An interim chief officer has been appointed to oversee the implementation of the first stages of Greater Manchester’s health devolution deal, plus the rest of today’s news and comment
5.30pm On the subject of mental health, The Guardian also examines one case study of a mother who make a 118-mile round trip from her home in Hull to the mental health unit in Sheffield where daughter, aged 13, has been placed for the last four months.She had previously been placed in an institution in Stafford, 130 miles away from her home, designed for very disturbed older teenagers.
5.19pm Mental health minister Norman Lamb has accused mental health campaigners in his North Norfolk constituency of trolling him on Twitter, The Guardian reports.
Mr Lamb today tweeted: “I am pursued by vicious, sometimes defamatory and totally cynical trolling by Norfolk/Suffolk Crisis campaigners!”
5.10pm The Guardian’s political editor Patrick Wintour has tweeted:
Labour first with manifesto on Monday followed by Conservatives Tuesday and Liberal Democrats Wednesday. Look out for intersecting Red Lines
— Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) April 10, 2015
3.26pm “We can look forward to the vision for the next five years that we have all agreed on. We all agree that we don’t know what it is” - Have a read of the latest column by Your Humble Servant.
3.02pm Sixty-three clinical commissioning groups have taken on fully delegated responsibility of their primary care budgets despite serious concerns raised by some groups, HSJ has learned.
One CCG that had been approved by NHS England to take on delegated commissioning of primary care dropped out before the new powers were due to take effect last week, but NHS England has not revealed the name of the group.
HSJ also understands that City and Hackney CCG had been conditionally approved to take on delegated commissioning in 2015-16, but it will now not be taking on the new responsibilities this year.
A Manchester City Council spokesman confirmed to HSJ’s sister title Local Government Chronicle that Ian Williamson, chief officer of Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group, had taken up the role.
Mr Williamson is also the senior officer responsible for the controversial reorganisation of healthcare services across Greater Manchester under the Healthier Together programme. This is seeking to concentrate emergency and high risk general surgery, currently delivered at 10 hospitals, on four or five sites.
In his new role he will be responsible to the recently established Greater Manchester health and social care devolution programme board.
1.08pm In the latest End Game column, the Beatles and Beyoncé rock up in a public health report, while we question whether David Beckham being born at Whipps Cross counts as nominative determinism.
12.42pm Take a look at HSJ’s interactive maps of local NHS waits around England in February, showing the pressures and one year waits, with links to all the detail by organisation and specialty.
It shows the the local picture on 18 week waits, fully updated with the latest referral to treatment waiting times data released by NHS England.
12.00pm The Guardian reports that advisors working for Jeremy Hunt have been seeking to round up doctor signatories for a letter saying the NHS should not be used a political football.
According to the paper, an email was sent to doctors stating: “There is a letter being put together saying that the NHS shouldn’t be used as a political football during the election campaign. If you are willing in principle to support this, please reply to Jeremy Hunt’s advisor.”
11.25am Hospital staff who treated cancer patient Ashya King, whose case made national headlines when his parent took him abroad for treatment without doctors’ permission, have spoken out for the first time in a BBC documentary.
Peter Wilson, paediatric intensive care consultant at Southampton General Hospital, told the BBC that case had led to an “impossible situation” for clinicians dealing with with families in similar circumstances.
“That is deeply unfair when the NHS is always supposed to be about equal healthcare for all,” he said.
Paediatric oncology consultant Dr Ramya Ramanujachar, who was involved in Ashya’s treatment, said the case could set a worryining precedent.
“I don’t think the parents can look after their own child with a brain tumour and be not only the carers but also the professionals directing, managing and dictating their child’s treatment,” she added.
11.02am The main 18 week waiting time target was achieved throughout the run-up to the general election, thanks to short term measures but it won’t last, writes waiting times expert Rob Findlay.
10.22am Walsall Healthcare Trust has missed its target to clear an elective care backlog by the end of March, HSJ can reveal.
The backlog was the result of a “perfect storm” of increased emergency and elective demand and data quality issues linked to a change to a new computer system, which all hit the West Midlands trust at the end of last year.
The trust now estimates the backlog is unlikely to be cleared until towards the end of 2015.
10.15am EXCLUSIVE: A pathology joint venture owned by six NHS trusts is forecasting a £4.5m deficit for its first year of operation, HSJ has learned.
The partnership’s member hospitals have raised concerns over how the debt will be shared, as well as operational issues.
The pioneering Pathology Partnership project, launched last May and hosted at Cambridge University Hospital Foundation Trust, is the largest of its kind in England, serving NHS providers across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire.
The organisation’s central team told HSJ this week its most recent forecast, made last month, was a £4.5m deficit for 2014-15 on budgeted income of £67.8m.
7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We begin the news with some research by the Unison, who say that 91 per cent of ambulance workers are suffering from stress.
According to the union’s survey of 2,977 ambulance workers three quarters (74 per cent) are suffering with sleep problems, 72 per cent said they felt irritable as a result and experienced mood swings, and more than half (56 per cent) suffered with anxiety.
More than a third (38 per cent) said they had to take time off sick because of work related stress and a quarter (26 per cent) admitted they were close doing so.
Unison’s head of health, Christina McAnea said: “Working in emergency services is stressful but the pressure on ambulance staff is reaching dangerously high levels.
“It is unacceptable that the current system doesn’t allow for proper breaks between shifts. Workers have told us they often work 14-hour shifts without a decent break.
“Higher call out rates and lengthy waits outside A&E departments are adding to the problem. It is clear that the pressure caused by government funding cuts is having a huge impact on staff and on patient safety. But it is vital that patients use the service responsibly, for example only calling 999 for an ambulance when there is a real emergency.
“This confirms the findings from the NHS staff survey that shows much greater pressure on staff in the ambulance service than any other part of the NHS.
“The pressure on workers is mounting and the apparent lack of support from their employers means they are suffering in silence. Year after year the levels of stress remain unacceptably high and yet neither employers nor the government have done anything to address this. It is no wonder areas such as London are now having to go to the other side of the world to recruit paramedics.”