HSJ can reveal the 12 area teams that will be created as part of NHS England’s upcoming major restructure, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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5.11pm An evaluation of using mindfulness meditation among health professionals has found it may be effective in reducing staff stress.

Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust conducted mindfulness based workshops with 38 participants from a range of occupations, including nurses, doctors and occupational therapists.

Results demonstrated a significant reduction in self-reported stress following the interventions.

4.02pm The National Associal of Primary Care has announced its new executive committee, with Nav Chana, previous NAPC vice chairman being elected as chairman.

Charles Alessi, completing his term as NAPC chair will continue to act as co-chair. Commenting on the new arrangements, Dr Chana, a GP for 23 years at the Cricket Green Medical Practice in Mitcham, Surrey said: “I look forward to this new leadership arrangement which will provide continuity and stability to the organisation but also allow us to grow and develop the NAPC so that we can continue to deliver our ambition of high quality population based healthcare configured around an excellent primary care system.”

James Kingsland has been returned as president of the organisation and Nikita Kanani has been appointed as Honorary Secretary. 

3.57pm Monitor has finally concluded its first and only investigation into an allegation of anticompetitive behaviour by a clinical commissioning group, concluding there was no evidence to support the allegation.

A statement issued by the regulator this morning said it had not upheld a complaint by private provider Spire Healthcare that commissioners in Lancashire “were directing patients away from its Spire Fylde Coast hospital towards a nearby foundation trust”.

1.53pm A Labour government would “not mandate” organisational change to drive through its plans for a fully integrated national health and care service but would like “fewer players on the pitch”.

This was the pledge made by shadow health secretary Andy Burnham during an exclusive interview at the Labour party conference in Manchester.

The former health secretary’s comments came amid concerns the NHS would face another structural reorganisation if Labour wins the general election in May 2015.

1.00pm A Labour government could put Monitor in charge of overseeing the financial sustainability of whole health economies and driving integration between different organisations, Andy Burnham has told HSJ.

The shadow health secretary also revealed during an exclusive interview with HSJ at the party’s conference that the £2.5bn NHS funding boost announced by Ed Miliband would be repeated for every year of the next parliament, and further outlined plans for hospitals to become “integrated care organisations”.

Mr Burnham spoke to HSJ following his address to conference in Manchester in which said he wanted to bring social care into the NHS as part of a 10 year plan.

12.44pm A psychologist wept as she told an employment tribunal she thought about suicide because of bullying she allegedly suffered working at the West London Mental Health Trust.

Dr Hayley Dare brought the case against the trust, claiming she suffered detriment after whistleblowing over alleged poor patient care and bullying of staff.

12.22pm London lacks a ‘collective vision’ for improving mental health services, according to a new report by the King’s Fund which identifies systemic barriers to improving services in the capital.

The report Transforming Mental Health - A Plan of Action for London also describes how drops in funding for mental health has hampered improvements, and calls on commissioners, providers and other stakeholders to pursue more integration.

11.56am Jeremy Hunt has written for Conservative Home posing the Labour Party six questions on the NHS pledges it unveiled at its conference in Manchester this week.

11.15am There are now more women in their 40s than teenagers in maternity wards, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The number of babies born to women aged over 40 in England and Wales last year exceeded those delivered to mothers under the age of 20.

More than 29,000 babies were born to women aged over 40 last year according to the Office for National Statistics.

11.02am The Guardian has written an editorial on Andy Burnham’s speech yesterday at the Labour Party conference.

It says that “Labour is absolutely right that the NHS must be at the centre of political debate ebtween now and the election, for it is genuinely facing bigger challenges than at any time in its history”

“A joined up health and caring service is the right destination and a single funding body is part of the right answer.”

However it argues that “there was nothing in Mr Burnham’s speech that suggested he has a policy that is worked through in enough detail to allow him to answer the challenge of the sceptical interviewer, nor any recognition that the transformation for which he rightly calls will be made in the teeth of cripplingly tight budgets”.

10.40am The Times also reports that the Labour Party’s ‘mansion tax’ proposals, announced earlier this week in order to fund an increase in NHS staffing, is based on “guesswork”, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The body has cast doubts on just how many homes would be affected by the tax, which would target those with homes worth £2m and above.

IFS director Paul Johnson said: “We don’t really know how many houses there are of this value. There’s no a proper record. A lot of these numbers are guesswork.”

The paper adds that shadow chancellor Ed Balls has not yet explained how properties would be valued, how many additional value bands would be created above £2m or how the limits would be tied to inflation.

10.26am Leafing through this morning’s newspapers,The Times reports that Labour’s proposed reforms to create “integrated care organisations” would be disruptive, distracting and destructive, GPs warned last night.

At the Labour conference in Manchester, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, set out what he described as hospital-led “integrated care organisations, working from home to hospital, co-ordinating all care – physical, mental and social”.

Maureen Baker, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said the plans could kill off family doctor services. “It makes no sense for hospitals – organisations that provide acute, intermittent and specialist care – to lead on the delivery of person-centred, continuous and co-ordinated care.”

10.16am HSJ can reveal the 12 area teams that will be created as part of NHS England’s upcoming major restructure.

The national commissioning body will merge its current 24 teams outside London into 12.

The move is part of a restructure aimed at reducing running costs by 15 per cent by April, which includes cutting hundreds of posts and improving the way it functions.

9.59am Monitor has ruled that commissioners in Lancashire have not been making sure patients were offered a choice of hospital for routine surgery and were failing to ensure patients had information about the different hospitals available.

In October the regulator opened an investigation following a complaint from Spire Healthcare that Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Fylde & Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group were directing patients away from Spire Fylde Coast Hospital towards a nearby foundation trust.

Monitor did not uphold the complaint from Spire that the CCG’s were commissioning elective care incorrectly.

However, while Monitor said Fylde and Wyre CCG had taken “proactive steps to ensure local patients can exercise choice”, plans set out by Blackpool CCG did “not go far enough to ensure that choice will be offered or that the right to choice will be publicised and promoted”.

The regulator will now consult on what steps need to be taken to fix the problems it has found.

Catherine Davies, director of cooperation and competition at Monitor, said: “Patients have legal rights to make choices about aspects of their NHS care and commissioners have an important job to do making sure that patients are offered a choice by their GPs.

“Commissioners in other parts of the country will no doubt want to see what lessons they can learn from this case about how to make sure patients are offered a choice and how to promote and publicise those choices.”

9.45am The Department of Health has begun brokering talks between NHS England and the Care Quality Commission in a bid to close the “gap” in the care complaints regime revealed by an HSJ investigation.

The gap was exposed when NHS England ruled itself out of direct involvement in patient care investigations shortly after refusing to join the CQC in a probe into the death of a baby girl.

7.00am Good morning. The financial situation facing the NHS is one of the biggest challenges in its history but pumping more money into the system alone cannot improve care quality, argues director of policy at the Health Foundation, Richard Taunt.