HSJ launches its leadership inquiry for the modern day NHS, plus the rest of today’s news and comment 

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5.50pm Sir Liam Donaldson, the former chief medical officer of England, is to head a review panel to consider the improvements that could be made to the Northern Ireland health service, the BBC reports.

4.13pm Our reporter Nick Renaud-Komiya is tweeting from the Health Committee where the HSCIC is in attendance to discuss the handling of patient data. Follow @nickrenkom for updates.

2.53pm In Michael White’s latest column for HSJ he argues that the scramble to influence politicians before the next election is unnecessary, seeing as they seem to agree with each other on the direction health policy should go.

The trust, which has annual debts of over £40m resulting from a disastrous PFI deal, expects to publish the tender in the summer, providing the foundation trust watchdog signs off the process.

A statement by the trust said: “Our tender plan was submitted to Monitor on 31 March. And we are awaiting their comments and feedback.Our formal procurement exercise is currently planned to start in the summer.

2.35pm NHS leaders are tougher than their private sector counterparts, write two psychologists in our Comment section.

1.59pm The King’s Fund has made a new animation which gives a whistle-stop tour of how the urgent and emergency care system fits together.

The animation is accompanied by a ‘mythbusters’ section looking at some common misconceptions about A&E and urgent and emergency care.

1.50pm Patient campaign group medConfidential claims the Health and Social Care Information Centre has admitted to several data breaches in response to a Freedom of Information request by the campaign group.

The letter states: “With regards to HES data, from 2008 onwards, I can confirm that we hold records of 1 ‘data breach’ in each of the following years; 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.”

Among the documents released is a 130-page report detailing one of the breaches, in 2011.

The 2011 data breach, of improperly deleted data on a stolen unencrypted laptop, involved two extractions of inpatient data that “included full postcode and patient age for Hospital Episodes in 2009/10 throughout England”.

Phil Booth, coordinator of medConfidential, said: “Despite claiming a perfect record for security, we now find that patients’ hospital information has been breached multiple times – though officials have seen fit not to disclose the full details.

“Were a computer containing such sensitive information to be sold on eBay or make its way onto the black market, who knows how many patients’ lives and privacy would be permanently wrecked.

“The prescription is simple; the Information Centre must stop sending organisations and companies millions of sensitive health records, or letting them download copies of the data. 50 million patients’ medical records are a national treasure. It’s time they were treated as such.”

1.22pm The NHS should be investing in interventions that improve health and wellbeing, not cutting cost effective mental health services, says chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health Sean Duggan.

12.43pm HSJ has launched a leadership inquiry, chaired by the chief executive of University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust, Sir Robert Naylor.

Here we introduce you to the inquiry’s panel, including a previous health secretary and respected NHS leaders.

11.52am The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Addiction Psychiatry has called for the government to give greater support for services that treat adults with gambling problems.
The Faculty believes these adults deserve the same access to treatment services as those with alcohol and drug addictions. However, the Faculty argues that current services, which are funded almost exclusively by the gambling industry, are under-developed, geographically ‘patchy’ or simply nonexistent.
In its discussion paper Gambling: the hidden addiction, the Faculty recommends that the government should recognise gambling disorder as a public health responsibility, so that treatment could potentially begin to be provided from England’s existing and network of community drug and alcohol services.
Commissioned by local authorities these services already treat more than 300,000 adults experiencing drug and alcohol addiction. Expert in the medical treatment of addictions, these services could play an important role in tackling adult gambling disorder, the Faculty believes.
Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, co-author of the discussion paper said: “Increasingly based on strong partnerships between the NHS and voluntary sector, community services have the experience and expertise to work towards helping people with a gambling disorder.”
11.45am The outgoing chief executive of NHS Wales has defended the service’s performance in the country under his watch as he prepares to return to a leadership position within the English health service.  

David Sissling, who has stepped down from the senior role in order to become chief executive of Kettering General Hospital Trust, told HSJ that under a range of performance measures, the Welsh service showed a “positive pattern”.

The Welsh NHS has recently come under criticism for its performance in a number of key measures, such as waiting times. In November 2013 only 88.4 per cent of patients requiring hospital treatment were treated within 26 weeks. The Welsh government’s target is for 95 per cent to be treated within this time.

11.30am Monitor has launched an investigation into the way that Central North West London Foundation Trust is run.

This comes after the CQC issued three warning notices to the trust last month relating to the care of mental health patients at the Campbell Centre in Milton Keynes and Beatrice Place in London.

Monitor’s investigation will look into whether the concerns raised by CQC indicate wider problems with how the trust is run.

No decision has been taken about whether further regulatory action is required and an announcement about the outcome of the investigation will be made in due course.

Victoria Woodhatch, senior regional manager at Monitor, said: “We have decided to open an investigation at the Trust to identify if there are any problems with the way the trust is run that would prevent it providing high quality care for patients.

“Our investigation will take a very close look at the issues highlighted by the CQC; and we will take regulatory action if required.”

11.22am Severely-ill patients will soon have access to new medicines years before they are given the green light for widespread use.

Researchers can now apply for medicines to be fast-tracked for patients through the Early Access to Medicines Scheme.

The idea behind the initiative is to help patients with life-threatening or seriously debilitating conditions who have no other treatment options available to them.

11.07am NHS England is aiming to roll-out the London model of stroke reconfiguration on a nationwide basis, its updated business plan reveals.

Outcomes for stroke patients have improved in London since specialist care was centralised in eight hyper-acute stroke centres in 2010.

In its updated business plan NHS England sets out an aim to have developed fully approved cases for stroke reconfiguration in two geographical areas by early next year.

11.01am Using laptops or tablets instead of paper for hospital rounds could save each doctor almost an hour a day, research suggests.

Medics spend around 56 per cent of ward round time filling out paperwork, but this could be reduced to around 41 per cent if doctors made use of technology, the study found.

Staff from Birmingham Women’s Hospital’s neonatal unit swapped paperwork for an electronic system for around seven months last year.

10.50am A mental health trust which faced losing business worth £30m due to quality concerns has been named as the preferred bidder in a highly contested tender for the services.

Commissioners in Bristol decided to tender services provided by the £195m turnover Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust in November 2012, following repeated failed attempts to get the provider to improve service quality.

The contract was split into five lots. The first and largest lot, for community mental health services, was worth about £17m a year.

10.40am Deputy chair of Monitor and previous NHS manager prior to the Griffiths Report, Stephen Thornton, gives a fascinating account of his experience of the NHS when his career started 35 years ago.

10.35am Britain’s biggest drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is facing fresh bribery accusations – this time in Iraq, The Independent reports.

The scandal involves claims that GSK hired Iraqi government doctors and pharmacists, paying them to act as a sales representatives to boost revenues for its medicines improperly. The company, which is currently fighting a multimillion-pound corruption inquiry in China, said it was “investigating” the Iraq allegations.

10.30am A women’s hospital trust is considering expanding into the Middle East after being approached by a state seeking to cut its waiting list for fertility treatment, HSJ has learned.

The unnamed Middle Eastern state’s approach to Liverpool Women’s Foundation Trust was revealed in a loan application by the trust released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Liverpool Women’s applied in January for a £6m loan from the independent trust finance facility, to expand the UK operations of its Hewitt Fertility Centre. The centre’s work is described in the application as “highly profitable for the trust”.

10.21am The Times reports that millions of older people suffer from undiagnosed depression in a silent epidemic that constitutes “our next big public health problem”, a leading expert has warned.

James Warner, chairman of the Old Age Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists said that almost nine out of ten elderly people with depression get no help because doctors struggle to spot the symptoms or confuse it with dementia.

10.19am The Care Quality Commission has released the results of its patient survey.

The survey gathered the views of 62,400 people who stayed in hospital for at least one night last year.

Seventy one per cent rated their experience as 8 or above, while 27 per cent rated it 10 out of 10. This is an improvement on 2012 when the numbers were 69 per cent and 25 per cent respectively.

However, only 54 per cent felt that they were “definitely” involved in decisions about their discharge from hospital; an increase from 53 per cent in 2012 but this still leaves 46 per cent who did not feel fully involved. Also, 41 per cent of those surveyed said that their discharge from hospital was delayed, representing no change from last year. The delay was for longer than four hours for around 1 in 4 (24 per cent) of these people. Waiting for medicines was the most common reason.

The survey asked people to give their opinions on the care they received, the information provided by staff, whether they were given enough privacy, the cleanliness of their wards, and on their discharge arrangements.

10.07am The Daily Telegraph reports that children are the “leas active generation in history” and could be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, Lord Coe has warned.

10.05am The Financial Times reports that Peterborough and Stamford Foundation Trust is approaching private sector bidders to take over its management. This is the first time an entire trust has sought a private sector bidder, Monitor has confirmed. The trust currently spends £42m a year on PFI debts – the largest in the country.

10.03am Today sees the launch of HSJ’s future of NHS leadership inquiry, chaired by Sir Robert Naylor.

In an introduction from Sir Robert he argues that the NHS requires fundamental change if it is to survive. The enquiry will explore what qualities modern day NHS leaders need in order to lead a very different health service from the one Sir Roy Griffiths examined in his Griffiths report.

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan also writes that the inquiry will focus on how to stop organisations failing by having the right leadership in place.

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. To start the day, the outgoing chief executive of NHS Wales has defended the service’s performance in the country under his watch as he prepares to return to a leadership position within the English health service.  

David Sissling, who has stepped down from the senior role in order to become chief executive of Kettering General Hospital Trust, told HSJ that under a range of performance measures, the Welsh service showed a “positive pattern”.

The Welsh NHS has recently come under criticism for its performance in a number of key measures, such as waiting times.