Landmark review of NHS productivity will produce a new measure for rating every hospital in England on the efficiency with which it uses staff and resources, plus the rest of today’s news and comment
3.40pm Patients and families who campaigned for a public inquiry into the scandal of poor care at the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust have announced plans to hold a safe staffing march on Whitehall, in protest at the decision to suspend work on nurse staffing guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Members of Cure the NHS will march from Downing Street to Richmond House on 18th June at 2pm. The group have also appealed for nurses who support the safe staffing programme by NICE, a key recommendation of the Francis Inquiry, to join them on the march.
The 1st phase of our battle begins. CTNHS will march on 18th June 2pm Downing St to Richmond House, RT & join us & support #safestaffing.
— Julie Bailey (@curetheNHS) June 8, 2015
3.35pm HSJ has collated the must-read coverage from last week’s announcements from NHS England and the health secretary covering efficiency, safe staffing, targets and more.
3.28pm Senior national and regional nursing leaders were taken by surprise by Simon Stevens’ announcement that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s work on safe staffing guidance was to be stopped, HSJ’s Shaun Lintern has revealed.
Those unaware of the move included Ruth May, NHS England chief nurse for the Midlands and East region and national lead for the safe staffing work. She has been appointed as Monitor’s chief nurse. It also includes other members of the NICE steering committee, from across the Department of Health, Monitor and NHS England, several senior sources toldHSJ.
HSJ understands these figures only learned of the decision after the speech at the NHS Confederation by Mr Stevens, NHS England chief executive, on Thursday, which referred to his move to stop NICE’s work. He said staffing guidance would now be considered by his organisation.
11.22am Damian Thompson, in The Spectator, has published a list of MPs who supported homeopathy fan David Tredinnick for the chairmanship of the Commons Health Committee, calling it a ‘roll of shame’.
He has been selected despite believing that astrology works and that a full moon can cause internal bleeding, Mr Thompson writes.
10.39am The Independent reports on new guidance issued by the General Medical Council, which recommends that patients undergoing cosmetic procedures be given “enough time and information” to change their minds about whether to go ahead with their treatment.
GMC chair Terence Stephenson said: “Cosmetic practice is a huge and expanding area of medicine and patients, some of whom are vulnerable, do need to be better protected.
“We are producing this guidance because of the particular risks around this area of medicine. We are clear that doctors must not pressure patients to make rushed decisions they may end up regretting and they must give them enough information so they can make an informed choice.”
10.38am The Times reports that tens of thousands of patients with the UK’s four most common cancers were diagnosed before their 45th birthday, according to new figures from MacMillan Cancer Support and Public Health England’s National Cancer Intelligence Network.
Experts warned that younger adults should not be complacent and think of the conditions as only affecting old people, and said that NHS services needed to do more to support younger patients living with cancer.
The research found that almost 80,000 people in the UK had breast, lung, prostate or colorectal cancer diagnosed before 45 and were still living with the condition.
10.33am The Daily Telegraph reports that Britain’s highest earning locum doctor earned £460,000 last year. Between them, the ten best paid locums were due to receive payments of almost £3m in 2014-15.
The paper cites anonymised data showing that the best paid was a doctor in general medicine, who was able to earn £459,275, on average working an 80 hour week. Last week the Health Secretary promised a clamp down on health service spending on agency workers, after “catastrophic” levels of debt were blamed on a sharp rise in agency bills.
10.29am People displaying mental health problems in public were held in police cells on more than 4,500 occasions in the last year, a fall of almost a third compared with the previous year, according to figures published by The Guardian.
Police custody was used to accommodate individuals held under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 4,537 times in 2014/15, down from 6,667 times, according to data collected from police forces in England and Wales.
10.26am The BMA has sparked anger by secretly awarding its senior figures pay rises of up to 137% and doubling its leader’s salary to £172,000 at a time when most medics are suffering pay restraint, The Guardian reports.
Doctors and politicians have condemned the hikes in the salaries of seven key British Medical Association (BMA) representatives as scandalous and unjustified.
Dr Mark Porter, who as the BMA’s chair of council is its UK leader and main spokesman, has seen his income go from £88,320 last year to £171,692 – a rise of 94%.
A BMA spokesman said: “As the recognised leaders of their profession the BMA’s chief officers are active, practising doctors. For some, holding such a position has become itself a full-time role. It is only right that these increasing demands are appropriately recognised.
10.14am Britain’s healthcare industry is suffering a nursing shortage of 24,000 staff this year, driven by a declinein student places, tougher immigration rules and spending cuts, reports the Financial Times.
Despite a stong rise in EU immigration, 7,000 fewer nurses came to the UK in 2014-15 compared with 2003-04, according to Christie & Co, a consultancy. Spanish nurses were the most likely to come here in 2015, followed by nurses from Portugal and Italy.
10.06am A former Welsh NHS chief whose board denied cancer patients access to lifesaving drugs has caused outrage by moving to England to receive treatment for her own cancer, the Daily Mail writes this morning.
The paper says Mary Burrows, 58, enjoyed a £200,000 salary before she stepped down last year, and has left her home in Colwyn Bay in North Wales in April so she could access breast cancer drugs.
The ex-chief executive of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales moved into her son’s home in East Dulwich, South London, after learning that she would not qualify for treatment in Wales, it is claimed. Mrs Burrows said she was simply following orders when she was chief executive of the health board.
10.03am The Daily Mail reports that a nursing agency once owned by an offshore company in the Cayman Islands charged the NHS £43million last year to supply staff.
Thornbury Nursing Services received up to £6.5million from individual hospital trusts, billing as much as £1,800 a shift, the paper reports this morning.
The Department of Health-backed review, led by Lord Carter, will report that hospitals could save £400m a year through better planning of staff rotas and shifts.