4.44pm: Pay monitoring firm Incomes Data Services has published its latest iteration of research, revealing income of non-medical senior board directors in the NHS has remained frozen for the second year running.
A statement says: “Across all English NHS trusts, the median salary increase was zero for chief executives, with their pay remaining at £157,500. Senior directors last saw a salary increase in 2010 when it rose by 4.3%.
“With inflation running at 2.7% (CPI: January 2013) pay freezes equate to pay cuts in real terms. According to IDS, board level turnover in NHS trusts remained high at 24% for the second year running.”
4.23pm: A hospital trust has been told the NHS England investigation into trusts with high mortality ratios will report in July.
A report to Basildon and Thurrock FT’s board said: “Mortality Review - Professor Sir Bruce Keogh: The Trust has been advised that the team undertaking the Keogh Review will be on site during the
first half of May, and I hope that the Chief Executive will be able to provide an update of feedback, to the May Board, although the final report is not expected until July.”
3.19pm: Paul Waugh, from Politics Home, has written a comment on a likely clash within Tory ranks in relation to Leeds children’s heart surgery.
3.11pm: Ahead of next week’s crunch Lords vote on NHS competition we have revealed that the Liberal Democrat health spokeswoman in the upper house has said she will back the government, over Labour’s attempt to annul controversial regulations. Without Lib Dem support, it will be difficult for Labour to win the vote, although possible with support from crossbenchers.
3.09pm: We have published a story revealing Monitor’s spending on consultancy during 2012 was more than £15m
1.55pm: We have published an interesting Twitter debate between HSJ senior correspondent Crispin Dower, and Bill Morgan, former advisor to Andrew Lansley, about the any qualified provider policy. It followed a column by Crispin this week, highlighting the lack of emphasis on AQP as a route to competition.
1.43pm: The Department of Health today announced that five new members will join the Independent Reconfiguration Panel in May. The IRP offers ministers independent expert advice on contested proposals on NHS service change. The five members are: Dr Shera Chok, Director of Primary Care at Barts Health NHS Trust and a GP in Tower Hamlets; Shane Duffy, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Theresa Green, Trust Chairman of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust; Rosemary Granger, Director at Granger Coaching and Consultancy Ltd; Linn Phipps, a lay member of NHS Advisory Group for National Specialised Services and a Non-Executive Director at Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
1.05pm: The BBC reports: “A death is being investigated as part of the measles epidemic in Swansea. Public Health Wales is looking into the death of a 25-year-old man, named locally as Gareth Williams, at a flat in the city.”
12.42pm: Unite has published a statement regarding concern about the issue of breaking up Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, after it was put into special administration.
It is planning a rally about the trust’s future in Stafford tomorrow.
Unite head of health Rachael Maskell said: “The trust has gone into administration, and its future is at risk. The fear is that it will be broken up and sold off to private healthcare companies, such as Virgin Care.”
12.17pm: Cambridge Cognition Holdings plc, which specialises in computerised neuropsychological tests including those enabling the early detection of dementia, has commented on the NHS Commissioning Board specifications for the a new directed enhanced services paying GPs to diagnose and support dementia.
Ruth Keir, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Cognition, commented: “The DES plans published this month are a much needed opportunity to tackle the issue of dementia head on. By prioritizing the identification of and interaction with ‘at risk’ individuals and deploying swift, accurate assessment GPs can smooth the traditionally long and challenging path to diagnosis. However, it is vital that, moving forwards, GPs and health practitioners have access to the tools they need to conduct efficient and effective assessments and ensure they can help patients and their families to plan for the future.”
The initiative is controversial with some clinicians and academics, who have concern about dementia screening.
10.43am: The Treasury has published its “main supply estimates” - ie government funding plans - for 2013-14. It may be of interest to finance specialists. We will keep you posted about whether there are interesting developments for the health system.
10.36am: There’s a lively debate about reconfiguration and the role of NHS England under way on the bottom of our exclusive interview with Bill McCarthy.
The story revealed that, after the current comprehensive spending review finishes at the end of 2014-15, NHS England is planning to extend its quality, innovation, productivity and prevention efficiency drive, recast as an ambitious reconfiguration programme.
In my part of the world clinicians seem to be leaving the CCGs - 3 more announced in the local press today. The press reports they are leaving “to spend more time with their patients.” Or, is it because they fear they will have limited influence when it comes to reconfiguring services when compared with the might of NHS England or otherwise spend all of their time reviewing glossies from private providers in competitive tendering……
The logic is sensible, but the degree of management resource needed to manage a major reconfiguration (see the 10 years for paediatric cardiac surgery) is not reflected at all in the management structures of area teams.
It is true that Lansley’s structural reforms have been largely negated by NHS England and LATs. It was also entirely necessary.
It’s been glaringly obvious for years that this is the only sensible way to go.
Does not sound very “radical” to me. Major service reconfiguration is what we always do in the NHS to v small effect.
10.13am: HSJ reporter Ben Clover tweets regarding Times coverage today about cancer service shakeup in London. He says: Strong words in The Times from director of one of London’s two cancer networks - “as a system of providers we are failing our population”
The Times carries a page nine story on a shake-up of cancer services in central and north east London.
The story follows on from an HSJ story in February which reported on a UCL Partners plan to redistribute where key cancer and cardiac work in the patch was performed.
A senior figure in the area said medics and managers in the area needed to admit they were “failing” their population.
Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones, medical director of London Cancer, one of two Cancer networks in the capital, told the paper: “We are taking the fundamentally opposite approach to what’s gone in children’s heart surgery. We’ve not been pointing fingers, we’ve just been saying as a system of providers in this geographical area we are failing our population”.
10.11am: HSJ acting news editor Dave West tweets the latest on coverage of the Leeds heart surgery row:Edition of Radio 4’s the Report , to which Roger Boyle made his controversial comments, was aired yesterday - http://t.co/GGOCBsvY8z
The programme includes NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh saying that - while the services at the trust are safe - they do not have “a clean bill of health”. He notes the Care Quality Commission is still examining them, and concerns are heard from another paediatric heart surgeon.
It follows NHS England yesterday saying it would appeal the High Court’s ruling that the national consultation process on centralising these services - which would have seen Leeds closed - was flawed.
10.08am: HSJ published an interesting story from Oxfordshire late yesterday. The county - which has severe problems with care transfers, as documented previously by HSJ - is now engaged in pioneering work to address community and care services and assessment. The story is an update on the work, but also shows it may not produce quick success in outcomes.
10.03am: Good morning, more effective joint working between public sector organisations is now possible thanks to a licensing agreement between the government and Ordnance Survey, writes Jason Weall. Geographic information plays an important role in the design and delivery of public services. Many NHS organisations across England and Wales are already using digital mapping to share data and to help plan and tailor their services around the needs of their local populations. However, using map data is only part of the story.