Healthcare assistants should obtain certificates; explaining NHS pension changes and the rest of today’s news

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3:42pm: HSJ’s chief reporter Dave West has been named as the Staff Journalist of the Year (Professional media) in the Medical Journalists’ Association Summer Awards 2013. The awards were announced last night at the Royal Society of Medicine.

3:33pm: Congratulations to all the winners at last night’s Patient Safety and Care Integration Awards. You can find out about all the shortlisted projects in our souvenir supplement.

Read HSJ editor Alastair McLellan on the organisations “at the vanguard of a renewed focus on patient safety.

3:01pm: More warnings from the Care Quality Commission. After Plymouth Hospitals Trust, the regulator has told Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust that it must make urgent improvements to the emergency department at Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

The fresh warning comes after concerns were first raised in July 2011.

During their most recent visit in May, inspectors found that patients who arrived at the hospital by emergency ambulance were waiting too long to be assessed. During April, one in 20 people were waiting 45 minutes, even though patients should be seen in 15 minutes.

On occasions, bed shortages meant patients were forced to wait up to 14 hours before being admitted to hospital, the report found.

Matthew Trainer, regional director of the CQC in London, said: “The emergency department at Queen’s Hospital in Romford is failing local people.

“This situation has been going on for far too long. Radical thinking is needed, led by the Trust Development Authority and commissioners.

“The trust’s board needs to work with them to make sure patients get the care they deserve.

“Patients are entitled to be treated in services which are safe, effective, caring, well run, and responsive to their needs. We have seen several recovery plans come and go in the emergency department at Queen’s and there is little evidence of any impact.”

2:28pm: Trainee doctors are to be withdrawn from the paediatrics department of Bedford Hospital Trust, reveals HSJ reporter Ben Clover.

This comes after a General Medical Council inspection, with the professional body expected to announce its support for Health Education East of England’s decision to withdraw the trainees later this afternoon.

HSJ understands the GMC inspection followed complaints made by two junior doctors around the level of supervision and training they receive at the trust. The move will see Bedford Hospital Trust left unable to fully staff the unit, which sees 17,000 patients a year.

Read our exclusive story here.

2:21pm: Monitor has issued fresh warning on the funding gap with its chief executive saying that even if the NHS did everything the regulator could think of to make savings it would not be enough to close the funding gap facing the service by 2021-22.

David Bennett has revealed Monitor estimates the health service needs total savings of between £28bn and £44bn between 2010-11 and 2021-22 to protect its finances and maintain care quality.

He said the health sector regulator had looked “across the whole system” at “all the possible ways the system could address this gap”. This work had concluded that over the period there were potential savings of up to £12.1bn from improving providers’ efficiency, up to £4bn from integrating care and shifting it to different settings, and up to £1.9bn from service innovation.

12:34pm: For all of our readers who have been asking for a digital-only HSJ subscription, here is the news you have been waiting for. Find out full details of our new subscription packages here, plus how to try our new iPad app for free until 14 August

12:26pm: Aidan Thomas has been announced the new chief executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Thomas, chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, will be taking over from Dr Attila Vegh, who is leaving the trust at the end of July.

David Edwards, chairman of CPFT, said: “We were delighted by the calibre of the candidates who applied for the role. Aidan has a strong track record of management and leadership at executive director and chief executive level within the mental health and the primary care sector, combined with solid service/operational management.”

11:15am: The Financial Times carries a short story on page two headlined: “NHS re-employed fifth of staff it gave pay-offs”.

It reports research by the National Audit Office showing that of 10,094 full-time NHS staff made redundant between March 2010 and March 2013 (at a cost of £435m), at least 2,200 of them were re-employed on permanent or fixed term contracts.

More are thought to have been taken back through interim of agency contracts.

10:31am: Ruth Carnall has described the attributes required in the next chief executive of NHS England in her column for the Guardian; and why she won’t be applying.

She writes: “Whoever is appointed to the top job must have a clear vision of how this new body will deal with the challenges, but without many of the traditional levers of authority. He or she will not be the ‘boss’ of the NHS, although many will presume that they are. Indeed, there is no single person in charge of the reformed NHS.

Being able to describe the role clearly and simply, whether that be to the public, patients, staff or politicians, will be essential, as will the strength to hold on to that clarity when things go wrong and everyone wants to know who is in charge.” Read the entire article here.

10:20am: NHS England is drawing up plans to centralise control of spending on estates and information technology in the health service, and is even looking to have the final say over spending by bodies over which it has no formal power.

Commissioning sector reporter David Williams has uncovered an NHS England document which says plans for NHS England’s project appraisal unit are at an advanced stage.

The unit will evaluate business cases for spending on infrastructure and assets by NHS England, clinical commissioning groups, NHS Property Services Ltd, community health partnerships, and NHS providers – including foundation trusts.

It means NHS England is looking to control the spending plans of organisations it has no formal power over. Read more here.

10:10am: All healthcare assistants should complete a certificate before they can care for patients unsupervised and that would act as a “badge of honour”, a government commissioned review has recommended.

The introduction of the Certificate of Fundamental Care would help drive up standards and improve the status of support workers, according to the independent review into support worker training and support.

The review, which was carried out by Sunday Times journalist Camilla Cavendish, said HCAs who completed the certificate should be allowed to use the term “nursing assistant” in a bid to reduce the number of current job titles held by support workers.

It said the “profusion of job titles” for support workers in health and social care must be reduced to improve public understanding of the different nursing roles.

10:04am: The Guardian is running a story on its second page about Care Quality Commission issuing a formal warning to Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust after an unannounced inspection revealed that it failed to meet five of the nine national standards.

The trust has been told to make urgent improvements to protect patients undergoing surgery at Derriford hospital, which has second highest number of never events in England in the last four years.

8:30am: Good morning, today on HSJ’s innovation and efficiency channel Steve Simkins explains why it is vital that employers engage with the workforce to update them on the many changes to NHS pensions.