MPs blame Lansley reforms for contributing to A&E crisis, Mid Staffs’ nurses at the NMC and the rest of today’s news
5.14pm The story about Malcom Grant’s thoughts on replacing NHS England chief executive David Nicholson is attracting a lot of comments.
One readers writes: “You’d want to find the best person for the job, and given there aren’t many people in the world who manage organisations with £80bn or so turnover in a polarised political climate, you might just have to go outside the 5 or 6 legitimate (ish) candidates in this country.”
On a slightly separate (but interesting) point Phil Kenmore, director of the UK Public Sector Practice for global managment consultancy the Hay Group, picks up on Sir Malcolm’s comments that NHS England is not responsible for the “provider side”.
Mr Kenmore comments: “This on the day that Barbara Hakin is grilled about what NHSE are doing about the A&E pressures. Perhaps if Malcolm keeps saying it often enough someone will believe him (especially some Politicians or media…)?”
4.21pm Right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes has weighed in with his thoughts on who is to blame for the high mortality rates at the 14 trusts reviewed by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh. In a blog published today he notes the link between poor care and staffing levels and questions why trust subsidise staff to conduct union activities. “The trade union is complicit in this crisis,” he concludes.
4.13pm HSJ columnist and Guardian politics writer Michael White considers the progress of the government’s social care reforms in this week’s column which is now live.
4.05pm The first of three interviews in HSJ’s new delivering change series in association with Finnamore is now online. Former firefighter Alan Pentpon, who transformed the fire service from a reactive to a preventive service, discusses what the NHS can learn from his experience.
3.32pm Interesting story from the south west on HSJ Local: Virgin’s contract to provide integrated children’s services in Devon is being monitored closely by commissioners due to some poor performance.
2.32pm Unison has called for a “funding injection” in light of the findings of the Health Select Committee’s report on A&E.
Head of health Christina McAnea said: “It is clear that staff in A&E departments are being put under intolerable pressure. Government cuts are having a devastating impact on the whole of the NHS and no area is immune from the impact.”
She added: “The Government should stop shedding crocodile tears over the NHS. It is time they recognised that their own policies are adding to the problems and they must give the NHS the resources it needs to get on with the job.”
2.30pm NHS England would be overstepping its legal powers if it attempted to control investment spending by NHS providers, HSJ’s David Williams reports. Legal advice to Monitor suggests it is not within NHS England’s power to require trusts and foundation trusts to get their approval for capital spending plans.
1.47pm Not choosing one of the “usual suspects” to replace David Nicholson would be the most powerful way to say, “Things have changed” , writes HSJ editor Alastair McLellan in his leader.
12.41pm Chief executive of NHS Employers Dean Royles says employers are “working creatively” to try and recruit planned numbers of staff.
“It’s welcome to receive a report that recognises that remuneration isn’t the answer to every staff issue. But doctor numbers are only part of the solution and it’s essential that the teamwork, training and supervision of associated workers continues too.
“There is a lot of work taking place to develop those other roles that help manage the pressure in A&E, including clinical nursing specialists and physicians assistants. But it is also clear that we need medical pay contract reform to help ensure better staffing at weekends and a radical look at how services are delivered,” he said.
12.39pm NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar has commented on the HSC report.
He said: “A single portal for accessing unplanned urgent healthcare, and use of a patient’s unique NHS number across the health and social care system, would help address some of the pressures, and be better for patients as well as better for the service.
“Most importantly, we need to rebalance the NHS’s investment in primary and community-based health services, and ensure the payment system does not inadvertently reward or penalise NHS services for meeting patient’s needs.”
12.28pm Foundation trusts aim to spend £500m recruiting 10,000 additional frontline clinical staff this year as a short term fix before cutting the workforce by almost 30,000 in the following two years, HSJ’s Shaun Lintern reports. An analysis of all 145 foundation trust’s annual plans by the regulator Monitor found organisation’s were planning to offset the cost with big reductions in bank and agency spend.
12.18pm The Royal College of Nursing has responded to the HSC A&E report. Chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter said many emergency departments were “dangerously overburdened”.
He added: “We welcome the acknowledgement, in the report, of the many contributing factors which are increasing pressure on services and the professionals running them.
“These factors include the reduction in out of hours services, low levels of skilled community nurses to care for people at home and poor patient signposting, leading to more patients presenting at A&E services, a large number unnecessarily.
“If we don’t act now it will be inevitable that standards of care and safety will be compromised and the morale of teams running these services crushed.”
11am Full time NHS staff in England took an average of 9.5 days off sick during 2012-13, according to new data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. The data found a slight increase on the previous year and shows higher paid employees were less likely to take time off. Read the full report on hsj.co.uk here.
10.53am HSJ’s Shaun Lintern tweets:
BREAKING: NMC panel says #MidStaffs A&E nurse sisters Sharon Turner and Tracey White’s fitness to practise was and is impaired.
— Shaun Lintern (@ShaunLintern) July 24, 2013
Concern about care in A&E and the sisters behavior was raised by junior nurse Helene Donnelly who claimed they had falsified waiting time figures and bullied staff. The Nursing and Midwifery Panel found them guilty of this earlier this week. They will now decide what sanctions to impose and whether they should be struck off.
10.42am Bill Morgan, former special adviser to Andrew Lansley when he was health secretary, has commented on the Malcolm Grant interview on twitter:
Some fairly big tensions between DH/NHSE hinted at in Malcolm Grant’s @HSJnews interview: GP contract; mandate; older people review etc
— Bill Morgan (@Billmorgan82) July 24, 2013
10.40am HSJ’s exclusive interview with NHS England chair Malcolm Grant is now on line. In it he reveals his thoughts on the recruitment of the new NHS England chief executive, the furore over mortality rates and GP out of hours working.
10.35am The Telegraph website carries a report on the second day of former Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust chief nurse Jan Harry’s evidence to a Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing. The report leads on claims Ms Harry asked whether any patients were “going to heaven” in order to establish which beds were going to become free. Ms Harry told the misconduct and competence panel she had asked the question but could not recall the exact words used. It also emerged she had had coaching in how to speak staff following claims she was “aggressive”. Ms Harry said she had a “straightforward” style which some people interpreted as aggressive.
10.12am The Today programme also featured what presenter Justin Webb described as the “alarming” report this morning. They focused on the finding that only 17 per cent of accident and emergency departments have adequate number of staff consultants and also interviewed NHS England chief operating officer Dame Barbara Hakin. You can listen to it here. Dame Barbara said it was “disappointing” there were not enough consultants and more should be done to make the jobs more attractive.
10.04am The Times carries a report on the committee’s findings under the headline “NHS is ‘flying blind’ over how to solve A&E crisis”. It claims plans to ease pressure on the system are “inadequate and confused” and NHS “bosses” do not know the true scale of the problem or who is responsible for fixing it.
9.55am The Commons health committee has put part of the blame for recent accident and emergency performance on Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms, HSJ’s Ben Clover writes in his report on the Health Select Committee’s A&E review. The report says the abolition of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities under the Health and Social Care Act, introduced by the former health secretary, led to a loss of systemn oversight which contributed to the national failure of the four hour target in the last quarter of 2012-13.
8:20am: There are powerful legal, moral, ethical and financial incentives across the UK for providing information as a key aspect of high quality, patient centred care. So why is it that many patients still receive little or no information about managing their condition, taking their medicines or caring for minor ailments?
Today on HSJ’s commissioning channel, Mark Duman and Sarah Smith look at why patient health information is still seen as “nice to have” when it should really be “must do”.