NHS England has announced it will go to open procurement to outsource its £100m primary care support services functions, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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The National Audit Office said that “notable” proportions of the population do not know they can contact a GP service out of normal office hours or that they can call NHS 111.

A poll conducted by the NAO found that 26 per cent of people have not heard of out-of-hours GP services, which provide urgent primary care when GP surgeries are typically closed.

And 19 per cent had not heard of NHS 111 - the telephone service to provide speedy medical help when a problem is urgent but not a 999 emergency.

2.15pm The Royal College of Psychiatrists has welcomed the publication of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Tier 4 review.

The College welcomes a number of specific recommendations:

  • Improving the geographical distribution of inpatient beds to reduce the risk of children and young people having to travel long distances;
  • Working with Health Education England, users, careers and other agencies to improve the CAMHS workforce;
  • Working with Public Health England to determine the number of inpatient beds needed for specific populations of children and young people;
  • Working with commissioners to develop effective care pathways and enhance services which enable children and young people to avoid inpatient care, wherever possible.

The Royal College, with Young Minds and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, is establishing a Values Based CAMHS Commission to examine concerns about the current state of CAMHS services.

A palliative care expert told HSJ health providers needed to begin the “hard work” of ensuring they met the priorities, which were published in guidance by an alliance of 21 organisations including NHS England and the Care Quality Commission earlier this month.

They were produced in response to concerns about the way the Liverpool care pathway for dying patients was being implemented.

1.24pm A proposal to merge pathology services in the north west of England is not likely to have a negative impact on patients, according to Monitor.

The proposed merger of the pathology services of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust and St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust will not adversely affect patients, Monitor has concluded.

The two trusts will take the final decision whether to go ahead with the merger in conjunction with the TDA.

12.52pmThe Daily Mail reports that the number of cases handled by out-of-hours GPs has reduced by a third over the past six years, according to research from the National Audit Office.

12.37pm Under new guidance from NICE, which aims to reduce the rising number of people with type 2 diabetes, 800,000 extra people will be eligible to be considered for gastric bands or other surgery, The Guardian reports.

12.30pm Flicking through the papers this lunchtime, Martin Wolf argues in The Financial Times that under-treatment of mental illness is a “terrible failure that must end now”.

11.54am The waiting list for planned care has exceeded the 3 million mark, while emergency admissions are continuing to rise, the latest activity data shows.

The elective waiting list stood at 3.1m in May, the information published yesterday showed.

11.37am HSJ was last night named Business Magazine of the Year at the PPA Awards, known as the Oscars of the magazine world. Among the other titles on the shortlist for the award were the BMJ, Estates Gazette, Marketing and People Management.

11.23am This week’s issue of HSJ magazine is now available to read on our tablet app.

It reveals the Care Quality Commission hired inspectors who failed recruitment criteria in ‘flawed process’.


  • Clinical commissioning groups could be handed a role in commissioning a significant chunk of the £14bn specialised services budget
  • HSJ research finds there is slow progress towards appointing more women to senior NHS positions
  • NHS England has approved public consultation on a major reconfiguration of general surgery and emergency care at Greater Manchester trusts
  • A whistleblowing nurse has been awarded £80,000 for being unfairly dismissed after making protected disclosures over patient safety concerns
  • Clare Panniker discusses what her trust - Basildon and Turrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust - did to get out of special measures

To find the latest issue, simply navigate to “This week’s issue” on the app, or tap on the cover image on the homepage.

HSJ’s tablet app is free to download for both iPad and Android devices. iPad users can download it directly here, Android users will need to download it from the Google Play store.

11.07am NHS England has announced it will go to open procurement to outsource its £100m primary care support services functions.

The authority said it decided to go to market after receiving legal advice on an offer to take over the service from Shared Services Connected Ltd, a Cabinet Office joint venture.

10.45am As part of our week celecbrating the HSJ Inspirational Women, we look at the network helping female doctors overcome workplace barriers.

A forum of professional women in Sheffield is aiming to overcome personal and workplace barriers by sharing experiences and fostering change, writes its founder Alenka Brooks

10.33am Waiting times expert Rob Findlay writes that the English waiting list is 20 per cent bigger than at the last general election but despite that, long waits have improved under the Coalition. We are now well into the zone where the ‘90 per cent adjusted admitted’ target is at risk.

10.02am EXCLUSIVE: There is huge variation in the sums clinical commissioning groups have paid in salaries to GPs for their involvement, HSJ analysis has revealed.

The research, based on an examination of the 2013-14 annual accounts of all 211 CCGs, suggests they spent at least £58m on the CCG work of chairs and other GPs in total in that year.

Sums paid in salaries and fees declared in the accounts ranged from £905,000 by East and North Hertfordshire CCG to Hardwick CCG’s £25,000 - a 25-fold difference.

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live.

Patients and the NHS staff are often unaware of the legal right to be treated within 18 weeks. Yet with the numbers waiting for consultant led treatment increasing, what is keeping the NHS from achieving its targets?