Delays to introduction of cost effective hepatitis C drugs have occurred because of ‘budget constraint’, NHS England’s specialised commissioning director indicates, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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4.46pm To catch up on today’s must read HSJ stories, why not read our Executive Summary?

2.56pm How can trusts improve quality of care, reduce costs and drive down human error by introducing clinical decision support software? A forthcoming HSJ webinar will discuss this and more.

A free webinar, Right Answer, Right Time, will explore the latest research both here in the UK and globally on the impact of CDS on clinicians.

Listeners can join the webinar online on July 27 from 12pm to hear about live projects in Leicester to reduce junior doctor prescribing error and in Kent where CDS is improving patient care.

There will also be a roundup of the latest global research from our webinar sponsor, CDS provider UpToDate.

Issues under discussion will include what is the evidence that CDS can improve quality of care and reduce costs and errors, as well as what is the best way to introduce CDS in a clinical setting.

Register now to watch this free webinar

2.33pm Every clinical commissioning group in England has been directed to evaluate estate within its area to work out how much capital funding can be released by property sales, under a major new national estates plan. Money raised will be used to support new care models, HSJ has been told.

Each CCG will also calculate the total upfront investment needed to establish new care models in their area, and determine how much running cost cash can be saved by using estates more efficiently.

The work is being coordinated by the Department of Health’s two property companies: NHS Property Services and Community Health Partnerships.In an interview with HSJ, NHS Property Services chief executive Elaine Hewitt revealed that money from the property sales will be pooled nationally and allocated to areas in need of investment.

2.10pm A West Midlands acute trust is to increase salaries for its lowest paid staff to ensure they earn the living wage.

The move will cost the trust £88,000 a year.

The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust made the decision last month to increase the pay of 458 staff who currently earn below the living wage.

The change follows representations to the trust by unions. The staff will receive an increase in their hourly rate from £7.72 an hour to £7.85 an hour from 1 August.

Board members have unanimously supported the increase

2.04pm Delays to the introduction of groundbreaking, cost effective hepatitis C drugs have occurred because of ‘budget constraint’, NHS England’s specialised commissioning director has indicated.

Speaking at a conference last week, Richard Jeavons said the arrival of innovative new treatments for the condition presented a “unique set of circumstances” that had tested traditional drug approval processes.

In January, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence announced it had agreed to a request by NHS England to extend by three months the timetable for implementing NICE’s recommendations on the drug Sofosbuvir. The new deadline was set for the end of this month.

12.12pm Monitor has launched an investigation into Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust after an employment tribunal involving Board and other senior trust staff highlighted concerns with how the trust is run.

Monitor will examine whether these concerns indicate more widespread problems with the way the trust is run.

Deputy regional director for Monitor, Alexandra Coull, said: “The employment tribunal case against the trust identified some significant issues, and as a result we believe it is right for us to examine how well the trust is being run on behalf of its patients.

“We want to understand the underlying causes of the problems identified by the employment tribunal, and find out whether the trust needs to make improvements to the way it is being run.”

The investigation will determine whether Monitor needs to take regulatory action.

11.03am London Ambulance Service Trust has announced that Dr Fionna Moore has been appointed as its chief executive.

Dr Moore has been the interim chief executive for the last six months, and previously medical director for 17 years.

Trust chair Richard Hunt said: “The final panel was in complete agreement about the decision to offer Fionna the role. She is a highly experienced leader and is always passionate about patient care.

“Having worked for the Service for 17 years, Fionna knows the organisation well, recognises the challenges we face and is already taking steps to improve patient care and the working lives of our staff.”

Dr Moore has nearly 30 years’ experience as a consultant in emergency medicine and was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2013 when she was awarded an MBE for services to the NHS and emergency services.

Commenting on her appointment, Dr Moore said: “It is a huge privilege to lead London Ambulance Service.

“The last 18 months have been challenging for all our staff, particularly for those working on the front line and in our control room.

“We’ve started to see improvements and one of my priorities is to continue to reduce pressure on staff so we can improve our response to all our patients.”

As well as her management duties, Dr Moore does regular clinical shifts on ambulances, in cars and with London’s Air Ambulance.

Eric Roberts, Unison Branch Secretary, said: “We welcome Fionna Moore as chief executive and look forward to working with her to improve our service and the working conditions of our members.

Mick Butler, GMB Branch Secretary, said: “I was pleased to be part of the process and feel the right candidate has been selected.”

10.45am Senior NHS staff are being paid thousands of pounds and taken on expensive trips by drug companies lobbying to get their products used by the health service, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Senior officials who help decide which drugs are being used by GPs and hospitals are being paid to work as consultants for companies that want the NHS to “switch” to their medicines.

The undercover Telegraph investigation found some were charging up to £15,000 to organise “advisory board” meetings for drugs companies.

NHS England and the Department of Health have pledged to investigate the findings.

10.32am Looking to the newspapers this morning, The Guardian reports that a cheap and widely available drug used to treat osteoporosis could prevent a thousand breast cancer deaths a year, a study has found.

Researchers said that bisphosphonates, which are given to keep people’s bones healthy, prevented one in six breast cancer deaths in postmenopausal women over the course of a decade.

Trials showed that the drugs stopped breast tumour cells from spreading to the bones, the most common site for secondary cancers, and reduced the risk of dying from the disease by 18 per cent in the first ten years after diagnosis.

Doctors said the findings will have an immediate impact on patient care with bisphosponates being recommended for all postmenopausal women with breast cancer.

10.12am In case you missed it yesterday, Monitor has agreed to increase the tariff paid to University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust, which is likely to result in more than £20m of extra funding for the troubled provider this year.

10.11am HSJ’s map of the eight sites identified by NHS England as the first urgent and emergency care vanguards can be found here.

10.10am The first wave of urgent and emergency care vanguard sites has been revealed by NHS England. It comes as part of the commissioning body’s new care models programme, as set out in the Five Year Forward View.

To find out more, click here.

10.00am For those wanting to catch up on yesterday’s key stories, why not read last night’s Executive Summary?

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We begin the day with an opinion piece from Dr Marc Farr, director of information at East Kent University Hospitals Foundation Trust, who argues that the NHS needs to move beyond historic reporting for board review to real time reporting.

“Although this historic review can be useful, my concern is that by the time the information reaches the board it is too late to have any operational significance and is simply a signposting exercise,” he writes.