Live logo

4.55pm: Yesterday’s stories on Simon Stevens’ appointment as the new chief of NHS England unsurprisingly sparked plenty of reader comments. Read the main story here to see them all or just enjoy this sample.

“Great appointment. Experience and knowledge yet a fresh innovative approach and a very nice guy as well. Well done Malcolm.” (Ruth Carnall)
“Sorry! Am I missing something? An advisor to Blair - who did so much to destroy the NHS - in charge of the NHS! We might as well say goodbye to what’s left of the NHS now.”
“A missed opportunity. The NHS should have struck a blow for whistleblowers everywhere and appointed Gary Walker. That would have put the cat among the pigeons.”
“Stevens’ current employer, United Healthcare, is known in the US as a large, aggressive, cost cutting insurer, ie “commissioner”…. But if he can find ways to corral GPs, reduce variability, and improve use of best practice, this will be valuable.”

4.47pm: A new book is shining a light of the contribution made to the NHS by its Asian employees. Nurturing the Nation: The Asian Contribution to the NHS since 1948 looks at the lives and careers of Asian employees at all levels of the NHS, focusing on 40 NHS workers, who came to work in the UK from various parts of the world, and the amazing experiences they have to share.

3.28pm: The chief executive at Serco, a security firm at the centre of an overcharging scandal, has resigned, reports the BBC. Outgoing boss Chris Hyman said the best way for the company to move forward “is for me to step back”. Serco is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office after claims it had overcharged the government by “tens of millions” of pounds for electronic tags for criminals. The government welcomed the news, describing it as a “positive move”.

3pm: The Daily Mail reports that all babies and young children should be given free vitamins on the NHS to combat rising cases of bone disease, according to England’s chief medical officer. Renewed fears about rickets caused by lack of vitamin D have prompted Professor Dame Sally Davies to call for a review of current policy, which distributes free vitamins only to low-income families.

2.45pm: Just when you thought you knew who the successful NHSEngland candidate was, Top News has the real story…

1.17pm: Medical tourism is a lucrative source of income for the NHS, according to a major new study that contradicts many of the assumptions behind the government’s announcement that it will clamp down on foreigners abusing the health service. See the Guardian’s story here.

And the Guardian has its own healthcare feed here.

12.57pm: New on our site today, National Voices chief executive Jeremy Taylor says there is undoubtedly consensus now that we need to build radicaly better services for people with disabilities and long-term conditions, but we still the big plan to make it happen. He asks how we can build “houses of care”.

12.51pm: A scheme to support homeless people as they are discharged from hospital will be run across two London boroughs this winter. The Hospital to Home programme, known as H2H, aims to co-ordinate the response of hospital discharge teams with homelessness service providers.

12.45pm: Serco has announced the resignation of Christopher Hyman as group chief executive. Ed Casey, who has led Serco’s Americas division since 2005, has been appointed Acting group CEO and to the Serco Group board with immediate effect. Mr Hyman said: “In recent weeks it has become clear to me that the best way for the Company to move forward is for me to step back.”

12.35pm: More needs to be done to make people understand that social care in later life is not free, the former care minister has said. Paul Burstow said there is a “very big need” to raise awareness about how people fund their care. Read HSJ’s story here.

12.25pm: One of the largest acute trusts in the Midlands has begun a review of surgery and inpatient services across its three sites, with a view to ensuring their long term clinical and financial sustainability. Heart of England Foundation Trust’s leadership has in recent weeks been considering the merits of three options to centralise some services.

11.36am: A record number of applications have been received for this year’s NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes. A total of 106 entries have been submitted by a combination of primary, secondary and local authority organisations - an increase of more than 25 per cent since the prizes were launched in 2010. Anyone in the NHS can play a role in developing innovative ideas and entry to the prizes is open to all staff, regardless of role, job title or profession, as well as partners in social care, the voluntary and the private sector.

11.27am: The health secretary has promised to get “to the bottom” of problems in NHS hospitals after a review showed more than a quarter of trusts were at risk of not offering safe, high-quality care. Jeremy Hunt said a new, “rigorous” inspection regime from the Care Quality Commission would identify those trusts that need to be sorted out, including placing them in special measures if necessary.

11.10am: Government plans to widen the powers of trust special administrators face opposition both within and outside Parliament, HSJ has learned. Ministers last week won a House of Lords vote on an amendment to the Care Bill which would allow administrators to impose changes on organisations that neighbour those deemed to be failing.

10.52am: HSJ has learned that Tony Whitfield, finance director at Salford Royal Foundation Trust, has been appointed substantive finance director at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust. He is also president of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Neil Chapman, who was Leeds finance director since 1998, has joined the NHS Trust Development Authority. Leeds Hospitals Trust was put in “turnaround” by the TDA earlier this year. Kevin Howells is currently acting as interim finance director at Leeds, before Mr Whitfield arrives.

10.43am: Monitor has put the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn Foundation Trust into special measures because it provided poor care and had weak leadership. The sector regulator has appointed a new chair of the board who will oversee a shake-up of the management team, including a new chief executive. In addition, Monitor has appointed an improvement director to help turn the trust around.The intervention follows warnings from the Care Quality Commission that patient care was inadequate and a report from NHS England that highlighted inadequate nurse staffing levels.

9am: We have three Amazon vouchers worth £100 each to give away to anyone who tries the HSJ tablet app. To be in with a chance of winning, simply download the app to your iPad or Android device and sign in with the same username and password you use for We will pick three winning users from random after the draw closes on 31 October. If you don’t have an username, you can register for free here. More information on the Amazon offer here.

8.40am: They came, they saw but did they conquer? What have the first six months been like for CCGs, asks David Smith, and what will the next six have in store? And HSJ editor Alastair McLellan says that although they are yet to prove their worth, CCGs have great potential and must be given time.

And HSJ’s latest roundtable attempted to get to grips with the myriad problems that have long bedevilled the NHS in its quest for effective, economical procurement. You can read that here.

8.20am: Good morning and welcome to the last HSJ Live feed of the week.

Health regulator Monitor has demanded immediate improvements be made for patients at Derby Hospitals Foundation Trust. In April, Monitor agreed with the trust that it would develop and deliver an action plan to ensure it met its target for seeing 95 per cent of patients in A&E within four hours for the three months to the end of June; and also that it would produce a financial plan that would lead to the trust at least breaking even for the 2013/14 financial year. However, the trust failed to achieve the A&E target; and at the end of July the Trust had a deficit of £1.9m.