Care Quality Commission reaches out of court settlement with former deputy chief executive, Jill Finney, plus the rest of today’s news and comment
5.37pm Some breaking news: the Care Quality Commission has reached an out of court settlement with its former deputy chief executive who had sued for libel over claims she was part of an alleged cover up.
The regulator has agreed to pay Jill Finney’s legal costs as well as damages of £60,000, in a move that will avoid the case going to court next year.
The libel claim related to the CQC’s decision to publish a report it had commissioned from consultancy Grant Thornton into its regulation of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust.
This report claimed it was “more likely than not” that Ms Finney had ordered the deletion of an internal review that was critical of the regulator, a claim she has always denied.
In a carefully worded statement, issued this afternoon, the regulator apologised to Ms Finney but did not withdraw its allegation that she was part of a cover up.
5.25pm Have you seen the FTI Consulting/HSJ survey on attitudes towards the new care models outlined in the Five Year Forward View? Jonathan Guppy, practice leader of UK health solutions at FTI Consulting, analyses the results here.
5.06pm Jeremy Hunt says he will get back to Mr George on whether the DH has capacity to put the bill through parliament should legislative priorities change. And then the sessionends.
5.04pm Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George asks about the Law Commission bill on reforming health regulation. Since there’s a consensus for it, why doesn’t the government use parliamentary time to legislate it?
4.32pm Mr Stevens returns to the theme that he spoke about at the HSJ Lecture last night, arguing that the NHS has not “run out of road” when it comes to realising efficiencies. However he accepts that “in headline terms” the efficiency ask of between 2 and 3 per cent is “a big number”.
4.19pm Alternative medicines enthusiast David Tredinnick suggests that one of the benefits of TTIP is that that it will bring “innovative ideas” into the NHS. Jeremy Hunt replies: “Are you thinking about homeopathy in particular?”, to much amusement.
4.14pm During the discussion on TTIP, order between the Conservative and Labour members momentarily breaks down. It is restored by David Tredinnick, who has stepped in as chair temporarily.
4.12pm The committee brings up the controversial topic of theTransatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Mr Hunt says that when it comes to the “critical decision as to whether NHS services are contracted to the private sector or not”, the health service is “excluded from TTIP”.
3.56pm Dr Wollaston asks whether NHS England could override NEW Devon if its tries to put its proposals into effect. He doesn’t give a terribly straightforward answer.
3.55pm Sarah Wollaston asks Simon Stevens about NEW Devon CCG’s proposals to restrict access to some services until patients undertake weight loss or smoking cessation activities. Mr Stevens says NHS England has “some reservations” about the approach they have taken.
3.33pm Simon Stevens says the decision was taken before his time, but as he understands it, it was “cheaper than redundancy would have cost” and therefore the “best way of saving taxpayers money on that occasion”. However he says that he thinks NHS redundancy should be reformed.
3.30pm Ms Keeley brings up the case of Jo-Anne Wass, who was paid her salary for two years when she went on permanent “secondment” to Leeds University from NHS England. The health secretary says he is not familiar with the detail, but as the case has been described to him it is “completely unacceptable”.
3.12pm Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie fields a question about people leaving the NHS under a cloud and being reemployed as consultants shortly afterwards. Mr Hunt says there are checks to stop this, then adds “as a former management consultant there are some good ones as well!”.
3.05pm Mr Hunt and Mr Stevens are quizzed on how many times they saw the Chancellor before the new money was announced. Mr Stevens says he saw him three times (twice with the health secretary). Mr Hunt says he saw Mr Osborne five times altogether.
2.57pm Mr Hunt says the extra funding made available by the government could pay for 30,000 additional NHS posts.
2.56pm Labour MP Barbara Keeley claims Simon Stevens went on “PR” visits with Conservative politicians after the extra money was announced for the NHS. She says this “caused a lot of surprise”. Mr Stevens said whoever forms the next government, if they step forward with investment for the health service he would welcome it.
2.46pm Mr Douglas tells the committee the DH will end the year with “nothing more than a very small underspend” in its budget.
2.43pm Committee chair Sarah Wollaston asks for a detailed breakdown of where the reallocated DH money is coming from. Mr Douglas says he will provide the committee with a breakdown in “broad areas”.
2.41pm Mr Douglas says the £700m being reallocated from within the DH was coming from areas where shifting the money would not “directly impact” on providers.
2.38pm Richard Douglas, finance director at the DH, kicks off the Commons health committee by summarising where the additional funding announced by the government for the NHS is coming from.
2.27pm HSJ’s editor, Alastair McLellan, is at the Britain Against Cancer conference this afternoon. He’s chairing a debate with the proposition, “New cancer drugs are too expensive for routine use on the NHS”.
Audience at #BAC14 equally divided between blaming pharma, Gov or NICE for poor access to cancer drugs in England
— Alastair McLellan (@HSJEditor) December 9, 2014
2.19pm Health leaders have given a strong vote of approval to the NHS Leadership Academy – one of the bodies whose future is in doubt amid an ongoing review being conducted by NHS England.
HSJ’s survey, in conjunction with advisory firm FTI Consulting, found that 34 per cent of CCG bosses and provider trust chiefs believed the academy was having a “very beneficial impact” in their area, while a further 52 per cent said it had a “slight beneficial impact”. Only 15 per cent said was not beneficial.
2.10pm The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is due to appear before the Commons health committee at 2.30pm today in a session dedicated to public expenditure on health and social care. He will be joined by Simon Stevens, chief cxecutive of NHS England, Una O’Brien permanent secretary at the Department of Health, and Richard Douglas, director general of finance at the DH.
We will of course bring you blow by blow coverage here on HSJ Live.
2.00pm The NHS England chief executive has set out nine requirements that define a ‘multispecialty community provider’, one of the key care models in his vision for the future of the NHS.
Simon Stevens, speaking at the first annual HSJ lecture last night, emphasised there were currently no arrangements that met the conditions of an MCP.
He said it was a group of GP practices that come together with nurses, hospital specialists, community services, pharmacists and in some instances mental health and social care to create integrated out of hospital care.
1.58pm Simon Stevens has indicated clinical commissioning groups that are behind their target funding allocations will receive greater shares of the additional NHS funding announced by the government.
The NHS England chief executive was speaking last night at the first HSJ annual lecture, held in conjunction with advisory firm FTI Consulting.
He said that when it came to allocating new funding made available by the government last week, there would be a “particular emphasis… depending on the decisions that are taken at the NHS England board meeting on 17 December, on helping those places that are furthest away from their fair shares of resources”.
12.50pm Plans to introduce a range of new care models into the NHS over the next parliament has split the opinion of provider chiefs and clinical commissioning group leaders, an exclusive HSJ poll, in conjunction with advisory firm FTI Consulting, has found.
While CCG leads and GPs favour the “multispeciality community provider” (MCP) model suggested by NHS Five Year Forward View, trust chiefs have thrown their weight behind the “primary and acute care system” idea (PACS).
Both forms were named in the October’s forward view paper as the kinds of care models that could help modernise the NHS and prevent it from falling into the red.
12.47pm National officials will create a ‘success regime’ in which struggling areas are directed to move quickly into the new care models proposed in the NHS Five Year Forward View, Simon Stevens has revealed, while warning local leaders against attempts to ‘re-spray’ their existing plans.
The NHS England chief executive set out the first steps for implementing his vision at the inaugural HSJ annual lecture, held in conjunction with advisory firm FTI Consulting.
11.30am Two leaders of a troubled North West clinical commissioning group have formally stepped down following a long period of absence.
Phil Jennings was chair of Wirral CCG and Abhi Mantgani was its chief clinical officer.
The two men temporarily “stepped away” from their duties in May to make way for an NHS England probe into serious leadership concerns at the CCG.
The review concluded in September that the relationship between the two men had exacerbated structural problems at the CCG.
11.07am The Daily Telegraph reports that more patients are surviving cancer than ever before because it is being picked up earlier and treatment is improving, Jeremy Hunt will say today.
The health secretary is due to publish new figures suggesting that between 6,000 and 17,000 more patients are surviving cancer every year.
11.00am Elsewhere The Times reports that the rate of maternal deaths from pre-existing mental health or medical conditions has failed to improve for the past decade, according to experts.
Two thirds of women’s deaths while pregnant or within six weeks of the pregnancy ending were due to “indirect” causes in 2008-2012 and around half of these might have been prevented with better care, a new report found.
A national report known as MBRRACE-UK looked at the cases of all 357 women who died during or within six weeks of the end of their pregnancy between 2009 and 2012.
10.36am Local councils spent eight per cent more in real terms on adult social care in 2013-14 than they did ten years ago, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.
Data from the 152 local authorities in England with responsibility for social services show that in real terms councils spent £15.9 billion on social service support for adults ten years ago. This peaked at £18.2 billion in 2009-10 before falling to £17.2 billion in 2013-14.
10.15am The Times reports that people with heart disease should avoid being outside in the rush hour because of the risk of pollution causing heart attacks, according to cardiologists.
The paper writes that infants and the elderly should also spend limited time outdoors during highly polluted periods, experts from the European Society of Cardiology said as they urged politicians to work harder to reduce air pollution.
According to a paper published in European Heart Journal, up to one third of Europeans living in urban areas are exposed to air pollution levels above EU standards. About 90 per cent are exposed to levels that the World Health Organisation deem damaging to health.
9.46am In case you missed it, last night Simon Stevens delivered the inaugural HSJ annual lecture, taking the opportunity to set out the next steps for delivering the changes outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.
Mr Stevens said the NHS national bodies who authored the forward view would be asking candidates to come forward to become primary and acute care organisations (PACs) and multispecialty community providers (MCPs) by the end of January.
However he added that in struggling health economies a more “directive” approach would be taken to determine the future of local providers.
7.43am Andy Burnham is today announcing a change to Labour’s plans for the cancer drugs fund, which was introduced by the current government.
Mr Burnham told HSJ the current fund would be scrapped if Labour won the election, and it would be replaced by a “cancer treatment fund”. This would be able to fund other treatments as well as medicine, such as radiotherapy or surgery. Mr Burnham said at present these treatments were being limited to fund the CDF.
The cancer treatment fund would be £330m a year - a £50m increase on the current value of the CDF.
Mr Burnham said Labour recognised that cancer should be considered separately from treatments for other conditions because of its “unique impact”, and that a fund was needed to fund innovative treatments which may not otherwise be funded. “We’ll have a new way of doing that,” he said.
The BCF is already signficantly overspend against its budget this year due to demand for drugs, and NHS England has decided it will have to further limit access. Mr Burnham acknowledged under his increased fund some things would continue not to be funded. He said he could not “guarantee everything would be funded”.
He said decisions about its use would be made independently, with involvement of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
It was a “very different entity” from the BCF, he said.
Mr Burnham is to announce the policy at today’s Britain Against Cancer conference, where he will also speak about underuse of some existing treatment equipment under the current government.
7.41am Later this morning we will publish full information from yesterday’s HSJ annual lecture, sponsored by FTI Consulting, given by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens last night.