4.28pm: How resources are allocated will increasingly frame the debate about the health care system as funding constraints really bite. Today we have a podcast from David Buck at the Kings Fund on how we decide where the money should go for different parts of the NHS
3.30pm: We have published a full story on the HSE announcement in relation to the Gillian Astbury case, including full background on the case, and how it was explored at the Mid Staffs public inquiry.
2.45pm: The HSE’s statement in relation to Gillian Astbury says: “Following legal advice, HSE deferred a decision to pursue the investigation into Gillian Astbury’s death until the conclusion of the public inquiry, chaired by Robert Francis QC, into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
“We can now confirm that our inspectors have today formally started an investigation. Our focus will be on establishing whether there is evidence of the employer [the Trust] or individuals failing to comply with their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act.”
2.32pm: HSJ reporter Sarah Calkin is covering a Q&A with Jeremy Hunt on Twitter. Hunt asked what is the issue in the NHS that most concerns him. He says creating a compassionate culture and dealing with an ageing society
2.25pm: The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed to HSJ that an investigation has been launched into the death of Gillian Astbury at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust in 2007. It follows scrutiny of the HSE for failures to take action by the Francis inquiry.
2.08pm: HSJ reporter Sarah Calkin tweets from a HealthWatch England launch event. It follows the news this morning that the health secretary was undertaking front line experience at a hospital. “RT @sjcalkin: Jeremy Hunt @HealthwatchE event reflects on his time at Watford A&E this morning. Growth in activity is ‘dramatic’, pressure huge”
1.35pm: NHS England has published its latest newsletter update.
12.32pm: Former prime minister Tony Blair, in an article giving advice to the Labour party in the New Statesman, says it should consider “How do we take the health and education reforms of the last Labour government to a new level, given the huge improvement in results they brought about?”
The article does not state which of new Labour’s reforms he is referring to. However, it also calls for Labour to address “How do we use technology to cut costs and drive change in our education, health, crime and immigration systems?”
12.27pm: The University of Manchester has published research which suggests one in three people with rheumatoid arthritis, regardless of their age, will fall once or more times a year. The research, funded by Arthritis Research UK, shows those who have fallen once are at much greater risk of falling again due to previous injuries and an increased fear of falling. Over half of the falls studied resulted in injuries such as pain and bruising and one in 10 falls caused a serious head injury or fracture.
12.24pm: We have published news stories on the revelation that 10 children had to travel for heart surgery due to the closure in Leeds, and a survey of GPs’ views on giving the public access to their health records.
12.18pm: We have learned that the health secretary is today working at Watford General Hospital, as part of the DH initiative for all ministers and civil servants to have frontline experience.
11.05am: The Times this morning has a short story about a patient who died on the operating table following a “fatal bungle” by a surgeon.
Sixteen year old Ryan Senior died at Birmingham Children’s Hospital after Dr Harish Chandran used the wrong instrument during a routine operation.
Dr Chandran told an inquest that the operation went ahead despite the correct instrument not being available. The operation went wrong after the replacement instrument turned out to be different to the one he had requested. “There is great pressure to reduce delays at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and I felt under pressure not to delay the operation,” he told the inquest.
10.28am: HSJ has an exclusive just published on Laing and Buisson’s latest mental health hospitals report. The market analysts predict centralisation of secure and specialised mental health commissioning will put NHS England in a position to “ratchet up” pressure on prices and margins for independent mental health providers.
10.22am: The number of children who had to be operated on elsewhere due to the temporary suspension of services at Leeds hospital has emerged to be 10. Local politicians have repeated their concern about the move.
10.20am: The Guardian reports on proposals from NHS Blood and Transplant to prevent families overriding the wishes of the deceased relatives who have joined the organ donor register. The debate has been reignited by the news the NHS has met the target set by the Organ Donation Taskforce in 2008 to increase to number of transplants by 50 per cent. The paper reports NHSBT “believes a more firm but polite stance with bereaved families would ensure donors’ wishes were more often respected” as at present they are overridden in 45 per cent of cases.
10.19am: We have published a feature on how building open and linked data systems that could help the NHS lead the world in delivering research
8.20am: The health reforms and the debate that ensued have been dominated by politics and an overwhelming focus on the merits or otherwise of competition and perceived privatisation of the NHS. In austere times, the importance of resource allocation in the NHS should be clear for everyone − not just policy nerds writes The King’s Fund senior fellow David Buck.