5.15pm: 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.
5.05pm: Lawyers for the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign have reacted angrily after a last-minute amendment was ‘slotted into’ the Care Bill, giving trust special administrators much greater powers when running NHS trusts, and allowing their decisions to change services arbitrarily in neighbouring trusts. Richard Stein from law firm Leigh Day, who is representing the Save Lewisham Campaign, said: “This is a very clear example of the government trying to move the goalposts as they face an appeal they are very likely going to lose.”
4.55pm: Health 2.0, which supports eHealth innovation in Europe and around the world, is running a survey to identify trends and barriers for growth in a variety of markets. Respondents will receive a special code providing a 25 per cent discount on the ticket prices for Health 2.0’s next three conferences: Health 2.0 Europe, Health 2.0 Latin America and Health 2.0 India. The survey should take approximately five minutes to complete.
4.45pm: New polling data from Ipsos MORI, commissioned by the Foundation Trust Network, reveals a change in public opinion regarding the NHS in England. Responding to the propositions “the NHS is a symbol of what is great about Britain and we must do everything we can to maintain it” or “the NHS was a great project for its time but we probably can’t maintain it in its current form”, 60 per cent of the public agreed with the former and 30% with the latter. The poll results come as NHS leaders gather in Liverpool for the FTN’s annual conference 2013. Follow Ben Clover and Dave West for HSJ’s coverage. #ftn2013
4.40pm: In his keynote address at primary care conference Best Practice 2013, Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chair of the BMA GP committee, pinpointed increasing workload as the main reason “GPs are so unhappy”. “The number one issue facing GPs, practice managers and nurses is workload, workload, workload…We are running around that hamster wheel just trying to stand still…The fear is, is that the worst is yet to come.”
2.54pm: NHS trusts and foundation trusts neighbouring failingproviders could be ordered to reconfigure services under proposed government amendments to the failure regime. Health minister Lord Howe has said the changes were seeking to “put beyond doubt” that trust special administrators had the power to make recommendations that impact on neighbouring NHS providers.
2.25pm: The perception of doctors has changed and so has the role and what is expected of them, says Frankie Anderson, who examines the consequences of this shift and why it matters for the Battle of Ideas festival, for which HSJ is media partner. Dr Anderson is speaking at the session “From Shipman to Mid Staffs: does doctor still know best?” at the festival from 19-20 October in London. Win tickets here…
2pm: Ben Clover reports that the man leading NHS England’s review of urgent and emergency services in England has said an activity-based funding model was “wrong”. Keith Willett, national director for acute episodes of care, said he was speaking in a personal capacity rather than pre-judging the results of the review, but that the fragmentation of the current system meant the activity-based payment system was inappropriate.
1.54pm: Clinical commissioning group leaders have firmly asserted their independence ahead of an attempt by NHS England to encourage them to make more use of commissioning support units. NHS England is expected to send guidance to CCGs this week setting out how and when they can provide their own support services, rather than using CSUs. Read David Williams’ story here.
2.02pm: Clinical commissioning group leaders have firmly asserted their independence ahead of an attempt by NHS England to encourage them to make more use of commissioning support units. NHS England is expected to send guidance to CCGs this week setting out how and when they can provide their own support services, rather than using CSUs. Read David William’s story here.
1.51pm: The system for treating alcohol dependence among adults in England is performing well overall for those accessing services, according to the latest annual statistics released by Public Health England. More people came forward for specialist treatment in 2012-13 and the number who successfully completed their treatment continued to increase. Waiting times also continued to improve.
1.44pm: The number of complaints about doctors made by their colleagues or patients is on the rise, according to new figures. Data from the General Medical Council show a jump in both patient complaints and the number of doctors willing to speak up about the poor standards of other medics.
1.40pm: Campaigners have slammed car parking charges at hospitals, with some NHS organisations charging almost three times the national average. The average parking charge per hour stands at £1.15, data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveals. Read more here
1.33pm: The establishment of a new national patient database will “reduce the flow of patient identifiable data” around the NHS, the Health and Social Care Information Centre’s clinical director said yesterday. Mark Davies made the comments during a media briefing to promote NHS England’s plans for a £2m national awareness campaign about the care.data project which will link patient data across different care settings.
1.25pm: Our columnist Michael White gets all spiritual this week. Read his insider’s view of politics here to find out why.
11.52pm: The Monitor chief executive has emphasised the need for its regulation to be flexible to respond to new types of provider, and to the need for change in the NHS. David Bennett was speaking to the Foundation Trust Network conference on Tuesday. He said it planned to be more flexible in assessing foundation trust applications and regulating providers. Read Dave West’s report here.
11am: Fresh evidence has emerged of the impact competition probes are having on plans to reconfigure services. Sarah Calkin and James Illman report that Office of Fair Trading investigations were cited as barriers to two major pathology reorganisations. The investigations are said to have been a factor in at least one of the three trusts involved withdrawing from a reorganisation of pathology services in Bristol and North Somerset. Read our full story here.
10.50am: The man leading NHS England’s review of urgent and emergency services in England has said an activity-based funding model was “wrong”. Keith Willett, national director for acute episodes of care, said he was speaking in a personal capacity rather than pre-judging the results of the review, but that the fragmentation of the current system meant the activity-based payment system was inappropriate.
10.45am: Politicians aren’t the only cause of the NHS’s uncertain future, says HSJ editor Alastair McLellan in his leader, which takes aim at the blame game. Read it or listen to it as a podcast here…
10.35am: The Independent also has a story which says NHS services for mental health patients are in “crisis” and unsafe, according to one of the UK’s most senior psychiatrists. The number of beds available in specialist units has been reduced by 9 per cent since April 2011 - a loss of more than 1,500 - preventing vulnerable people from getting the care they need.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph says researchers have found that patients placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway, which was designed to provide dignity for those dying with terminal illnesses, saw no “clinically meaningful” advantage compared with people receiving standard care. A trial on cancer patients in 16 Italian hospital wards found no difference in survival times, and no significant improvement in care for those on the pathway.
The Telegraph also reports that figures from the General Medical Council show 8,109 complaints were made against doctors in 2012 by patients and colleagues. The number of complaints was 24 per cent higher than the previous year, and 104 per cent greater than in 2007, according to the GMC.
10.25am: The Independent says experts are warning that the poorest parts of England will have their health funding cut while affluent areas will benefit under a proposed NHS spending formula. New plans for allocating resources across England’s clinical commissioning groups, under consideration by NHS England, would see a measure that takes deprivation into account dropped in favour of a greater emphasis on the age of the population.
10.15am: The Mail says three in five doctors aged under 30 are now women, sparking fears for care standards as junior doctors fall pregnant.
It also writes that some hospital trusts spend as little as £4.15 per day feeding patients - less than half the national average. Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust in London spent £4.15 per inpatient per day in 2012/13, compared to a national average spend of £9.87. The data, released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), showed some NHS trusts spend over three times as much per inpatient per day as other trusts.
7.30am: Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live, which brings you a daily hit of news and comment from our own writers, our contributors and members of the public.
Despite the NHS mandate’s noises to the contrary, “the key question is not so much do patients and their carers have the knowledge to manage their own health but does the NHS have the knowledge to deliver on this in a way that will be transformational?” Read all of Jim Phillips and John Worth’s blog here.
An analysis of likely costs to the NHS shows that comorbid mental health problems are associated with increases of 45-75 per cent in the costs of physical healthcare for long term conditions, says Lawrence Moulin. But one provider has developed a robust and evaluated model to meet these needs: Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. Read his article to find out how it works.
Also new today is a piece by Eric Watts, who says: “Lord Saatchi is wrong, the law is not killing patients”. He takes issue with Lord Saatchi’s HSJ article and says the law is not killing patients and the Medical Innovation Bill will not address the most important needs in cancer medicine − to increase research funding in tumour biology, to work with the pharmaceutical industry to produce more cost-effective treatments and to help patients living with cancer.