18.12pm: HSJ has published its latest A&E tracker here, which shows some improvement in performance but a mixed picture as some trusts record dramatic dips in performance this week.
15.44pm: Two community trusts have been passed by the NHS Trust Development Authority as ready to submit applications to Monitor for authorisation.
Bridgewater Community Healthcare Trust and Solent Trust were both approved to go to the next stage of the FT process by the authority at its board meeting yesterday.
There are 101 trusts in the foundation trust pipeline. More details of their applications can be found here.
15.00pm: Monitor has issued a press release saying the forthcoming Care Bill will give it additional powers to remove boards or governors.
In a statement published with the Department of Health it said:”Monitor will be able to impose additional conditions to a provider’s licence if the Care Quality Commission has issued a warning notice to a foundation trust.
“Failure to comply with these extra conditions would provide grounds for Monitor to remove, suspend or replace the foundation trust’s directors or governors.”
11.44am: Interesting analogy on A&E performance from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh FT chiefexecutive Andrew Foster on Twitter (@andrewkfoster): “Imagine swimming in a tank with only 6 inches of air above you. A little more water and you drown. Just like A&E”. He adds: “Wigan A&E average attendances and performance: All last year 253 97.1 per cent, Mar 262 94.1 per cent, Apr 260 91.3 per cent, May so far 255 97.3 per cent..
11.35am: The trust special administrators for Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust have announced the date their draft recommendations will be published.
The recommendations will be published on June 19, with a formal 30-day consultation opening on June 25.
In a statement the administrators said once the consultation had closed a final report “will be considered by Monitor and the Secretary of State before making a decision about the recommendations and any mechanism for implementing them.”
11.13am: The Daily Telegraph reports “Crisis-hit elderly care ‘needs money now’”.
The paper reports: “The Coalition will perpetrate a ‘cruel deception’ on elderly people if ministers fail to provide more funding for long-term care to back up their promise to limit costs, the architect of the reforms has warned”.
The architect in question is Lord Warner who, while sitting on the Dilnot commission, is perhaps over-generously descibed as “the architect” of the Dilnot report.
10.49am: The Guardian carries a page-24 lead story headlined “GPs threaten to quit NHS commissioning so they can concentrate on patients”.
The paper reports “GPs may have to give up working with the new NHS organisations that control £65bn of treatment budgets to help their surgeries cope with the sharply rising workloads, medical leaders are warning.”
10.21am: Polly Toynbee writes in The Guardian: “Blaming Labour’s GP contract of a decade ago is an absurdity contested even by those who solidly support the government’s plan, such as the NHS Confederation.
“Alan Milburn, as Labour health secretary, did have the wool pulled over his eyes on the 2004 GP contract, and the BMA struck gold – winning pay for lucrative targets too easy to hit while letting GPs buy off out-of-hours duties too cheaply.”
10.16am: The Nuffield Trust this morning publishes an interesting slideshow on public payment and private provision over the past decade
10.04am: It’s worth pointing out that if the A&E figures are pretty much the same as last week, that’s pretty bad news, as last week only half of trusts were hitting the target, compared to two-thirds this time last year. It would be difficult to argue it is still winter.
9.59am: The headline figures are overall performance, the number the government will be pushing, is 96.5 per cent. The type-1 figure is 94.7 per cent, which is what Labour use.
I don’t think either of these is entirely representative though. The government figure includes type-1, type-2 and type-3 facilities, which covers what most people consider to be A&E as well as lots of left over polyclinics, walk-in centres and other facilities. The average tends to be dragged up by these smaller places. If you just measure the type-1 figures then you’re only counting the more serious attendances, when ‘proper’ A&Es do also see type-2 and type-3 attendances, they are part of the overall pressure on the unit.
I could be wrong but I believe the best way to measure it is to take the 143 trusts with type-1 facilities, which excludes all the small unrepresentative places or specialist hospitals that most people don’t really consider to be A&E, and look at their performance across all types. Because people who show up with minor ailments there and wait more than four hours are still going to consider themselves as having had bad service. We use an average over four weeks because we have been told that better reflects how A&E pressure continues to affect trusts, even after patients have been moved into the hospital.
9.46am: Latest weekly A&E figures are out, analysis to follow.
8.29am: Gill Thomas writes on HSJ Innovation channel: “With low-value purchases constituting a substantial part of non-pay spend for NHS bodies, care should be taken when buying items or services that fall below procurement levels.”
8.27am: Good morning, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that GP contract will change. In a speech given yesterday at the King’s Fund he said: ‘I want GPs to sign off out-of-hours care in GP practices, I want them to be our champions in the community’.
There will be more on Hunt’s speech and proposals later on HSJ today.