Simon Stevens has been named the most powerful person in healthcare in the HSJ100, just eight months after becoming NHS England chief executive, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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4.57pm Here are a few more updates from the health committee’s annual accountability hearing with the Care Quality Commission, which took place earlier afternoon.

On the subject of intelligent monitoring, David Behan said it was not definitive so it cannot arrive at judgement about a service, but is “smoke alarm” for risk.

Asked by committee Sarah Wollaston on the errors made in GP intelligent monitoring, Mr Behan said the CQC apologised to the practices affected and is doing a lessons learned exercise.

When pressed by Dr Wollaston that the CQC must have anticipated that it would have been interpreted as ratings of ‘worse’ practices, Mr Behan said the worse thing the CQC could have done would be to use intelligent monitoring to prioritise inspections but then sit on the data.

Both Mr Behan and CQC chair David Prior said recruitment is the single biggest risk to the CQC. They said the body must recruit an extra 600 staff in next year to hit its staff target. To put that in perspective, that would be an addtionial 75 per cent on current levels.

Mr Prior said looking at high turnover of NHS chief executives, “you could argue there’s too much accountability”.

4.41pm With the NHS at a crossroads and a looming election causing paralysis across the system, the ninth edition of the HSJ100 and its rankings has been particularly tricky to predict, writes Gavin Johnstone is founder and managing director of Hunter Healthcare.

4.30pm Has the health sector fallen into the trap of development first, interface second?

Leigh Baillie, marketing director at Fortrus, points out the key opportunities for healthcare leaders to improve NHS services over the course of the next year.

4.08pm A project in London has developed a model for diagnosing and treating the mental health co-morbidities of diabetes. Steven Reid, clinical director for psychological medicine at Central and North West London Foundation Trust explains.

3.53pm The NHS Five Year Forward View puts pharmacists at the heart of its most interesting proposals. This is the chance for the profession to open the door to new models of care, argues Judith Smith, head of policy at the Nuffield Trust, in a comment piece for HSJ.

3.20pm A few updates from the health committee’s annual accountability hearing with the Care Quality Commission.

CQC chief executive David Behan said he was “disappointed” with the body’s 2013-14 internal audit findings.

Responding to a question from Conservative MP David Treddinnick about why has there been such a huge increase in CQC net expenditure in last year, Mr Behan said was to pay sufficient staff to undertake its new inspection approach.

Mr Behan said Behan: “we can attract people” to be CQC inspectors, but we have “set a high bar” and not been able to recruit fast enough.

CQC chair David Prior pointed out that recruitment across the NHS is “incredibly difficult” at present.

He said “can make efficiencies”, for example it couldreduce size of inspection teams but relying more on data.

Mr Behan also said many of the issues that the CQC has flagged back to NHS acute services relates to the adequacy of staffing levels.

Follow HSJ’s Will Hazell (@whazell) who is tweeting live from the hearing for full updates.

3.00pm HSJ reporter Will Hazell is tweeting live from the healthselect committee’s annual accountability hearing with the Care Quality Commission.

Follow @whazell on Twitter for regular updates from the session.

2.33pm EXCLUSIVE: Nurse training places will increase for the second consecutive year, HSJ can reveal.

But the growth across all four branches of nurse training in 2015-16 is smaller than the previous year and will result only in an extra 827 qualified nurses a year, a rise of 4 per cent.

The places will be approved by Health Education England’s board later today in its national workforce plan for England, which sets out how it will spend its £5bn education and training budget.

2.19pm Next year is set to be a crucial year for the health service between the general election, performance pressures, the Carter review and making the NHS Five Year Forward View a reality, writes HSJ editor Alastair McLellan.

1.39pm EXCLUSIVE: An attempt by NHS England to protect patient choice by preventing hospitals closing their doors to ‘out of area’ referrals has been strongly criticised by a leading foundation trust chief executive.

Salford Royal Foundation Trust chief executive Sir David Dalton told HSJ that forcing referrals on stretched trusts was akin to “asking a hotel to keep accepting bookings when all their rooms are full” and could potentially “jeopardise safe care”.

1.20pm In response to HSJ’s story yesterday that the leaders of six clinical commissioning groups have written to NHS England criticising “apparent confusion and lack of clarity” in its proposals for primary care co-commissioning, Amanda Doyle, co-chair of the national primary care co-commissioning programme oversight group, said: “NHS England has set out all the information it can on the legal, workforce and financial issues.

Dr Doyle, who is also co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, added: “The clear feedback is that most CCGs have found the guidance and the five regional roadshows helpful.

“However this positive view has clearly not been the experience of these specific CCGs and so NHS Clinical Commissioners are available to advise and support the CCGs and NHS England is making the offer of additional immediate conversations with the CCGs but only should they so wish.  

“It is of course entirely up to all CCGs to decide whether or not to take advantage of the option of co-commissioning.”

1.05pm After the sea change in focus on quality and safety that followed the 2013 Francis report, 2015 will be about ensuring the issue remains at the top of the list in the face of an ever more challenging financial position, writes HSJ senior correspondent Sarah Calkin about the HSJ100.

12.45pm In various forms, integration is the dominant principle underpinning the policy offers from all three major parties, and in particular explains the positioning of Norman Lamb and Andy Burnham in the HSJ100,notes HSJ senior correspondent David Williams.

12.00pm The last 18 months has seen an unprecedented focus on the NHS workforce following the Francis report into the failures at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust and this is unlikely to lessen in the coming year despite mounting financial pressures on acute trusts, writes HSJ correspondent Shaun Lintern, in further analysis of the HSJ100.

11.53am Looking at technology in the HSJ100, HSJ correspondent James Illman writes that amateur night is over but top tech talent is still wanting.

11.32am There are two dates in 2015 that loom very large in the minds of all those on the HSJ100 with responsibility for the financial health of the NHS, argues HSJ bureau chief Crispin Dowler.

The first is 31 March, which will bring to a close the toughest financial year in the health service for nearly a decade, and one in which its ability to break even still hangs in the balance.

The second is 7 May, which brings the general election, and the urgent need to begin working with the incoming government on a comprehensive spending review that will set the financial envelope for much of the period covered by the NHS Five Year Forward View.

11.15am More HSJ100 analysis - Senior bureau chief Dave West writes that “Simon Stevens’ immense political capital means much of the power and influence in the commissioning system sits with him in the top spot.

“Were they allowed, the judges might have considered inventing a position above number one for him.”

11.00am Examining politics in the HSJ100, HSJ editor Alastair McLellan notes that “the outcome of the 2015 general election is the most uncertain in living memory” but “[one] of the few certainties is that the NHS will figure more prominently than in any election since 1997”.

10.54am Looking at providers on the HSJ100, senior correspondent Ben Clover writes that the provider sector is facing significant upheaval in 2015 - even before you take into account the finance and performance problems trusts will undoubtedly face.

10.38am You can download the full HSJ100 supplement here.

10.33am The top names in the HSJ100 are best positioned to shape a year of volatility and voters, writes HSJ editor Alastair McLellan.

10.18am The impact of the government’s drug pricing deal on patient access to new medicines has been thrown into confusion after a pharmaceutical company’s appeal against the decision to ban routine NHS funding of one of its drugs was upheld.

A National Institute of Health and Care Excellence appeals panel found in favour of Roche’s argument that the appraisal of its breast cancer drug Kadcyla had been “procedurally unfair”.

The company claimed that NICE’s appraisal committee had been wrong not to consider the impact of the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme 2014 when assessing the cost effectiveness of Kadcyla.

10.07am Imperial College Healthcare Trust has become the first Shelford Group trust to be rated ‘requires improvement’ by the Care Quality Commission.

Although the London trust was rated “good” for being effective and caring, it was rated requires improvement for being safe, responsive and well led.

10.04am EXCLUSIVE: One of the biggest teaching trusts in England has been forced to axe its once renowned acute dermatology service due to an ‘exodus’ of medical consultants following the transfer of their contract to private provider Circle.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has confirmed it will cease to provide acute adult dermatology services – including emergency services – from February next year, due to a lack of staff.

10.00am See the full interactive list for the HSJ100 2014.

7.00am Good morning. Simon Stevens has been named the most powerful person in healthcare in the HSJ100, just eight months after becoming NHS England chief executive.

Mr Stevens swaps places with health secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is in second place.

The HSJ100, now in its ninth year, measures influence for the next 12 months. The make-up of this year’s list reflects the dominant role the NHS will play in national and political conversation ahead of next May’s election, and the impact any new government will have on the service.