Here’s that picture posted by Sir David Nicholson, using his new found freedom to air his political views:
— David Nicholson (@DavidNichols0n) May 7, 2015
10.57am John Coulthard, the former director of customer relations at NHS England, has started an interesting blog on the ‘eight lessons’ he learned working at the arms’ length body. Here’s the first lesson, which he posted today:
“There is no working model for NHS England, processes seem arbitrary and inconsistent. Decision makers wanting to change things need to be courageous, you can expect all of your decisions to be second guessed and reexamined as the environment changes. You will get some support but it is often non-committal and vague. Lesson 1 – if you want to work in the upper echelons of the NHS make sure you’re mentally and physically resilient.”
10.36am The Times reports that a glass of red wine a night could help diabetics to stay healthy.
People drinking a medium glass of red with dinner every night for two years had better levels of “good” cholesterol than those drinking either white wine or water, Israeli researchers found.
10.35am Many people will take to social media today to voice their support for a political party.
A certain former chief executive of NHS England has posted the following on Twitter this morning:
I’ll post the tweet a little later this morning.
10.14am Elsewhere, the paper reports that GPs are also calling for a system that lets them postpone cancer screening and check-ups for the elderly when surgeries are very busy.
They want to implement a ‘black alert’ system similar to that in place for hospitals which enables them to cancel routine operations and draft in extra staff.
Family doctors say they are under just as much pressure as hospitals so there is no reason why they shouldn’t also be entitled to postpone non-urgent appointments
10.13am The Daily Mail reports this morning that GPs want to be able to charge patients for treatments that are being rationed by the NHS.
The paper’s health correspondent Sophie Borland writes that family doctors will vote on a rule change so they can encourage patients to pay for minor operations to remove moles and non-cancerous cysts.
The procedures - carried out for free on the NHS until recently – are restricted in most areas of England to save money.
Senior GPs on local medical committees will vote on changing the rules to allow them to carry out more private patient work at a conference later this month.
7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. Election day is finally here and voters are heading to the polls in a contest which could have significant ramifications for the NHS. We’ll keep you update with all the latest news and comment.