4.55pm: Health sector regulator Monitor has launched an investigation into why patients are waiting too long for treatment at South Tees Hospital Foundation Trust. South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust provides a range of services to patients at the James Cook Hospital, Friarage Hospital and six community hospitals across Teesside, Hambleton and Richmondshire, and has failed to meet the national 18 week referral to treatment time target for three quarters in the past 12 months.
3.55pm: NHS England has scrapped a £50m fund designed to promote innovation as part of a flagship government policy - just two months after its launch. The introduction of a specialised services commissioning innovation fund was a commitment of the Innovation, Health and Wealth programme launched with great fanfare in 2011.
3.49pm: An HSJ reader reacts to our story on the CQC considering the use of secret cameras: “My partner has been in a care home for over 10 years, run by a very famous company who are ‘not for profit’. The care has been at best poor and at worst negligent. However, the last thing I would want are surveillance cameras in the home. We need to value the caring profession, pay them well for a job that can be extremely difficult. Most importantly all agencies need to listen to people using the services and their carers.”
3.30pm: One reader on Shaun Lintern’s pensions story: “This just makes it easier to privatise the NHS and save the private sector money. It has nothing to do with providing better pensions for staff. Once again the taxpayer will subsidise private industry and ensure shareholders get their dividends. If ‘private’ is so good, why does it need subsidising?
3.05pm: Are you a trust chair? It is now more than six months since publication of the seminal Francis report on Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, during which time we have also had the Keogh report on trusts with high mortality and the Berwick report on patient safety.
Following our inaugural research in March, HSJ and Odgers Berndtson are carrying out a joint survey of trust chairs across the acute and mental health sectors to gauge their views on key governance issues. Please take 10 minutes to complete our short survey. In recognition of your time we will enter you in a draw for £100 of Marks and Spencer vouchers. Click here to complete the survey. Responses will be anonymous and treated in strict confidence.
2.15pm: The Treasury has approved plans for workers transferred out of the health service to retain NHS pensions, in a move predicted to make it easier for independent providers to win NHS contracts. With immediate effect any worker will remain a member of the NHS Pension Scheme if they were transferred out of the health service to a private provider under transfer of undertakings, protection of employment (TUPE) regulations.
2.05pm: A survey of responsible officers by the King’s Fund has found most are broadly positive about the revalidation process - although many fear the most difficult cases are yet to come. The think tank surveyed 53 of London’s 133 ROs six months after the introduction of revalidation of doctors last December. They also conducted in-depth interviews with 20 of the respondents. Nearly half (42 per cent) of those surveyed were positive about their experience of revalidation and only 10 per cent were negative. The remaining 40 per cent of ROs surveyed reserved judgement on revalidation ahead of year two.
12.59pm: Five members of a criminal gang which made more than 200 attempts to defraud NHS organisations by demanding payment for adverts in bogus magazines with similar names to real ones - including HSJ - have been jailed for a total of 18 and a half years. Another has still to be sentenced. Read more here.
12.10pm: West Suffolk Hospitals Foundation Trust’s poor performance against various targets led it to face a risk summit with its NHS England local area team, it has emerged. The trust could have also been given a red rating after missing its accident and emergency target for three consecutive months, board papers revealed.
11.55am: The clinical commissioning group running an £800m tender for older people’s services has revealed it could also tender a musculoskeletal service contract worth more than £50m a year. A paper discussed at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG’s October board meeting said the “large and complex [musculoskeletal] programme involving significant budget” had a value “potentially in excess of £50m per annum”.
11.11am: The health and social care watchdog in England is considering using hidden cameras to help carry out inspections. The Care Quality Commission unveiled the proposal as one of a number of changes to the way it monitors care providers.
11am: Effective pain treatment and management is being hampered by a lack of training on the subject, a report suggests. The research revealed an alarming absence of dedicated teaching on pain in European undergraduate medical schools. The results indicate that the inadequacies in pain teaching leave future doctors unprepared to treat and manage pain at both primary and acute care levels.
10.55: Foundation Trust Network chief executive Chris Hopson’s speech to the organisation’s conference in Liverpool has said there may be a change in public opinion towards service reform, as the weight of financial realities perhaps becomes clearer. An Ipsos Mori survey shows a nine-point rise in advocates for change over last year, which “potentially represents a significant shift”.
10.45: We have two pairs of tickets to give away to the Battle of Ideas festival in London on 19-20 October. The annual festival, organised by the Institute of Ideas, is “committed to open and robust discussions about key ideas of our time”. HSJ is supporting two of the discussions: “Institutions on life support”, about the breakdown of trust in our public bodies; and “From Shipman to Mid Staffs: does doctor still know best?”.
10.31am: Interesting tweet from HSJ’s @davewwest at the Foundation Trust Network conference in Liverpool. “Arrived at #FTN2013 - media bags include vodka, red bull, toiletries among other things.”
10.15am: In a speech at the Westminster Health Forum today, Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance and president of NHS Clinical Commissioners, is outlining his vision for the future of the NHS, highlighting the need for CCGs to control the primary as well as secondary care budget. He describes the splitting of primary and secondary care budgets as “lunacy”.
And on hsj.co.uk, Blair McPherson says you can’t give quality care in 15 minutes, as his blog reacts to findings by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation. Read it here.
9.40am: In her first major announcement as the chief inspector of adult social care, today Andrea Sutcliffe has outlined her priorities for transforming how the Care Quality Commission will monitor, inspect and regulate care homes and other adult social care services, with a greater focus on public involvement and improvement.
In response to the announcement by NHS Employers to follow the BMA into negotiations on junior doctor and consultant contracts, BMA Council chair Dr Mark Porter said: “It’s welcome news that NHS Employers have agreed to follow the BMA into contract negotiations. We all believe patients should have access to high quality care seven days a week and as part of the negotiations we will be exploring how to best to deliver this.”
9.17am: The Guardian reports that the Care Quality Commission’s chief inspector of adult social care has said the regulatory body will discuss using “mystery shoppers” and hidden cameras to monitor care services.Andrea Sutcliffe said the media had already used such methods to draw attention to substandard care in documentaries.
9am: Dr Anne Rainsberry, regional director of NHS England, has said health services must be reformed “radically” to avoid increasing the current strain on resources and creating a £4bn hole in NHS finances by 2020. The Telegraph reports that she says failing to change the way services for patients are organised will result in longer waiting times for treatment.
The newspaper also reports that ministers are set for a clash with doctors’ union leaders over the proposed introduction of seven-day working as talks on new contracts begin today.
7.35am: Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live, our feed bringing you what’s happening in the NHS and the wider world of healthcare. As autumn starts to make itself known with dropping temperatures, Jo Butcher today argues that fuel poverty and cold homes must be included in the strategic thinking and actions of health decision makers.
There’s more opinion in a piece by Paul Mitchell, who points out that younger, more digitally savvy members of the public are harder to engage in conversations about the NHS than older people. CSUs are in a unique position to change all this through shrewd use of social media, he says.
And Adam Turner says that identifying and developing the talents of staff is one of the biggest organisational challenges facing the NHS. He takes a look at the tools available to help you get the most from your team.