The Royal College of Physicians has warned politicians that a “crisis of care” in NHS hospitals can “only be avoided by a significant increase in health funding”, plus the rest of today’s news and comment.

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5.48pm The Department of Health is proposing to introduce regulations that would to make it a legal requirement for health and care providers to display their inspection ratings.

The DH today launched a consultation into the policy, which is due to come into force from April 2015.

It is proposing the penalty for not  displaying ratings should be should be an offence with a maximum penalty of a level two fine on the standard scale, which is currently £500. The DH has also suggested that the Care Quality Commission should be allowed to issue a £100 penalty notice to proposing in lieu of prosecution.

4.30pm Baroness Joan Hanham’s tenure as chair of Monitor has been extended to 31 March 2016.

She will continue to be involved in this capacity for 2-3 days a week at a salary of £63,000 per year.

Baroness Hanham is a Conservative party peer. She was previously parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Communities and Local Government, and leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council.

She also chaired St Mary’s Hospital Trust from 2000 to 2007.

3.40pm Help us find the top BME pioneers in healthcare.

HSJ, working with NHS Employers, the NHS Leadership Academy and the British Medical Association, is seeking to celebrate the outstanding contributions professionals from black and minority ethnic backgrounds make to healthcare – and nominations are now open.

This November we will be celebrating individuals working within healthcare who can be considered to be BME pioneers – people from BME backgrounds who, through exceptional leadership abilities or their day to day example, are inspiring others and helping to shape and deliver excellent care for all.

Nominees can be working across health and social care, and at all levels, and can be from a clinical or non-clinical background – we want to identify and celebrate people you are proud to work with and who inspire you. We are particularly looking for people who you believe meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Benefit: how has this individual’s work benefited patients? To what extent have his or her efforts helped enhance access to and/or the quality of care?
  • Influence: to what extent has the individual been a game changer in his or her organisation, or more widely?
  • Leadership: to what extent has this individual created a platform for others? Has he or she enabled greater numbers of BME staff to take up roles at all levels of the health sector?
  • Inclusivity: to what extent is the individual having a long term impact on the debate around inclusivity within the health sector?

A panel of expert judges will decide on the final list, which will appear online and in print in HSJ during November.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 26 September.

3.10pm The managing director of South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group has stepped down from his role, it has emerged.

2.30pm Take a look at HSJ’s interactive maps of local NHS waits around England in July, showing the pressures and one year waits, with links to all the detail by organisation and specialty

Here is the local picture on 18 week waits, fully updated with the latest referral to treatment waiting times datareleased by NHS Engand.

2.14pm Alcohol, smoking and poor childhood diets are among public health issues that should be targeted by the next government, doctors have said.

Measures such as imposing a minimum unit price on alcohol and a ban on selling cigarettes to anyone born after 2000 are being backed by the British Medical Association (BMA).

They were included in the union’s manifesto on the areas medics believe should be made a priority after next year’s general election.

1.28pm The Times reports that people who are mentally stimulated at work and seek to intellectually challenging hobbies could be more resilient against dementia, according to scientists.

A study suggests that the brain is capable of a “workaround” that compensates for the first stage of Alzheimer’s by increasing overall brain activity.

1.04pm Also in The Times, a “real breakthrough” n lung cancer treatment could help thousands of patients every year to live longer.

Patients with advanced small cell lung cancer who were given chest radiation therapy in addition to standard treatment were more likely to be alive after two years. They were also half as likely to have cancer recurrence in the chest.

12.19pm A doctor who stood up for parents accused of killing their children faces being struck off when she appears before the General Medical Council today accused of “bias” and “dishonesty”, The Times reports (paper only).

Dr Waney Squier, a paediatric neuropathologist, is an expert witness who has disputed the existence of “shaken baby syndrome” in several court cases.

The pathologist, who works at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, could be removed from the medical register for the opinions she has expressed in court.

Dr Squier said she refuted the charges “absolutely” and would be putting up a “very robust defence”.

11.53am More from today’s papers, The Times reports that the NHS is increasingly rationing IVF treatment to save money.

Growing numbers of clinical commissioning groups are denying infertile women the three cycles of IVF recommended by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence.

Figures obtained under Freedom of Information Act showed that the number of CCGs offering three cycles of IVF has fallen from 23 per cent last year to 18 this year.

11.40am The Guardian reports that the consultation paper on children’s heart services being launched today will try to end the controversy surrounding the future shape of the service.

Instead of listing units that will remain open and units that will close, NHS England will put forward standards that hospitals will be expected to meet.

NHS England took over when an independent panel, convened by Jeremy Hunt, ruled that the existing process to map out the future of the service was flawed.

11.28am NHS England has today launched a consultation into new standards for congenital heart disease services.

Following the consultation, the standards will be written into service specifications, which will form the basis of contractual arrangements between NHS England and hospitals providing care.

They standards will cover 13 areas. These include: communication with patients and their families; staff and skills needed in teams; transition for children moving between child and adult services; working with other healthcare services patients might need; and support for patients and their families when their disease is not responsive to treatment.

The consultation forms part of a wider review into the congenital heart disease review by NHS England. The body will also look at current and future demand for services, how to achieve earlier diagnosis of the disease, and how best to commission the service.

 Jackie Cornish, NHS’s England director for children, young people and transition to adulthood, said: “Congenital heart disease services in this country already provide good, safe care, with high survival rates after surgery. 

“But we know there are areas for improvement, and we want consistent services of the highest quality for all our patients throughout their lives, wherever they live.  We know this is what patients want, and it is what they deserve.

“Our aim is to ensure a high standard of service is sustainable for future generations of children.”

Professor Huon Gray, the body’s s national clinical director for heart disease, said: “Patients, the public, doctors and surgeons told us the best way to improve services is to implement the same set of standards across the board. They spoke and we listened.

“We now want to gather people’s views on our proposals – it is absolutely crucial we get this right for patients and we want to hear what people think.

“This is not a done deal, and everyone has the opportunity to give their feedback on the standards.”

10.28am As the economic bite retains its hold, Vale of York CCG chair Alan Maynard looks at NICE’s work, the cost of it and how the government and industry undermine its value.

In a comment piece for HSJ, Professor Maynard argues: “Government attempts to undermine NICE demonstrate its willingness to put industry wealth before population health.”

10.09am Local authorities’ core public health funding will be cut in real terms in 2015-16, it has been announced.

The £2.79bn settlement for 2015-16, announced last week by the Department of Health, is the same cash figure as the 2014-15 total allocation to councils. Inflation is expected to be around 2 per cent in 2015.

However, in 2015-16 councils that meet performance indicator targets will receive a share of an additional £5m incentive pot.

10.03m The Royal College of Physicians has warned politicians that a “crisis of care” in NHS hospitals can “only be avoided by a significant increase in health funding”.

Joining calls for the next government to increase NHS funding to avert an “impending financial crisis”, the RCP said that hospitals were now “under-resourced and under pressure”.

Ahead of the party conferences, the Royal college also urged MPs to pledge not to impose another top-down reorganisation of the health service.

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We start the day with a resource centre piece from Lelly Oboh, who explains how tasked with bringing down prescriptions by 66 per cent, the Dementia and Prescribing Antipsychotic Project in London found that GPs and pharmacists were successful when they worked together.