A survey find the public place the most trust in NHS frontline staff, plus the rest of the day’s news and comment
3:37pm An exclusive from HSJ’s Dave West: the government has appointed Conservative peer and former minister Baroness Hanham as the interim chair of health sector regulator Monitor.
Baroness Hanham, a former leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, was chairman of St Mary’s Hospital Trust from 2000 to 2007 and was a minister in the Department for Communities and Local Government from 2010 until last year’s autumn reshuffle.
Members of the Commons’ health committee were informed of her appointment late last week, HSJ understands. MPs were told a permanent appointment was likely to be made in autumn this year. There is not due to be a pre-appointment hearing by the committee, because the appointment is on an interim basis.
3:05pm There’s a powerful piece in the Guardian by Julie Myerson, describing the death of her mother-in-law in St Thomas’ Hospital. She praises the care she saw at St Thomas’, and argues that all death in hospital need not be a medicalised trauma, and that positive experiences should be shared.
The Competition Commission want to reduce the market dominance of BMI Healthcare, HCA International and Spire Healthcare after concluding that customers were overpaying for private medical insurance by around £200m a year, while the trio were also said to have made “excess profits of between £519m and £579m in 2009-11”.
HSJ reporter Shaun Lintern reports that the latest evidence submitted to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Body by the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, obtained by HSJ, reveals a “marked reduction in the proportion of new awards” given to women.
It also reveals almost 60 per cent of NHS consultants are currently in receipt of a clinical excellence award, at a total cost of more than £380m – although the numbers of awards given and their cost has fallen.
New guidance has been issued to hospitals that Jeremy Hunt hopes will help end the “closed and defensive culture” in parts of the NHS.
The guidance sent to every hospital in England and Wales by the NHS Litigation Authority suggests staff are reluctant to apologise because they fear admitting legal liability or making the situation worse.
However, the four-page leaflet makes clear that “saying sorry is the right thing to do” in all circumstances when there are failures of patient care.
“Poor communication may make it more likely that the patient will pursue a complaint or claim,” it says.
12:50pm The Daily Mail reports that the government’s obesity tsar has warned that fruit juice is so high in sugar it should not count as part of a healthy five-a-day diet.
Oxford professor Dr Susan Jebb said the public should even start watering it down to wean themselves off it.
12:35pm HSJ has an alternate view on seven day services fromDr Kristin-Anne Rutter, senior engagement manager, healthcare and strategy, at MHI.
12:11pm What have the controversial section 75 procurement regulations meant for the NHS and its providers? HSJ is holding a free webinar on 5 February to explore the answer to this question - you can find out more about it here.
12:09pm Familiar with the seven deadly sins impeding NHS innovation? Read this innovation piece by two employees at Lancashire Care Foundation Trust to find out what they are.
11:57am Harry Cayton, chief executive at the Professional Standards Authority, has written a comment piece for HSJ arguing the new Accredited Voluntary Registers scheme offers anyone employing, recommending or using a practitioner in an unregulated occupation greater confidence, choice, quality and protection.
He says “real patient safety and high quality care is never achieved merely by regulation” and “to suggest that counsellors and psychotherapists, or sports rehabilitators or acupuncturists or healthcare assistants, are not capable of quality because they are not regulated is unfair and untrue”.
11:38am The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued a strongly worded rebuttal to a Daily Mail story which appeared last Saturday. The front page story suggested that NICE had misused public money. In its response NICE says:
“The story wrongly alleged that payments to a company called Searcy’s were made at its high profile champagne bars. But this company also manages conference facilities for other organisations and it was room hire at the Royal College of GPs and the Commonwealth Club, where NICE has held meetings of its advisory committees, that the expenditure referred to. The money was not spent on champagne.
“This misleading story has damaged our reputation and undermines our efforts to help the NHS make the best use of its resources.”
11:20am Further to our story from 10:30am, medical research charities have launched the ‘Sharing data save lives’ campaign in a bid to allow researchers access to the information contained within medical records.
The campaign is led by the Association of Medical Research Charities, the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.
11:10am Also in The Guardian, University Hospital Llandough has asked visitors to stay away unless absolutely necessary so that the spread of norovirus can be contained. A number of patients across two wards are suffering from the vomiting bug.
11:00am The Guardian reports that urgent action is needed to tackle obesity according to the National Obesity Forum.
The forum’s latest report warns that the seminal Foresight report, which predicted that half the population of England could be obese by 2050 if sufficient action was not taken, could have underestimated the scale of the crisis. Public Health England recently estimated that 60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women and 25 per cent of children could be obese by 2050.
10:56am In its editorial, the Telegraph describes the latest guidance from the NHS Litigation Authority as “both depressing and invigorating”.
It is depressing because “it should not need saying that, when doctors and nurses have made a mistake that has harmed a patient, they ought to apologise”, but invigorating because “it suggests that sense can still pierce the walls of bureaucracy”.
10:50am Returning to the papers, The Daily Telegraph leads on Jeremy Hunt calling for doctors and nurse to be more honest with patients when things go wrong.
The health secretary said: “We want to see an open NHS culture that focuses on safety and learns when things go wrong. Saying sorry and supporting patients is really an important part of this”.
He added: “Sadly under the last government a closed and defensive culture developed in parts of the NHS. We are transforming this culture through a new transparency drive.”
10:40am The Care Quality Commission is signposting employees towards private healthcare, it has emerged.
The regulator directs its workers to Benenden Healthcare through its company intranet, a Freedom of Information request by the Press Association has revealed.
Ramsey Healthcare has withdrawn less than a month after it was identified as one of the shortlisted bidders. Its exit leaves four bidders: South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust, Care UK and Circle Partnership.
The new data pool, which will be collected from GP records from surgeries across England, is “like a jigsaw” and would be incomplete if people choose to opt out, they said.
Frontline crews did not receive phone calls from headquarters and ambulances called to provide emergency back up did not arrive after the crews’ computer screens went blank on the evening of 25 December and in the early hours of Boxing Day.
The £334m-turnover Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust was leant the money - recorded by the DH as “additions [public dividend capital] revenue support temporary” - in November.
10:13am Browsing through the papers, the Financial Times has a story that Ken Clarke is about to begin a five-day trade visit to China, where he will try to increase British sales in the Chinese healthcare market by trading on the global reputation of the NHS.
7:00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. To kick things off, Two thirds people think frontline staff have little or no say in how the NHS is run, but the who they most trust to improve , according to a survey of 1,014 people commissioned for NHS Change Day.
The survey also found that only 11 per cent of people think frontline staff currently have enough of a say in how the NHS works.
50 per cent said they would put their greatest trust in those same staff to protect the future of the health service and drive improvement, compared to 13 per cent who trusted management first 12 per cent who put most trust in politicians.
Dr Damian Roland, senior paediatric registrar at Leicester Hospitals and a founders of NHS Change Day, said, “This study gets to the heart of what Change Day is all about – the people with the real energy and ideas to drive change in the NHS are often those who feel least able to do anything about it.
“Change Day is about tackling this. Whether you’re a doctor like me, a porter or an NHS accountant, Change Day is our chance to do something different – however big or small – to make the NHS better for the people who rely on it.”
NHS Change Day on 3 March is planned as a national day of action for individuals to pledge to make improvements for patients and the health and care system.