Deputy medical director of NHS England says it would close a GP practice only if it was “at the extremes of immediate public safety”, plus the rest of today’s news and comment.
4:20pm NHS England sent 11 members of staff to the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Qatar, HSJ has learned.
The flights and hotel accommodation for employees attending the event - which took place in the week commencing 9 December 2013 - were funded by WISH.
The information on the NHS England delegation to the summit was shared with HSJ in response to a freedom of information request.
3:09pm Following up on our earlier story about the suspension of Caroline Shaw, chief executive of The Christie Foundation Trust, HSJ has received a statement from Ms Shaw which we publish in full below:
“I am honoured to be the Chief Executive Officer of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and to have held this role since 2005.
“Together with a hugely supportive board of directors, world class clinicians and a passionate management team, we have led the trust from running a deficit of £3.4 million and being unable to meet national cancers targets, to consistently highly performing in the delivery of service outcomes and patient experience. Further, we recorded a surplus of £8.6 million in the last financial year. I am extremely proud of our current national and international standing.
“I was informed yesterday [19th December] that I have been suspended pending an inquiry into an internal allegation, as per our rigorous processes. I completely understand that when any allegation is made this process must be followed and I welcome a full investigation into the matter. I will be giving my total co-operation, confident of a swift and positive conclusion.
With respect to the process, I will not be commenting further until the inquiry is concluded and I look forward to soon resuming our journey to provide the very best in cancer care to the people that matter most.”
2:29pm The North and East London commissioning support unit is to take over as support provider for clinical commissioning groups in the Norfolk and Waveney area, it has been announced today.
HSJ reported in October that the previous CSU provider, Anglia CSU, would be scrapped by April. It came amid complaints over the quality and cost of services it was providing.
Today on Twitter Jonathan Fagge, chief executive of Norwich CCG, said North and East London CSU would take over as support services provider for all five Norfolk and Waveney CCGs in the new year.
2:00pm The government has published guidance providing local authorities with detail about how to use their portion of the Better Care Fund.
1:42pm Record levels of NHS workers have been vaccinated against flu, according to figures released by Public Health England.
The figures show that 453,013 frontline staff - 48.6 per cent - were vaccinated against flu between 1 September and 30 November 2013. This is a 19 per cent greater proportion than the number of staff vaccinated in the same period last year.
Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers - who are responsible for the annual ‘flu fighter’ campaign - said: “There has been a lot of focus on winter planning and the NHS is vaccinating 5,000 frontline staff a day. These year-on-year increases result from the commitment of staff and their managers to find time in our busiest period to get vaccinated.”
1:27pm The BBC reports that a leading campaigner for better hospital food wants to introduce legally binding standards for patient food.
Writing on the BMJ website, Katherine Jenner, chair of the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, says the existing voluntary system is not working.
The trust said it will need ongoing support from the Department of Health to deal with the projected hole in its finances, which has doubled in size from what it predicted last month.
12:30pm An exclusive from HSJ reporter Shaun Lintern: under new plans medical students would have to sit an extra exam to gain entry onto the foundation programme that allows them to work for the NHS.
Under the Health Education England plans students may be given a full licence to practise medicine as soon as they graduate, but would have the pass the new exam to begin working in the NHS.
The proposals are intended to lead a change away from what HEE describes as the current “moral obligation” to give medical students NHS jobs and instead improve the standard of medics joining the health service.
12:22pm Judith Welikala reports for HSJ that NHS England would only very rarely close a GP practice.
In an interview with HSJ, deputy medical director of NHS England Mike Bewick said it would only close a practice if it was “at the extremes of immediate public safety”.
12:18pm Here’s the HSJ article on one of the big stories of the day - the news that chief executive Caroline Shaw was suspended by The Christie yesterday as part of a disciplinary process.
12:04pm The Telegraph also reports that health watchdogs will examine the claim made by US researchers that drugs for high blood pressure are being ‘overused’.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will examine new guidelines adopted in the US which suggest that patients with hypertension do not fare worse without medication and that some can suffer debilitating side-effects as a result of the drugs.
12:02pm Turning to today’s papers,The Daily Telegraph reports (newspaper only) that one in four hip implants may be unsafe, according to a study by Oxford University researchers.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at data on all hip implants available and found that 24 per cent were not backed up by evidence of safety or effectiveness.
11:59am Rob Findlay, a waiting times expert, has blogged for HSJ on the growth in waiting time lists in October - the first time this has occured in October since records began.
More information from Rob on waiting time to treatment performance across the country can be found here.
11:53am HSJ reports on the CQC’s new community services inspection regime, which was unveiled by the regulator yesterday.
As with the approach it has already announced for other services, the CQC will use larger, more specialised teams than in the past, with “experts by experience” - people with experience of using care services - among the inspectors.
The CQC also revealed the first five trusts to be inspected between January and March next year: Bridgewater Community Healthcare Trust, Central Essex Community Services, Derbyshire Community Health Services Trust, Solent Trust and St Georges Healthcare Trust.
11:21am HSJ has just received a press statement from The Christie about the suspension of its chief executive, Caroline Shaw.
Lord Keith Bradley, chairman of The Christie said:
“Caroline Shaw, Chief Executive of the Trust, was suspended yesterday while investigations are underway as part of a disciplinary process.
“This is neutral action and follows the Trust’s normal processes.
“We have put arrangements in place to ensure both the Trust’s and charity’s activities continue to be delivered to the very highest standards, and I would like to reassure patients, families and carers that this situation in no way affects or compromises patient care.
Patients are, and always will be our priority, and we remain committed to providing the very best standards of care and treatment in a world class cancer centre.”
Paterson carried out unsafe and clinically unrecognised procedures, which have since become known as “cleavage sparing mastectomies”, at Good Hope and Solihull hospitals until he was suspended by the Heart of England Foundation Trust in 2011. A review by Sir Ian Kennedy published yesterday found that “weak and indecisive” management by the trust had allowed the surgeon to continue operating when he should have been stopped.
The home affairs select committee said there is a lack of data on misuse and supply of prescription drugs for non-medicinal purposes and the spread and scale of the problem needs to be established.
10:25am The chief executive of The Christie Foundation Trust, Caroline Shaw, was suspended yesterday “as part of a disciplinary process”, the Manchester Evening News reports.
10:17am HSJ had extended the deadline for readers to join our conversation on hospital care for older people to 3 January.
Older people are too often not getting the kind of care that NHS staff would wish for their own parents, so we have asked HSJ readers to tell us: “What policies, techniques and approaches have you seen improve the care of frail older people in hospitals?”
10:12am The NHS in England narrowly missed the accident and emergency target again this week, figures released by NHS England show. Performance was unchanged from last week, with 94.8 per cent of patients being treated, admitted or discharged within four hours, against a national standard of 95 per cent.
However, A&E performance was nearly a whole percentage point better than for the same time last year. Dame Barbara Hakin, NHS England chief operating sector said that while the NHS “must not be complacent,” she was “pleased and proud of how staff are responding” to the winter pressures.
10:02am Over the holiday period, HSJ are bringing you a selection of the best articles from our Leadership, Commissioning, Innovation and Efficiency channels. Today we feature some of our best data and technology articles of 2013 from our Innovation and Efficiency channel.
9:57am Housing improvements are a vital preventative measure that can keep elderly people from being admitted to emergency departments, according to Andy Chaplin, director of Foundations, the umbrella body for home improvement agencies and handyperson services.
9:53am Johnny Marshall, director of policy at the NHS Confederation has written for HSJ on how the government’s £3.8bn better care fund should be implemented to increase its chances of success.
7:00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We make a start with two comment pieces on mental health. Lord Darzi writes for HSJ on some of the international responses to mental illness which were shared by attendees at the World Innovation Summit for Health earlier this month. He argues that “in addition to the benefit in easing human suffering”, the massive financial cost of mental illness means “there is a powerful economic case for improving care”.
Sean Duggan of the Centre for Mental Health has also written for HSJ on how the financial pressures frequently experienced by people with severe mental illness makes welfare advice “a core component of a well functioning, efficient mental health service”.