The health regulator is “urgently reviewing” its expenses policy, plus the rest of today’s news and comment.

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6.30pm A troubled clinical commissioning group in the North West has structures which are “not fit for purpose” and a dysfunctional relationship between two of its leaders, an NHS England review has found.

The national commissioning organisation began an investigation into Wirral CCG after serious concerns were raised in May about its leadership.

It is the first time such action has been taken in relation to a CCG.

3.38pm Help us find the top BME pioneers in healthcare.

HSJ, working with NHS Employers, the NHS Leadership Academy and the British Medical Association, is seeking to celebrate the outstanding contributions professionals from black and minority ethnic backgrounds make to healthcare – and nominations are now open.

This November we will be celebrating individuals working within healthcare who can be considered to be BME pioneers – people from BME backgrounds who, through exceptional leadership abilities or their day to day example, are inspiring others and helping to shape and deliver excellent care for all.

Nominees can be working across health and social care, and at all levels, and can be from a clinical or non-clinical background – we want to identify and celebrate people you are proud to work with and who inspire you. We are particularly looking for people who you believe meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Benefit: how has this individual’s work benefited patients? To what extent have his or her efforts helped enhance access to and/or the quality of care?
  • Influence: to what extent has the individual been a game changer in his or her organisation, or more widely?
  • Leadership: to what extent has this individual created a platform for others? Has he or she enabled greater numbers of BME staff to take up roles at all levels of the health sector?
  • Inclusivity: to what extent is the individual having a long term impact on the debate around inclusivity within the health sector?

A panel of expert judges will decide on the final list, which will appear online and in print in HSJ during November.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 26 September.

3.04pm The Liberal Democrats have backed reforming the NHS payment system and pooling health and social care budgets in a new pre-manifesto policy paper.

Under a Liberal Democrat government, the NHS budget would rise by at least inflation, according to the paper.

It would commission a review of NHS and social care finances in 2015 before the 2015 Spending Review “to assess the pressures on NHS budgets and the scope for efficiencies”. The move would “allow us to set multi-year budgets that will be sufficient to maintain and improve the current standard of NHS services”.

The party has pledged to reform the payment system to encourage better integration between hospital and community health services. “This would include more use of personal budgets for people who want them and better access to technology and services to help people get care closer to home,” the paper states.

It has also given its backing to securing local agreements on pooled budgets between health and social care, a policy previously backed by care services minister Norman Lamb.

Other policies put forward by the party include a pledges to “deliver genuine parity of esteem between mental and physical”, “deliver genuine parity of esteem between mental and physical health” and invest further in research to improve long term outcomes for the most serious conditions.

You can read the full document here.

2.27pm Aggrieved doctors are planning to stand against the prime minister and the health secretary at the next general election.

A number of health professionals who are part of the National Health Action (NHA) party are planning to fight for high profile seats when voters take to polling stations next year.

1.56pm A £235m contract to provide NHS musculoskeletal services for West Sussex has been awarded to a joint venture between health insurance company Bupa and a community services social enterprise.

The five year “prime provider” contract is due to start in January next year. It was put out to tender by Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group.

It was won by Bupa CSH Ltd, a joint venture between Bupa UK and social enterprise CSH Surrey.

1.28pm In our comment section, public health doctor Rajan Madhoka, who was formerly medical director at NHS Manchester, explains why he joined the 300 mile march from Jarrow to London yesterday to save the NHS.

Dr Madhoka says he has “always considered [himself] a moderate”, but he was “shaken” by the “sheer scale and pace of disorganisation of the NHS under the coalition government”.  

“I still believe there is a place for markets in the NHS and that some reconfigurations are essential. I also believe there is a need to define the limits of what the NHS can and should provide. Most importantly I fully accept that the NHS needs to improve, become safer and respect and preserve patients’ dignity,” he argues.

“But rather than address any of these issues, current policy is dismantling this cherished institution. If people like me have been radicalised then you can imagine how desperate the situation is.”

1.04pm Monitor is “urgently reviewing” its expenses policy after its chair Baroness Hanham unwittingly ran up a bill of nearly £1,000 for short taxi rides in less than three months.

12.54pm Also in Nursing Times, the majority of people would support a strike by midwives over pay, according to a new public opinion poll published as the Royal College of Midwives began balloting its members on industrial action.

12.25pm Identifying and treating sepsis could soon be given the same attention as reducing pressure ulcers and hospital acquired infections, our sister title Nursing Times has learned, as a campaign to tackle the potentially fatal condition heads to parliament.

12.01pm In a comment piece for The Telegraph, the paper’s Scottish editor, Alan Cochrane, argues that Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s claim that the NHS in Scotland would be increasingly privatised if Scotland remained a part of the United Kingdom is the “biggest lie in a way that has been notable for several whoppers”.

He argues that health policy in Scotland is the remit of the Scottish Parliament and therefore the only person who could privatise the NHS in Scotland would be Alex Salmond.

11.42am Cancer services in the NHS need urgent investment to prevent them from collapsing under the weight of growing demand and funding cuts, Cancer Research UK has warned.

The Telegraph reports that a “leadership vacuum”, surging demand, squeezed budgets and fragmentation of services across different organisations have contributed to the pressures, a report by the charity found.

For the first time, the national target of 85 per cent of patients starting treatment within the 62 days of referral by their GP has been breached. In some hospitals just six in 10 patients were seen within that time in the past quarter.

You can read the full report here.

11.22am The Daily Telegraph reports that failings of care at a scandal-hit hospital trust may have been involved in the deaths of many more mothers and babies than previously feared.

An independent inquiry into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust was ordered by ministers following concerns over the deaths of at least eight mothers and babies at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria.

Investigators have identified concerns about 50 cases, after reviewing more than 200 deaths from 2004 to 2013.

11.03am Turning to the morning’s papers, The Guardian reports that three of the country’s largest trade unions are expected to officially oppose a controversial proposed trade treaty between the European Union and the US, which critics argue will lead to greater NHS privatisation.

The unions tabled motions at the Trade Union Congress in Liverpool, which outline their opposition to the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) currently being negioated at the European Commission between EU and US delegates.

Lord Livington, minister of state for trade and investment, last week insisted that the NHS would “not be impacted” by the trade agreement.  

10.12am Warrington CCG chief clinical officer Sarah Baker retired after beating oesophageal cancer. In excerpts from her blog, she reflects on her care experiences and how the award winning CCG has been left in safe hands.

9.57am NHS England has paused a project that would enable its commissioning support units to become independent in just over two years.

CSUs are currently hosted by NHS England, and guidance on how they could become autonomous was expected to be released last month, with a further, more detailed instalment due in November.

These documents were expected to chart a clear path on how the support units could become independent entities by the end of 2016.

But NHS England’s director of commissioning support services and market development Bob Ricketts confirmed to HSJ that nothing will now be released until after the beginning of 2015.

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We begin the day with a comment piece from Jeremy Taylor, chief executive of National Voices.

Jeremy argues that despite the call to put patients first, people are still getting left behind by the political and healthcare systems, and he sets out what the next government needs to do to make patient centred care a reality.