Both foundation trusts and ministers are both focusing on improving quality ahead of the election, but the emphasis on controlling costs will return, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

Live logo

4.41pm The Government has today published its consultation on proposals to determine the scope of a new criminal offence for supplying or publishing false or misleading information (FOMI). This new offence will be introduced as part of the Care Bill.

The consultation proposes that it will apply to NHS-funded secondary care providers and to information those organisations are required to publish or supply in response to a statutory or other legal obligation.

The suggested penalties for submitting and publishing false or misleading information:

  • Providers - remedial order and/or publicity order instead of, or as well as an unlimited fine.
  • Individuals in organisations found guilty of the offence (directors or senior managers) - can be subject to an unlimited fine or, in the most serious cases, could be subject to imprisonment for up to 2 years, or both.

It will apply to individuals where the offence is committed with their consent or connivance or through their neglect.

It is only being applied to NHS funded secondary care providers initially, as it is important that we can measure and assess its impact and cost. Once those costs are understood, the Government will consider how this offence could be applied more widely.

If organisations can demonstrate that they took all reasonable steps and exercised due diligence then this will not affect them. The offence will only be applied to the most serious cases, where lives have been put at risk.

Health minister, Dr Dan Poulter said: “The NHS is more transparent and accountable than it has been at any point in its history. Patients are at the centre of the NHS, it is their system and they should be able to make informed decisions about their care based on accurate information.  It is only right that NHS Directors or senior managers who provide false or misleading information are held to account for their actions.”

3.25pm Research by the consultancy MHP Health has revealed that three quarters (73 per cent) of the Government’s integration pioneers and the Labour Party’s whole-person care innovation councils did not consider housing a factor in the planning of integrated NHS and social care services, despite national policy and recommendations.

Last year the Department of Health and the Labour Party’s shadow health team announced 14 and 26 council areas respectively tasked with finding effective ways of delivering joined-up health and care services.  This includes identifying how housing can be improved to tackle poor health or allow people to be cared for in their own home.

Our analysis of the documents used by these council areas to plan services found:

  • Just one quarter consider housing as a key component of the integration of health and social care services
  • One in five councils do not recognise housing in the planning of local care services, including for older people
  • The vast majority (94 percent) of councils consider the impact of housing as a wider determinant of health and, in particular, on people’s cardiovascular and respiratory health

These findings come as Parliament prepares to debate new duties to the Government’s Care Bill on councils being at the forefront of commissioning integrated services at a local level, and ensuring adult social care and housing departments work together to deliver homes that can maintain and improve a person’s wellbeing.

Commenting on the findings, Léa Renoux, Account Manager at MHP Health, said:

 “Poor health is, in many situations, a consequence of poor housing.  Damp, mould or a lack of hand rails can lead to respiratory conditions, unnecessary admissions to hospital and a greater cost to the NHS.  It is imperative, therefore, that commissioners of NHS and social care services give adequate consideration to these issues when planning care for the community.

“There is now a national consensus about the need for housing to be considered within the context of an integrated system.  It for councils and their NHS partners charged with leading this agenda to work together to achieve this ambition and deliver improvements for the people that matter.”

3.10pm A project to identify the 50 most influential people in the integration of health and care services has been launched by HSJ and its sister title Local Government Chronicle.

The two titles have appointed judges with vast experience across the health and local government sectors to use their expert knowledge to name the people who are doing the most to shape and lead the integration of services.

Readers of both titles are being asked for nominations of people who are doing the most to drive integration, especially in individual geographical areas.

Please let us know your nominee’s name, organisation and job title, as well as your reason for nominating them.

Tweet your nomination to #Integration50 or email to LGC features editor Rachel Dalton at with “Integration 50” in the subject line.

The list comes after councils and clinical commissioning groups submitted plans to the government on how they would pool funds under the better care fund. This was initially expected to be worth £3.8bn but in many areas organisations have chosen to pool additional money with the intention of breaking down barriers between services.

Integration has moved up the political agenda as the number of people with complex health needs soars but budgets remain constrained.

Our list will reflect the 50 people working in local government, the NHS, Whitehall, third sector organisations and businesses that are at the cutting edge of the changes, uncovering the ground-breaking projects and approaches they lead.

Candidates will be assessed on criteria including their personal success in integrating services, the level of innovation they have used and whether their ideas are influencing people elsewhere.

LGC editor Nick Golding said: “We are looking for people whose leadership has had a great impact on their organisation’s care integration, garnered buy-in from local organisations, and has communicated a shared set of goals for integration to staff at all levels within an organisation.

HSJ deputy editor Emma Maier added: “The people we select for this list are helping to create more efficient public services which better serve the needs of patients and service users. They deserve recognition.”


How to nominate

To nominate someone for inclusion in the list, please send an email to LGC features editor Rachel Dalton at with ‘Integration 50’ in the subject line, or on Twitter by using the hashtag #integration50

Within your email, please include your nominee’s name, the organisation they work for, and a short explanation (100 words or fewer) of why you believe they should make the list.

The deadline for nominations is noon on Thursday 1 May. Nominations sent after this date cannot be considered. Nominees will be considered by a panel of independent judges and the list will be published in an LGC and HSJ supplement in June.

12.13pm Health and wellbeing boards provide a forum for CCG leaders and local authorities to forge stronger relationships and thereby improve public health services, writes Jonathan Owen, deputy leader at East Riding of Yorkshire Council and chair of its health and wellbeing board.

11.43am Clinicians leading an overhaul of Greater Manchester’s £6bn health economy have ruled out another controversial round of inpatient paediatric and maternity service closures in the short term.

These services could however be later concentrated across a “smaller number of sites” once its on-going ‘Healthier Together’ programme is complete, its business plan indicates

11.20am The NHS can tap into the voluntary sector’s strengths to provide better care. Creating strong partnerships should be a priority for NHS and voluntary organisations alike, says Paul Jenkins, chief executive of Tavistock and Portman Foundation Trust.

“We know we live in interesting times,” Mr Jenkins writes. “The NHS cannot afford to ignore the contribution the voluntary sector can make to unlocking better care for the most vulnerable patients. Creating the environment in which partnerships can flourish should be a priority for NHS commissioners and providers alike.”

11.00am Reforms recommended by the Francis inquiry and Keogh review could cost healthcare providers up to £1.2bn, several times the sum earmarked by government agencies for the changes.

This is the chief finding of a financial analysis by the Foundation Trust Network, which examined the accounts of all 245 providers.

10.56am Clinical commissioning groups in Kent have agreed to plough an extra £1.6m into their contract with a private ambulance provider as part of a “last chance” deal to improve its performance.

The deal was revealed during a meeting of Kent County Council’s health overview and scrutiny committee, which this month quizzed repesentatives from both the CCGs and the private provider, NSL Kent.

10.16am Guardian columnist Peter Wilby writes: “An earmarked health tax may be one whose time has come, and perhaps a model for financing other strained public services and modifying voters’ resistance to taxation.”

The Guardian also reports that central London, north Norfolk, parts of Suffolk and Brighton and Hove are the healthiest places to live in England, according to research by Imperial College London matching 25 years of data matching environmental hazards and diseases to geographical location.

10.09am The Daily Mail reports the story of a mother of seven who has died as a result of a simple skin infection after being sent home from hospital and refusing to return to accident and emergency because she did not want to leave her children.

Lisa Hilton, 29, went to hospital last month feeling unwell with a badly swollen foot, and was given anti-biotics. As her condition deteriorated she refused to leave her children. Eventually a relative called 999 after she collapsed at home. She contracted septicaemia and died in intensive care on April 14.

10.05am The Times reports that patients who have heart attacks and strokes are waiting longer for ambulances, with figures showing that response times have increased by half a minute over the past two years.

Ambulances in the east of England take two minutes longer to respond to the most urgent calls than in 2012, NHS England figures show.

People can check how their neighbourhood compares on conditions such as cancer and heart disease by using a detailed health atlas designed to help scientists spot problems caused by pollution and pesticides, the paper also reports.

10.00am Looking towards this morning’s newspapers: The Daily Telegraph reports that couples in London and the South East are being denied IVF treatment offered in other parts of the country because of a “geographical lucky” dip, a Conservative MP claims.

Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, said: “A couple in the North East or East Anglia will find that they have access to IVF in line with or above the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance.

“But couples in the South East will find that they are only able to access one round of treatment”.

Elsewhere in the paper, we read that a new atlas will allow millions of people to see how healthy their neighbourhood is by typing in their postcode.

The atlas, created by a team at Imperial College London, allows people in England and Wales to find out how vulnerable people in their area are to a host of conditions including, breast, lung, liver and skin cancer along with heart disease, lung disease, stillbirth and low birthweight.

Also in The Telegraph, artificial skin that could be used to replace animals in tests of drugs has been grown in a laboratory for the first time. Scientists in Britain and the United States produced a half-inch wide fragment of epidermis – the outer-most skin layer – from stem cells with the same properties as real skin.

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live.

We start the day with HSJ deputy editor Emma Maier’s leader column, in which she argues that foundation trusts and ministers are both focusing on improving quality ahead of the election, but the emphasis on controlling costs will return.