One in five specialised hospital services fall short of the quality standards set for them by leading clinicians, HSJ can reveal, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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6.00pm In response to the London Health Commission report, Nav Chana, chair of the National Association of Primary Care, said:”We welcome the London Health Commission’s focus on improving the health and wellbeing of London’s population and plans for reducing health inequities.

“We also welcome any plans for significant investment to support the transformation of primary care and hope this translates to genuine action.

“Workforce development and education and training for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce should be based on delivering value to a population and we support any approaches that move education systems in this direction.”

4.40pm The NHS Confederation has said it welcomes the Better health for London report, launched today by the London Health Commission,  

Chief executive Rob Webster said: “This is a bold and well evidenced vision for delivering sustainable health and care services in London.

“The Commission has taken a strong leadership role and has shown that it is unafraid to propose ambitious, life-changing solutions. It’s only by thinking - and acting - on this kind of scale that we will deliver the health and health service London deserves. Politicians now need to respond to this call to action.

“This place-based approach to leadership, is based on a clear recognition that one size does not fit all.  Compared to anywhere across the globe, London has one of the greatest concentrations of world-class clinical expertise. For Londoners, though, it is also home.

!A focus on prevention and investment in primary and community-based health care must go alongside its status as an international leader in health innovation and technology and the welcome breadth of the report recognises this.

“The NHS belongs to the people, whether older people being supported to live fuller lives in their communities or research scientists pushing the boundaries of genomics.

“Lord Darzi’s call for a twin approach of investment and reform to transform health and healthcare in London is something our members back. There is a vital need for the honest debate he urges on future funding of the NHS and social care.

“Those with the potential to form the next government must set out clearly their detailed plans for funding the health and care our current and future population needs. This will help build the consensus for individuals and communities about how local services can and should change to meet their needs now and in the future.

“Making this vision a reality will require political leadership and for national bodies to facilitated changes in services, behaviours and culture. In the 2015 Challenge Manifesto, the strongest ever coalition of health and care bodies called for these changes to be tackled without delay.

“Today’s report adds ever more weight to the consensus for moving far and fast on tackling these challenges - we await the response with genuine anticipation.”

4.05pm In this week’s HSJ supplement, various health experts discuss London’s public health at the conclusion of Lord Darzi’s Better Health for London review – the most comprehensive ever carried out.

3.43pm In the Nuffield Trust blog, senior policy fellow Andy McKeon examines the unanswered questions in the party conference commitments on NHS spending.

Among his observations: the amounts involved are “likely to be very similar” between parties, the parties “don’t address the looming financial crisis in the acute sector which has grown bigger and more obvious since hospital finance regulators Monitor and the TDA published their quarterly figures” and “little or nothing has been said about social care”.

3.15pm The Mayor of London has backed a recommendation to sell-off unused hospital land for housing.

In its report published today, the London Health Commission called for trusts to be forced to release land that is not being used to help tackle the shortage of affordable housing in London.

Boris Johnson said this was a “no brainer”. He added: “It’s got to be done. It’s [the shortage of housing] the single biggest crisis we face. We’ve got to release that NHS land and turn it into housing. We know where it is, the Treasury knows where it is and we’ve got to get it done”.

3.01pm EXCLUSIVE: The health service is set to receive a further multimillion pound government bailout aimed at avoiding a politically embarrassing failure of the accident and emergency waiting target during winter, HSJ has learned.

It is believed the amount will come to around £280m nationally and be announced in coming weeks, although discussions at national level have not been concluded.

Senior leaders across the NHS in both commissioning and provider organisations told HSJ they have been told to prepare for additional funding.

2.38pm A team from HSJ’s parent company The Top Right Group has successfully scaled Kilimanjaro for the Great Ormond Street Hospital children’s charity - and have raised almost £50,000 in the process.

The team reached Uhuru Peak - the highest point in Africa - at 9am on 10 October.

The team unfurled a flag at the summit to thank its most generous sponsors.

These included: Helly Hansen, Hoare Lea Lighting, Michael Grubb Studio, Fitbit, ISG, Lighting Design International, Patra, Photometric and Optical Testing, SAS and Company, Select Motor Racing, Sequel Guess and Speirs + Major.

Team member Ben Cronin said: “The team had heard all the stories about how hard it is climbing at high altitude, and trained accordingly, but we still felt completely unprepared for the physical challenge  – climbing the mountain was the equivalent of wading through treacle while breathing through a straw.

“We all agreed that the seven hour ascent to the Kilimanjaro crater was the most physically demanding thing any of us had ever done.”

So far, the team has raised £41,882 but still hopes to hit its £50,000 target.

Any donations will be gratefully accepted.

Click here to make a donation to any of the team members.

2.03pm The Times also looks at how technology is transforming care across the country, from the use of Skype for consultations, to teleconferencing software.

Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, is convinced that technology is the answer to many of the health service’s problems — both financial and practical, the paper writes.

Already in some parts of the country, GPs conduct consultations via Skype and hospitals lend iPads to their patients so that they can speak to relatives from the intensive care unit.

An app allows patients to send personal health and fitness data direct from their iPhone to their medical records.

1.38pm Also in The Times, Andy Burnham has said he would use existing health and wellbeing boards to co-ordinate health and social care, which is split between the NHS and local government.

In interview published in the paper today, Mr Burnham emphasised his wish to “refound” the NHS as a “National Health and Social Care Service”.

Helping older people to stay at home with more support would relieve the pressure on A&E departments, he said.

“The government has cut social care and the NHS stops functioning. You’ve got hospitals that are basically full,” he added.

“The wards are not freeing up beds because people can’t go home, therefore A&E can’t admit to the ward so ambulance services can’t hand over to A&E.”

1.20pm The Times has also examined the state of the NHS in Wales.

On most indicators of performance, Welsh hospitals perform less well than their English counterparts, the paper reports.

In accident and emergency, the percentage of patients treated within four hours is 94 per cent in England and 87 per cent in Wales.

There are long waits for basic tests: in England, only 2 per cent of patients wait six weeks or more for a diagnostic test; in Wales the figure is more than 40 per cent.

The analysis concludes that unless the Welsh Assembly receives more money from UK central coffers, the Welsh are likely to wait longer for treatment and die earlier than their counterparts in England, regardless of who is in power in Cardiff.

12.43pm The chief inspector of general practice has warned that hundreds of GP surgeries are not good enough and many will have to close, The Times reports.

Small GP practices tend to be worse as they struggle to keep up with the latest knowledge or offer patients evening and weekend appointments, according to Steve Field.

Professor Field’s comments came as part of the paper’s week-long investigation into the future of the NHS, which today focuses on general practice.

12.26pm As part of its week-long examination of the issues affecting the NHS, The Times today takes a look at  the state of general practice.

The paper reports that smaller practices are struggling to deal with bureaucracy and rising patient visits, while others have embraced the opportunity to change.

According to the official GP-patient survey, almost a quarter of people had to wait a week or more for an appointment the last time they tried and more than a fifth are unable to see their preferred GP regularly. The average appointment is only ten minutes long.

Steve Field, the chief inspector of general practice Steve Filed believes that medical students are being conditioned to shun general practice by a system that values surgery and specialism more.

“Young kids go into medical school and the role models are in hospitals. You’ve got consultants saying: ‘Don’t worry, if you don’t get on with this you can go always go into general practice,” he said.

11.46pm Help us find healthcare’s latest rising stars.

Following a successful launch last year, HSJ in partnership with Celesio is again celebrating the up and comers who are making a real difference to healthcare.

We will name our latest collection of Rising Stars as the new year starts, and we are looking for your nominations.

Our aim is to celebrate the people whose work and decisions are already improving healthcare, and who are considered likely to be the NHS leaders of the future. A panel of expert judges will decide on the final 25.

Please be sure to give the individual’s name, job title, organisation and a short description of why you think the person should be considered as an HSJ Rising Star.

The closing date for nominations is Monday 3 November.

Click here to see who was on the 2013 HSJ Rising Stars list.

11.43pm In response to the London Health Commission report, published toay, cllr Teresa O’Neill, London Councils’ Executive member for health, said: “I’m very pleased the importance of helping Londoners stay healthy and the central role London boroughs can play in achieving that have been recognised by Lord Darzi’s London Health Commission.

“We want Londoners to lead their lives as fully as possible, for as long as possible. This means ensuring that the overall health and wellbeing of individuals is prioritised; that physical and mental health and care services are co-ordinated; and that there is a greater focus on children’s health, in order to help people learn good health habits early on.

“London boroughs are already working hard with their partners to make these ambitions a reality. Councils will now carefully consider the recommendations in this report and how best to respond both collectively, through London Councils, and individually at a local level.”

11.10am UPDATED: A health commissioner post should be created in London to coordinate the work of councils, clinical commissioning groups and Public Health England, a panel of health experts headed by former health minister Lord Darzi has suggested.

The London Health Commission also called for a five year plan to invest £1bn in the capital’s GP practices, many of which require rebuilding or refurbishment.

10.55am One in five specialised hospital services fall short of the quality standards set for them by leading clinicians, HSJ can reveal.

An analysis of data on more than 3,700 specialised services across almost 300 providers in England found 81 per cent of acute and nearly half of mental health providers were not fully compliant with national standards.

The standards, set for 183 service types, were introduced by NHS England when it took over responsibility for specialised commissioning in April 2013.

The shortfalls, pinpointed using recently published data by NHS England, are an indication of where services and areas could face reconfiguration in the next decade and which providers could struggle to hold on to specialist work.

10.45am Also in The Telegraph (newspaper only), the family of a man who died from bowel cancer in 2012 have been awarded a six-figure payout after his GP failed to diagnose his condition for seven years.

10.40am The Daily Telegraph reports that some pilot schemes are paying GPs £100 an hour to work extra hours during evenings and weekends as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge to encourage extended GP access.

10.25am In today’s papers,The Guardian reports that fewer people are being classified as risky drinkers or admitted to hospital because of alcohol, but people consuming dangerously large amounts are costing the NHS £2.8bn a year, according to a charity.

Research by Alcohol Concern shows that the number of people drinking above the recommended safe limits advised by the government and NHS fell from 10m in 2010-11 to 9.6m in 2012-13.

Similarly, fewer people are staying in hospital with alcohol-related problems. The number of overnight stays due to drink fell from 1.2m in 2011-12 to 992,000 in 2012-13.

10.00am EXCLUSIVE: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman was subject to a National Audit Office investigation this year after it awarded a former business partner of ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor a six figure contract, HSJ can reveal.

9.58am In Resource Centre this morning, mental health services have been in the headlines but many people have problems accessing help. Phil Moore and Stefanie Radford argue that primary care aligned services could hold the solution.

9.42am The Medical Defence Union’s appeal to reform personal injury law to stem the cost of negligence claims would be bad for patients and the taxpayer, argues Sarmad Gassoub, a solicitor in the clinical negligence team at Kingsley Napley LLP, in a comment piece for HSJ.

9.15am Labour has sought to reassure clinical commissioning groups that its health reforms would not amount to a top-down “big bang” shake up of the NHS.

In an exclusive article for HSJ, the shadow health secretary’s parliamentary private secretary said the party’s plans to introduce “whole person care” would instead be introduced in an “evolutionary process”.

Debbie Abrahams said proposed changes, which would see the transfer of commissioning powers from CCGs to health and wellbeing boards, represented “reforms without reorganisation”.

7.00am Good morning. To deliver Labour’s vision of whole person care, the NHS and care system must be transformed. How resources are allocated, services commissioned, and providers paid will pave the way, argues Debbie Abrahams.