4.57pm: The NHS Trust Development Authority has written to trusts assuring them they can be classed as “a going concern” by auditors, despite submitting deficit plans for this financial year, HSJ has learned.

A letter sent to all non-foundation trusts on Wednesday said “a number” of trusts had told the authority in April they could not set a break-even plan for 2013-14.

4.52pm: The new Care bill revealed today extends CQC’s powers. The Care Quality Commission will be able to order Monitor to put trusts into special administration over quality failures, under new powers set out in the Care Bill.

4.48pm: HSJ technology reporter James Illman tweets:

“If@NHSEngland dont force providers 2 use new e-referrals (choose & Book) is there any hope of getting 100% uptake?”

2.50pm: Royal College of General Practitioners has announced it’s new chair. Dr Maureen Bakerwill succeed the current Chair Dr Clare Gerada in November 2013. In the election, conducted by Electoral Reform Services, Dr Baker received 37 votes and Dr Steve Mowle 21 votes, out of a possible 67 votes.

Dr Baker has been a GP since 1985 and currently practises in Lincoln. “Later this year the NHS will celebrate its 65thanniversary in a landscape of financial austerity and an environment more complex and challenging than at any time in its history. This very week, news of the serious problems facing A&E units only serves to underline the desperate need for adequately resourced and properly integrated GP services”, said Dr Baker. 

She added: “I am more convinced than ever that GPs, and their professional body, have a crucial role to play in helping the NHS tackle the challenges of the years ahead. I look forward to playing my part in meeting these challenges.”

2.38pm: If you are considering nominating a colleague for HSJ’s most inspirational women in health, the last date for entry is Wednesday 15th May. We are celebrating those women who are driving transformational change within the NHS through outstanding leadership and innovation. You can nominate here.

2.30pm: There has been 42 comments left so far on our story on A&E funding. One anonymous reader writes:

“it has always been a mystery why the DoH / politicians seem to think that Acute Trusts wilfully admit patients over the baseline levels at 30% of tariff. Why is the penalty not levied on those who could prevent patients getting to the hospital? There has been no sign of the 70% witheld going towards any meaningful activity to prevent admissions. Whilst giving extra resources to A & E might help patients caught up in the system it will not get at the root causes of the problem”.

12.24pm: John Orton tweets: @HSJnews if Expedia type experience why not add TripAdvisor? That WOULD be revolutionary for patient power!

12.08pm: NHS England is to begin an ambitious move to create an “Expedia.com” style system for electronic booking of NHS appointments, to replace the unpopular Choose and Book.

In an exclusive HSJ interview, NHS England director of strategic systems and technology Beverly Bryant outlined the blueprint for the new flagship IT system, which is to be branded “E-Referrals”.  

11.50am: Former DH special political advisor Bill Morgan tweets: “Thoughts on Care Bill… #1 interesting that the role of Chief Inspector will not be statutory”.

10.53am: Interesting comment underneath the online version our splash story in this week’s magazine about savings plans. The story focusses on savings plans and highlights the difficulties for hospital trusts in getting safe efficiency plans signed off.

One anonymous commenter writes: “The performance management system is now obsessed with assuring itself that those of us who have to make unrealistic savings have robust processes to risk assess our saving schemes for their impact on clinical quality.

“That’s so that when the unrealistic savings do impact on quality, it wasn’t the fault of those who demanded them.”

10.40am: The government has announced details of its Care Bill. It said moves that respond to the Francis report include measures to:  

  • “Underpin the new ratings regime for hospitals”. Francis highlighted the need for a single, shared version of the truth about quality. This Bill will give CQC the legal powers it needs to set up, design and get on with the new ratings system, without any political interference.
  • “Ensure quality is as important as finances”.The Bill will give Monitor clear authority to intervene where the Chief Inspector exposes problems with the quality of care. The Care Quality Commission will also be given a power to require Monitor to put a Foundation Trust into administration if it becomes clinically unsustainable (currently Monitor can only do this on financial grounds).
  • “Give the CQC stronger powers to expose poor care”. At the moment, the CQC can only take action where a hospital is failing to comply with one of its set standards. This can be bureaucratic. The Bill will give the Care Quality Commission broader powers to act if it spots poor care that requires significant improvement.
  • “Introduce a new criminal offence on providers who supply false or misleading information”. The Bill will make it a criminal offence for care providers to give false or misleading information.  We will limit the offence to providers of NHS secondary care (NHS Trusts, FTs and independent providers of NHS secondary care) and to certain types of information such as mortality rates.”

10.24am:The Daily Mail reports that NHS staff leave 332 medical tools inside patients and carry out 214 operations on the wrong organs. The figures were uncovered by BBC Radio 4’s World At One in a freedom of information request.

10.02am: Prominent coverage of pressure in A&E continues today, and the Independent has covered HSJ’s exclusive yesterday about panic in NHS England in response to an apparent plan by the health secretary to create a £300-£400m fund to support A&E.

The Daily Telegraph dedicates space on its front page to the continuing fallout surrounding the burgeoning accident and emergency crisis. It reports that one of Britain’s most senior A&E doctors, Dr Cliff Mann, from the College of Emergency Medicine,has warned NHS casualty units have become like “warzones,” with medics fighting a losing battle to cope with an increasing tide of patients.

The paper also features a leader column and an opinion piece by GP and Tory MP Sarah Wollaston.

9.58am: Good morning, wondering who is Nick Seddon? To help you understand the thoughts of the man who has the ear of the prime minister, we present a selection of the articles Mr Seddon has penned for HSJ.