Only one in four people trusts the government with the NHS, according to the “damning” findings of a poll commissioned by a union, plus the rest of today’s news and comment
5.18pm HSJ just had a mention in the health select committee hearing. Reporter Will Hazell tweets:
“@sjcalkin story on CQC inspection workloads just mentioned by David Behan at health committee”
“Mr Behan also mentioned bumping into @HSJEditor today, who told him way CQC had responded to the story showed how organisation had changed”
4.10pm The health select committee are currently hearing from members of the CQC leadership team, the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council on the process for makng complaints and raising concerns.
4.07pm A group of MPs have called for headaches to be taken more seriously by doctors, The Times reports.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Headache Disorders has said that increasing numbers of patients are being taken to accident and emergency units with unbearable headaches because their concerns are being dismissed by GPs. The group has called for the specialist GPs to be trained with how to deal with migraines.
3.21pm In Michael White’s latest column he welcomes the government’s promotion of milk in schools but argues that it is only “gesture politics” unless ministers stand up to the food, drink and tobacco industries.
In what is seen as a landmark case, one of the most senior judges in the judiciary said there should be “presumption in favour of patient involvement” before making the orders.
Such orders are designed to ensure patients in the final stages of their life are not subjected to unnecessary interventions by clinical staff.
2.45pm Jeremy Hunt is having lunch with the press gallery in Westminster. Michael Crick has just tweeted that Hunt supports a 12 week limit on abortion:
“Jeremy Hunt: I stand by view that should be 12 week limit on abortion; question of new vote a matter for Commons”
2.40pm An investigation has uncovered ‘significant administrative lapses’ in processes used by the NHS Information Centre to oversee the release of patient records to organisations including research bodies, government departments and insurers.
The probe - based on the findings of an audit of 3,057 data set releases between 2005 and 2013 - criticised the “loosely recorded processes” of both the centre and a private company to which it outsourced work.
The investigation was launched by the Health and Social Information Centre, the body which replaced the Information Centre in April last year, following a raft of confidentiality concerns, including claims that records were being erroneously sold to insurers.
2.30pm Channel 4’s political correspondent Michael Crick has been tweeting some quotes from Jeremy Hunt.
Here’s a choice few: “J Hunt: ‘I used to have the view, when running my own company, that people in private sector work harder; I don’t think that about the NHS.’”
“Jeremy Hunt: I can ‘rule out completely’ charging people to see a GP”
“Jeremy Hunt says he didn’t know he’s ‘distantly related’ to the Queen”
Accord Health is no longer in the running for the contract, the CCG has confirmed. Accord Health is a consortium including construction and support services giant Interserve, North Essex Partnership Foundation Trust and Provide, which was formerly Central Essex Community Services.
John Niland, chief executive of Provide, confirmed that that the consortium decided to withdraw from the bidding process.
1.30pm Growing pressures on the NHS in Wales means it could face an unprecedented funding gap of £2.5bn by 2025/26, worth over two-fifths of its current annual budget, new analysis by the Nuffield Trust finds today.
This estimated shortfall, caused by the combination of rising costs and tight public finances, would occur if funding rises in line with inflation beyond 2015/16, even after accounting for the efficiency savings currently being made in the Welsh NHS. To close the gap without additional funding, the Welsh NHS would have to improve productivity at a record rate and sustain this for a period not seen either in the history of the NHS or other countries’ health systems, the Nuffield Trust claims.
The analysis also shows that the immediate financial shortfall to 2015/16 can be significantly reduced - from £1.2bn to £0.2bn - if efficiency gains currently being made in NHS Wales are realised.
The research, conducted by independent health think tank the Nuffield Trust and commissioned by the Welsh Government, replicates modelling used to calculate the shortfall facing the NHS in England. It explores the reasons for rising pressures on the NHS in Wales, finding that the ageing population, rising hospital admissions for people with chronic disease and increases in the cost of providing health care mean that pressures on the Welsh NHS are set to grow at 3.3 per cent per year up to 2025/26.
Exploring different scenarios, researchers show that if funding for the NHS in Wales rises in line with national income beyond 2015/16, the funding gap would be reduced to £1.1bn. While still a sizable shortfall, this gap could be largely closed through sustained productivity gains and improved treatment for chronic conditions.
By contrast, if spending on the NHS in Wales is not increased either in line with inflation or national income but is instead held steady in cash terms after 2015/16 (a real terms cut), the gap could be as large as £3.6bn by 2025/26.
1.16pm The Independent reports that nurses will try to unseat MPs who do not support a pay rise for NHS staff at the next election, nursing leaders have pledged.
While some unions have threatened to ballot for strike action in protest at a 1 per cent pay increase this year, Royal College of Nursing general secretary Peter Carter said at the RCN annual congress this week that nurses should pursue “alternative forms of industrial action” at the ballot box.
“There are many MPs on all sides of the Commons that have small majorities, even a few hundred, some even as low as 30 or 40.
“There are about 1,000 nurses in each constituency and if we mobilise ourselves I know many of those MPs will be looking over their shoulders and wondering if they’ll be re-elected at the general election,” he said.
North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust urgently needs doctors at registrar and specialty level to fill vacancies in acute medicine services at West Cumberland Hospital and to look after emergency admissions at the site.
The gaps in the hospital’s acute medical rota which must be filled are during August.
Earlier this year staffing shortages at the hospital forced Health Education England to remove three junior doctors from the site because of concerns of a “lack of available clinical supervision”.
12.50pm The Guardian reports that more than 100 leading public health doctors and specialists from around the world have signed a letter to the director general of the World Health Organisation calling for new controls on e-cigarettes.
They say that the same tight controls on tobacco products should be placed on e-cigarettes. Thie biggest concern is that smoking will be “renormalised” if advertising and marketing are allowed.
They say that permanent “drunk tanks” - special units in city centres or hospitals where people can sober up - should be piloted across the country to ease pressure on A&Es.
12.36pm The BBC reports that doctors have a legal duty to consult with and inform patients if they want to place a do not resuscitate order on their medical records following a ruling from the Court of Appeal.
The issue was raised in the case of Janet Tracey who had terminal lung cancer and died three years ago. Her family said she and they were not consulted when a DNR notice was placed.
Under the framework NHS England is expected to award quality assured status to between 10-15 support service providers. It is expected to go live in January next year.
Optum has confirmed its bid to HSJ. A company spokeswoman said: “While the [lead provider framework] is still in a live procurement process and we cannot go into any detail on it, we view the framework as a good mechanism for providing support for services across the NHS.”
Unison said a survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed “poor trust” in the coalition, with just over a third saying they backed its measures to improve the economy and over half disagreeing over the fairness of taxes.
The union said the most telling finding was that only 25 per cent trusted the government with the health service.
The poll, published at the union’s annual conference in Brighton, also revealed that one in four ran out of money before their next pay day, with 9 per cent having to borrow just to pay for essentials.
The past decade has seen a 47 per cent reduction in the number of qualified district nursing staff in England, which the RCN claims threatens the ability of the whole health and social care system to cope with increasing numbers of frail older people in the coming decade.
The RCN is calling on the Government to fulfil its commitment to increase the community workforce by 10,000 in order to plug this gap.
Dr Peter Carter commented: “The district nurse role is the foundation of a system which should be able to manage conditions and keep sick and frail people at home. Remove those foundations and the whole edifice could come crashing down.
“The NHS, and the people who run it, have long paid lip service to the ideal of moving care closer to home. But many people up and down the country are still in need of expert care from district nurses.
“By 2025, there will be many thousands of families with frail older relatives, who may well have survived a number of illnesses – and when they look for help to manage at home, it simply won’t be there.”
9.55am Concern that Labour’s plans for integrated health and social care would necessitate another NHS re-organisation will be tackled by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham during the key note session at next week’s Commissioning Show.
The session will be chaired by HSJ editor Alastair McLellan and will also feature contributions from National Association of Primary Care chair Dr Charles Alessi and former House of Commons health committee chair Stephen Dorrell, in one of his first public appearances since unexpectedly stepping down from the role.
The Commissioning Show is being held 25-26 June at London’s Excel exhibition centre. Andy Burnham will speak at 9am on the 26th, with the debate following directly after.
9.45am The majority of clinical commissioning groups are failing to relay concerns about their providers to the Care Quality Commission before inspections are carried out, denying the watchdog intelligence about the quality of hospital services.
According to figures released to HSJ by the CQC, only 46 per cent of CCGs responded to the watchdog’s requests for intelligence before inspectors were dispatched to assess 39 acute trusts in January and May.
In comparison, response rates from the Royal College of Nursing and the General Medical Council to CQC requests were 97 and 100 per cent cent respectively.
In its report looking at how the US healthcare system compares internationally the Fund looked at quality of care, access to care and efficiency amongst other measures. The NHS scored the highest in all three areas.
The US system ranked last despite being the most expensive in the world.
7.00am Welcome to HSJ Live. We start the day with a look at the better care fund.
Faced with more NHS organisations in deficit and emerging challenges with NHS England’s funding for transformation, there are fundamental issues that must be addressed for fund to work, writes David Smith, chief exective of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.