Ann Radmore to work on new care models for NHS England, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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5.15pm Private provider Ramsay Health Care has signed a 10-year contract with IMS MAXIMS to provide an open source electronic patient record system and clinical modules.  

The suite includes a patient administration system, and solutions for order communications and results, eDischarge, integrated care pathways, theatre scheduling, bed management and clinical noting.

Other functionality to be introduced as part of the contract includes electronic prescribing, medical device integration, voice recognition, direct booking capability, and a pharmacy system. 

The openMAXIMS technology will be deployed across all 32 Ramsay Health Care UK sites, with an average of 1,500 active concurrent users of the system at any one time.

2.00pm London Ambulance Service chief executive Ann Radmore is leaving the organisation to take up a national role at NHS England. 

Ms Radmore joined the ambulance service at the beginning of 2013. She will be spending up to the next 12 months based at NHS England working jointly with the Trust Development Authority and Monitor on new care models, following on from her experience implementing changes to stroke services in London.

London Ambulance Service has struggled to meet performance targets and has a shortage of staff.

The service’s chairman, Richard Hunt, has appointed Fionna Moore, an A&E consultant of 25 years and London Ambulance Service medical director to be the interim chief executive.

Mr Hunt said: “I would like to thank Ann for her hard work and dedication for the past two years.

“In her time with us Ann has created a clinical career structure for paramedics from classroom to boardroom, secured significant investment and agreed plans with CCG commissioners for next year including funding for over 1,000 frontline posts and investment in paramedic further education.

“I am pleased Ann will now use her frontline experience at a national level in the NHS.”

Ms Radmore said: “This was a hard decision to make. I have enjoyed every minute of working with the dedicated and compassionate staff here, and I will be sad to go. I have huge confidence in Dr Fionna Moore and the leadership team and I know that Fionna will lead the organisation with integrity and strength, putting patients at the heart of every decision she makes.”

1.25pm UKIP’s spokeswoman on health, Louise Bours MEP, has responded to Nigel Farage’s suggestion that an insurance-based system should be considered to replace the NHS.

She said: “What people have to realise about UKIP is that we are much more democratic than other parties.

“Nigel is entitled to his opinion and others are entitled to theirs, we don’t whip people into all thinking the same thing, like the establishment parties. As he has said before, he raised the idea for discussion a while ago, the party discussed at and rejected it.

“I am certain that if the party discuss it again, we will reject it again. The vast majority of UKIP members, the British public and I will always favour a state funded NHS.”

1.20pm Ben Gowland, chief executive of Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, is stepping down from his role after seven and a half years.
Ben Gowland became CEO of Nene Commissioning in 2007 when it was a newly-formed social enterprise founded by local GPs.

Mr Gowland became chief executive of the successor organisation, Nene CCG, and guided it through the authorisation process.  

Mr Gowland will be setting up a new organisation aimed at improving patient care and the lives of patients.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my seven years in Northamptonshire and have met and worked with some exceptional talents. I am very sad to be leaving, but I know that the organisation is now in a good position with agreed plans and strong partnerships across local health and social care and under the Healthier Northamptonshire programme will continue to deliver excellent health services for local people.”

Chair, Dr Darin Seiger, said: “Although I have accepted Ben’s resignation with great sadness, I am delighted that, in his new venture, he will continue to use his enthusiasm and skills to help modernise and improve care services for patients across the country. I wish him every success.”

12.20pm NHS England has delayed making a decision on a £1bn outsourcing contract until ‘after the general election’ in May, HSJ has learned.

An internal briefing about the primary care support services contract, published last week, says the preferred bidder will be named in March as part of the full business case for the project.

If the final proposal is signed off by the NHS England board, the Department of Health, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury, the preferred bidder will be made public.

11.40am A tribunal is underway after an ex-employee of Barts Health Trust, Charlotte Munro, claimed she was unfairly dismissed by the trust.

Ms Munro claims she was dismissed after criticising the trust at a local council meeting as part of her role as a local union rep. However, the trust says she was dismissed for ‘personal misconduct’.

The trust has just tweeted: “We can categorically state that Charlotte Monro was dismissed for personal misconduct and not as a result of her union role.”

A second tweet reads: “Ms Monro was dismissed from employment for gross misconduct; failure to disclose serious criminal convictions and breaching confidentiality.”

The Cambridgeshire district general hospital, which is the only privately operated trust in the country, was rated “inadequate” by the regulator on the questions of whether it is caring, safe and well led, and has been put in special measures.

A spokesman for Circle confirmed to HSJ that the company plans to submit a request for the trust’s rating to be reviewed.

11.25am The Daily Mail reports that there are calls for an inquiry into the “alleged Labour stitch-up” of Hinchingbrooke Healthcare Trust.

Local Conservative MP, Jonathan Djanogly, has asked Jeremy Hunt to “urgently start an inquiry to find out what did or did not happen” because he “simply cannot reconcile the negative tone of the CQC report with my own experience of the hospital”.

11.20am The Huffington Post reports that Nigel Farage has reignited a row over the privatisation of the NHS after he warned that all parties will “have to return” to a debate about funding the service through a US-style private insurance system.

Last year, the Ukip leader was forced to backtrack on comments he made in 2012 after a footage emerged of him stating that he would “feel more comfortable” with the NHS run by private companies and organised under an insurance-based system.

Farage later insisted it was just an idea he “threw out for debate”, with the party’s policy on the NHS now “settled” against privatisation.

But now, speaking to BBC political editor Nick Robinson for his documentary Can Democracy Work?, Farage conceded that he had failed “outright” to persuade his Ukip colleagues to back replacing the NHS with a private insurance system.

11.15am The Financial Times reports that leading insurers have rebuffed a government call for products to cover the cost of caring for the sick and the elderly, dealing a blow to a flagship coalition scheme to reduce the financial burden of old age.

Almost two years ago Jeremy Hunt announced a cap of £72,000 on the total people would have to pay in their lifetimes for social care, with the state covering costs above that level.

Underpinning the plan, ministers believed, would be a vibrant new market in care insurance to meet costs up to the cap. The market for self-funded care is worth an estimated £5.5bn a year.

Several companies signed a “statement of intent” a year ago saying they would do all they could “to encourage the market conditions most conducive fro the development of a full range of products to suit different needs”.

However, the industry has been slow to come forward with “pre-funded care” products.

10.30am A hospital doctor carried out female genital mutuilation on a young mother after the birth of her first child in a London hospital a court was told yesterday, The Guardian reports.

A court was told yesterday that Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, a junior registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology at Whittington Hospital, had alledgedly mutilated a 24-year-old mother by the manner in which he had sewn her up after childbirth.

The woman had undergone type 3 FGM - in which part of the labia are sewn together - as a child in Africa, and during labour the doctor had made two cuts to her vaginal opening to ensure the safe delivery of her baby. When Dharmasena sewed her up, a midwife warned him that what he had done was illegal. He asked a consultant for advice, and the more senior doctor said it would be “painful and humiliating” to remove the stitch he had made, and it remained in place, the court heard.

10.25am The Guardian reports that the NHS’s future is in danger becayse its model of care cannot meet the relentlessly growing demand for treatment caused by the ageing population, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has warned.

The medical director of NHS England said that without massive changes to the way the NHS treats patients, icluding far less reliance on hospitals, the service risked becoming unaffordable and could see its entirely tax-payer funded status challenged.

He said an unprecedented shift of resources and care into GP surgeries was necessary to help the NHS withstand the twin pressures of rising demand and tight budgets.

But he denied claims that key NHS services such as A&E, GP surgeries and ambulance services are in crisis. He said: “Everybody that’s working out there in the NHS know that they’re under a lot of pressure at the moment. They don’t like the term ‘crisis’ being applied willy-nilly”.

10.00am Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust chief executive Andrew Foster will become interim chief executive at Heart of England Foundation Trust four days a week from February 2015. 

Wrightington will also provide support to the troubled trust on areas including staff engagement, quality improvement and communications. 

Previous chief executive, Mark Newbold, resigned in November last year. The trust has had a condition placed on its licence by Monitor because of poor performance on waiting times and mortality.

Medical director, Andrew Catto, briefly took over as interim chief executive. He will now return to his post as medical director but also take on the role of interim deputy chief executive.

Mr Foster will work with the existing Heart of England board and executive team to identify and prioritise other areas for improvement.

Andrew Foster said: “Being asked to provide support to Heart of England Foundation Trust is recognition of the success and high performance achieved by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh over recent years.”

Les Lawrence, chair of Heart of England, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed terms with Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh for the provision of support and welcome Andrew Foster to join Heart of England as interim chief executive. Andrew is a well-known figure in the NHS with excellent experience of dealing with complex organisational and cultural change.

“I would also like to extend my personal thanks and that of the board to Andrew Catto, who stepped up to the role of interim chief executive at Heart of England, on a short term basis, in November 2014 and who will revert to his previous role of medical director but will also become interim deputy chief executive when Andrew Foster joins us.”

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We begin the day with a comment piece from Norman Briffa, consultant for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, who argues that separating training from service will produce competent surgeons within the European Working Time Directive.