The Care Quality Commission has said it is reviewing how it can engage more effectively with members of the public, plus the rest of today’s news and comment.
5.30pm The BBC reports on claims by a health worker that complacency by GPs is leading to the late diagnosis of HIV among patients.
BBC Inside Out has found that 55 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV in the Eastern region and the Midlands were diagnosed at a late stage, according to BBC Inside Out, the highest in the UK.
HIV counselling group worker Todd Thorpe GP are failing to recognise recognise HIV symptoms.
Sharron Spindler, the chief executive of Dhiverse, the organisation he works for said said: “Sadly we have had a number of people who have come to us for support, who have been diagnosed late because their GP didn’t recognise that they could have HIV so didn’t recommend an HIV test.
A spokeswoman for the Royal College of GPs said GPs receive training provided by groups endorsed by the College.
4.45pmThe Daily Telegraph reports on a heart surgeon who infected 11 patients with a lethal heart bug, causing five fatalities, who is contesting conditions stipulated by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust that he must inform future patients about his background.
He has said the conditions are “unreasonable and irrational” and has taken his case to the High Court and on theground that the trust breached or threatened a breach its contract.
4.05pm Following a story appearing The Daily Telegraph that the medical records of almost 50 million NHS hospital patients have been sold for insurance purposes, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has issued a statement to clarify the uses to which data it releases can be put.
The HSCIC states that extracted Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data can only be used:
- by health organisations to improve their ability to carry out their role; or
- to improve the quality of healthcare management or service delivery in England
The statement continues: “It has been widely-reported today that the predecessor body to the HSCIC supplied data to an actuarial society. The data provided was to a not-for-profit organisation for non-commercial research.
“It was not used to analyse individual insurance premiums, but to analyse general variances in critical illness. This was about prevalence of certain conditions among certain age groups to ensure premiums were fair - it was not used to calculate individual premiums. The resulting report was publically available, non-identifiable and in aggregate form.
“Prior to 1st April 2013, it was not the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) that processed HES information, but a predecessor body. The HSCIC was established with different functions and under and subject to different legal provisions. Additional criteria are currently applied so that the use of data requested needs to be for benefit to health and social care system.”
3.50pm The Guardian reports on a five-year longitudinal study of infant mortality in Bradford,examining 13,500 babies born within the city between March 2007 and December 2010.
The infant mortality rate in Bradford is double the national average, so the study “was aimed at getting to get to the root of some of the region’s infant health problems while exploring the physical and mental development of a generation”.
3.15pm In The Daily Mail, two brothers, aged eight and seven, have become the first children in Britain to be fitted with the injectable heart rate monitors. The five-minute procedure took place at Leeds General Infirmary on 14 February.
The monitors transmit information about the brothers’ heartbeats to doctors using smartphone technology.
Doctors decided on the procedure establish whether the brothers have inherited a potentially fatal heart condition from their mother.
2.10pm In the NHS Voices blog, Nicola Rosenberg, policy manager at the NHS Confederation, considers whether health and wellbeing board can help with tackling violence in communities.
She notes existing examples of partnerships between health organisations, the local authority and criminal justice agencies.
“West Sussex is one such example of innovative partnership working,” she writes.
“The region has developed a county-wide domestic violence strategy which incorporates the use of a single referral pathway for all domestic violence services, and shared case management to support cross-team working.
“Independent domestic violence advisers employed by the local authority are co-located and accommodated for free in four hospitals across three NHS trusts.”
She argues: “Although historically there may have been frustrations at slow progress in working jointly across health, local authority and criminal justice partners, health and wellbeing boards provide a new arena to move this agenda forward.”
1.52pm The Daily Telegraph’s Sarah Rainey examines the rise of websites that promote eating disorders.
Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre last month revealed an 8 per cent rise in hospital admissions for eating disorders in 2013, which campaigners are blaming on these websites.
1.41pm The BBC reports on a scheme at Chesterfield Royal Hospital in which staff provide food bags with basic provisions to elderly patients being discharged who have no one to care for them at home, in a bid to reduce readmissions.
1.18pm What is Ali Parsa, former chief executive of Circle Healthcare up to these days? And whatever it is, why is he doing it under the name “Babylon Partners”?
1.05pm Nursing Times also reports on claims by campaigners that the NHS is “failing” thousands of patients with eating disorders who are being turned away by doctors because their condition is not deemed serious enough.
1.00pm Our sister title Nursing Times reports that academics have developed an online tool designed specifically to help specialist nurses prove the benefit of their work.
Richard Beeken will take over from interim chief executive Derek Smith, who has been at the Herefordshire trust since September 2012 and departs in June.
Tina Donnelly said: “We’ve got to put the patient at the centre of this, this should not be politicised,” she said.
It comes after Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s medical director, emailed his Welsh equivalent Dr Chris Jones, concerning the death rates at six Welsh hospitals.
“I cannot vouch for the veracity of these data but they are worrying,” he wrote.
“Given that they represent a potential diagnostic delay and may underpin some of the mortality concerns, it would seem sensible to investigate.”
12.10pm Support service providers will be required to offer commissioners help with drawing up innovative outcomes based contracts, according to a set of procurement rules to be unveiled this week, HSJ’s David Williams reports.
NHS England is inviting bids for accreditation to its lead provider framework for commissioning support services from today. When the system goes live, something which is scheduled for January 2015, the framework will enable customers to choose between a range of accredited, quality assured, “end to end” providers.
11.55am Data expert Professor Sir Brian Jarman has summarised his thoughts on care.data.
He says he “approve[s] of the use of accurate, anonymised, clinical information for research and improvement of care”, but not of “very sensitive confidential clinical information being accessed by several organisations without patients being properly informed of what will happen to their data and only being able to opt out of its us.”
He adds: “The Data Protection Act (DPA) usually requires organisations by default to offer opt-in. Yet for the confidential care.data opt-out is the only option.
“This suggests a lack of informed consent. The leaflet sent to people in their junk mail gives little information about the drawbacks. To have informed consent patients need to be told of the risks as well as the benefits.”
11.30am The BBC reports that six children have been diagnosed with swine flu at a ward in Leicester Royal Infirmary.
The children have been treated separately from other patients and the ward has been intensively clean to prevent further cases of the virus.
11.25am Andy Haynes has been appointed executive medical director of Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust.
Dr Haynes, who has been working at the trust on an interim basis since October 2013, having joined from Nottingham University Hospitals, where he was a senior consultant for 20 years and eventually became the trust’s the lead for cancer services.
Paul O’Connor, chief executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said: “I am delighted to welcome Dr Andy Haynes as our new executive medical director on a substantive basis.
“During his time as interim medical director Dr Haynes has made a significant contribution to the trust, including overseeing a reduction in mortality rates and implementing recommendations from the Keogh Review.”
Dr Haynes said : “It is an exciting opportunity to join Sherwood Forest Hospitals at this time.
“During my time as interim medical director we have demonstrated the significant progress made by hard work from dedicated staff. I will bring all of my experience and energy to help continue the journey and create excellent services across the local healthcare community.”
10.40am The Care Quality Commission has said it is reviewing how it can engage more effectively with members of the public, HSJ’s Will Hazell reports.
A paper presented at the care regulator’s board meeting last week says a review will be led by director of engagement Chris Day into “how CQC involves the public and people in its inspection process”.
10.20am In The Guardian, patients will fail to get a GP appointment when they are unwell on more than 34m occasions in England this year because of funding cuts to services, the Royal College of GPs has claimed.
Dr Maureen Baker, chairman of the Royal College for GPs, said: “GPs and practice nurses can’t keep doing more for less and now that funding for general practice in England has slumped to just 8.5% of the NHS budget the service we provide is in crisis.”
10.15am Turning to this morning’s papers,The Times carries a letter written by some 50 senior health professionals defending plans to share patients’ records.
The letter’s signatories, which include former health minister Lord Darzi of Denham and Lord Crisp, a former NHS chief executive, have criticised NHS leaders for failing to explain the benefits of such a data-sharing scheme, which would lead to significant medical advances.
10.10am There has been a lot of discussion about the NHS England’s care.data programme in the press over the weekend.
In his weekly Bad Science column in The Guardian, Ben Goldacre argues there there are three ways the scheme, which has been delayed for six months, can be rescued. Firstly, NHS England should “make a proper announcement” about what it will do during the delay. Secondly, it should “show the public how lives are saved by medical research”. Finally, there should be “stiff penalties for infringing medical privacy, on a grand and sadistic scale”.
He writes: “If the government try to fudge – with half measures, superficial PR and false reassurance – then care.data will fail, and it might well bring down other sensible public health research with it.”
The Daily Telegraph over the weekend has reported that medical records from NHS hospital patients have been sold for insurance purposes. This is according to a report by a UK insurance company – Staple Inn Actuarial Society – which reveals that it was able to obtain 13 years of data covering 47m patients in order to help companies “refine” their premiums.
As a result they recommended an increase in the cost of policies for thousands of customers last year.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said that the rules had now changed so that extracting this data would not be allowed.
7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We start the week with a piece from David Smith, chief officer at Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group and director of health and adult services at Kingston Council.
David argues that CCGs do not necessarily have to buy services from Commissioning Support Units, and that the “aspiration must be to have real choice to decide whether their support services should be in-house, shared or outsourced”.