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4.27pm: There’s an interesting comments thread developing on HSJ’s story on who could be David Nicholson’s successor. In amongst the comments an anonymous reader writes:

“I would go for Terry Leahy, the old CE at Tesco. Extremely effective Chief Exec, understands user experience far better than anyone else on the list, and would be a clear and bold departure from the DN clique that has enveloped the NHS over recent years. Also excellent at handling the media.”

See HSJ’s list of 10 potential successors here http://bit.ly/18iei2d

4.17pm: On Nicholson - Andy Cowper tweets:

@nhsconfed @NHSC_conference @MattTee Is it true Comrade Sir David Nicholson’s successor will be chosen from among delegates by sweepstake?”

3.17pm: Sir Ian Carruthers has been appointed as chair of the Healthcare UK Governance Board.

The board will advise Healthcare UK on its strategic objectives and activities to develop business overseas for the UK health sector. On the announcement health minister Earl Howe said in a statement:

“We are privileged that Sir Ian has agreed to chair the Healthcare UK Governance Board. He brings a deep understanding of the NHS from a career spanning 40 years”.

3.10pm: Ahead of Hunt’s speech tomorrow, membership organisation Urgent Health UK has responded:

“A return to the out of hours arrangements prior to 2004 is unrealistic because the best modern properly funded out of hours services are of much higher quality and are much safer than the old models.”

The body represents GP OOH social enterprises. Its chair Dr Mark Reynolds said: “It is not safe for GPs to work and be personally on call 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and today’s Social Enterprise providers arose from collaborative partnerships of local GPs sharing the workload and working to clearly specified quality standards.

“We would like to extend an open invitation to Jeremy Hunt to visit us to hear the full story, review our quality programme, and to see the thousands of compliments received by hard-working GPs and staff,” he added.

2.55pm: Monitor and the Care Quality Commission have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, strengthening the way both regulators will work together. Dr David Bennett, chief executive of Monitor has said in a statement:

“This agreement will strengthen how we work together as the sector addresses the recommendations made in the Francis Report.

“By continuing to work together we can share information and reduce duplication of work as well as delivering better value for money and a more coherent approach to improving the NHS.”

The Memorandum is available here.

2.45pm: Tweet from CSU Casander below:

2.32pm: King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham @profchrisham

tweets: “In recruiting next CEO of NHSE, first decide if it’s the HQ for the NHS or the HQ of NHS Commissioning.”

2.17pm: Tuesday’s Commons health committee session painted a gloomy picture of A&E in England, says Michael White:

“After MPs on ex-secretary of state Stephen Dorrell’s panel had inspected the clash between soaring demand and dwindling resources, witnesses drew their attention to the 50 per cent drop-out rate among young doctors. They sign up to become emergency care specialists but - three years into training - decide it’s too intense, the environment professionally unsatisfying, the hours unsocial, and opt out.”

12.55am: Alex Kafetz asks can Sir Bruce Keogh trump accusations that NHS England’s review of high mortality rates will be a “whitewash”, and is there any outcome that will satisfy the critics? 

She writes: “I hope failings to patients are not found in any of the hospitals involved. But if they are I have no doubt the combined might of the local clinical commissioning group, the Care Quality Commission, Monitor, the Trust Development Agency and NHS England will ensure processes and outcomes are improved, changes are made and performance monitored.”

12.24am: Professionals working in dementia care can now bid for a share of a £150,000 prize fund for redesigning dementia services around patients under the NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Dementia.

The scheme is a partnership between the NHS and Janssen Healthcare Innovation. For more see here

11.29am: The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA) has published draft guidance for NHS England on good governance. All 211 CCG governing bodies have been invited to comment on the draft Code, and their feedback will be reviewed carefully by the panel. The draft can be read here www.icsaglobal.com/ccgcode

11.17am: The Guardian’s social affairs editor also writes “Sir David Nicholson: the ‘Stalinist’ NHS chief who showed loyalty to Tory boss”. In its profile of Nicholson the paper writes Nicholson was ever faithful to his political bosses. Even when Lansley was on the verge of being sacked by Downing Street, Nicholson continued to text support to the beleaguered cabinet minister.

11.12am: The Guardian also reports the Nuffield Trust and Institute for Fiscal Studies finding that spending on private services by the NHS rose to £8.7bn, up £3bn since 2006.

11.08am: The Guardian says Sir David Nicholson’s announcement yesterday was down to “media pressure”.

Its story, which takes up most of page 4, says Sir David had been “subjected to weeks of attack from some newspapers – the Daily Mail being the most virulent.”

The story adds that Sir David had been due to give a press conference at the NHS Confederation conference in two weeks’ time. “His media team had concerns about his reception from certain quarters of the press.”

The Guardian also quotes a DH source who said Sir David “could never have articulated his vision for the NHS because every time he pops up there’s a media furore.”

It says Ian Dalton is considered the odds-on favourite in the DH.

10.58am: Locum GP ‘put baby at risk’ in a month of 13-hour shifts reports Daily Telegraph. Dr Volker Bornmann clocked on for 13-hour stretches for 24 days at different organisations despite being warned about the risks of working excessively a tribunal hear yesterday.

10.44am: The Daily Mail also reports that “in a major speech tomorrow [Jeremy Hunt] plans to say that Labour’s ‘historic mistake’ in agreeing the [out-of-hours GP contracts] had led to the scandal of out-of-hours services where patients are told to ‘speak to a doctor who doesn’t know you from Adam’.

The front page of the paper also carried a banner trailing a lead piece by columnist Sandra Parsons headlined: “GPs’ refusal to do their jobs now threatens the NHS”.

The piece inside the paper is headlined: “Can no one force GPs to do their job properly?” and she described the bypassing of GPs’ surgeries for A&E as a “wildly expensive, ludicrous waste of resources [which] wouldn’t be countenanced in any other industry”.

The Mail only finds room to mention the Nicholson announcement on page seven, where it is the lead story underneath the headline “NHS chief to quit next year with a £110,000 pension”.

The paper reports: “Last night bereaved families and MPs questioned the size of his pension and demanded to know why he wasn’t leaving immediately.

“Although he is due to stay on another 1o months, he told the Health Service Journal he may leave earlier if a suitable replacement is found”.

The paper said: “Although his retirement was announced only yesterday, Government officials are believed to have been planning it for some time, having realised his position was untenable.

“And while his letter of resignation had yesterday’s date at the top, it includes a paragraph which refers to preparations for reforms beginning on April 1, suggesting it was written in March.

“The Mail understands that bosses at NHS England were lining up possible successors three months ago, despite publicly giving Sir David their full backing.”

10.43am: NHS Confederation has responded to the Daily Mail’s article on emailing GPs rather than going in to the practice. Speaking to the Health Select Committee yesterday Mike Farrar told the committee he had seen some studies of GP practices that had the lowest number of A&E attendances from patients on their list.

Mr Farrar said the studies showed that GP practices in those areas offered a telephone consultation with their doctor within 30 minutes of a patient calling their local surgery. Speaking today he said “schemes like this are all about giving patients choice about allowing them to decide how they receive their care, using technology to help enhance the services that we provide.”

10.41am: The Daily Mail, the paper that probably did more than any other to hasten David Nicholson’s departure, has an NHS-heavy frontpage – but no mention of Sir David.

The splash story is headlined: “NHS chief’s answer to A&E crisis – Don’t visit casualty – email your GP instead.

The chief in question is NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar and the paper’s story is drawn from his comments to the Health Select Committee yesterday.

10.15am: Non-Nicholson related news from the paper is that the NHS dumped flu drug worth £74m. Supplies of anti-flu drug worth millions of pounds had to be thrown away by the NHS because “shocking incompetence” meant it was unclear if they had been kept refrigerated says the Daily Telegraph.

10.08am: The Daily Telegraph’s front page headline reads “A £2m pension pot: NHS chief’s reward for failure”. Man blamed for crisis at Stafford hospital, where 1,200 people died needlessly announces retirement, the paper writes.Yesterday’s announcement that David Nicholson will retire next March coincided with warnings that basic NHS services were unsafe.

9.59am: The media campaign to unseat Sir David Nicholson from his post as NHS England chief executive played some part in his decision to announce his retirement but was not the main cause, HSJ understands. In a brief interview with HSJ, he said he would leave before March 2014 if a successor was in place and Professor Grant thought it was in the best interests of the service.

8.37am: Plenty has been written in the press around the duty for CCGs to manage conflicts of interest and there’s a real risk that this picture will become more says Giles Peel. The danger for CCGs is that, if the issues are not managed effectively “in-house”, then they risk being played out in public he writes today. 

8.32am: Good morning, closures, and mergers of hospital services are nearly always viewed with suspicion by patients and the public but local citizens can be won over if they are encouraged to contribute towards shaping health services early on, say Robin Clarke and Deborah Rozansky.

The changes to service provision that are likely to work best are those that take into account the views and suggestions of local people and patients.