5.52: Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham MP has revealed the Labour Party will try to defeat the Government’s re-written competition rules for the NHS.
The MP tweeted today: “This week, Labour will lay ‘fatal’ motion in Lords against revised s75 regs. Ministers are mandating #NHS privatisation & must be stopped.”
He gave no date for the vote except to say it would be after the Easter recess.
4.35pm: Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweets: “Determined to crackdown on abuse of #NHS. It’s a national not international service and only those who have right to free access should get it.”
3.15pm: NHS Employers, the NHS Commissioning Board and the General Practitioners Committee have published joint 2013/14 Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) guidance.
This guidance applies in England only and is intended to assist NHS Commissioning Board area teams and practices in understanding and working through the 2013/14 QOF.
You can access the guidance here: http://www.nhsemployers.org/PAYANDCONTRACTS/GENERALMEDICALSERVICESCONTRACT/QOF/Pages/ChangestoQOF201314.aspx
NHS Employers has also published information that details the changes from 2012/13 to 2013/14 in full. That can be accessed here: http://www.nhsemployers.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/Summary%20of%20QOF%20changes%202013-14_ja250313.pdf
3.13pm: Which aspirant foundation trust’s will fail to make the grade?
Take a look at our foundation trust pipeline map and see how your nearest trust is doing.
3.05pm: The Royal College of Nursing has criticised what it has called the “chaos” in the new NHS 111 service after it emerged almost 50 per cent of Clinical Commissioning Groups have asked for help.
Peter Carter, RCN chief executive said: “NHS Direct has proved itself to be a vital source of information, reassurance and advice for people and families for many years now. The RCN believes that much of this expertise will be lost when services fully transfer to the NHS 111 service.
“To now learn that the NHS 111 service is already failing, and having to put out this call for help, shows that the plans have simply not been well thought through. NHS Direct is in the process of being mothballed, and many nurses have already been made redundant, and we fear that patients are being put at a disadvantage.
“If morale has plunged among the staff who are left, and chaos is governing the service in at least half of the areas in transition, then patients are bound to feel short changed. Out of hours GPs and Accident and Emergency units are likely to pick up the burden and we fear that this could put even more pressure on the service.”
2.55pm: Dr Amanda Doyle and Dr Steve Kell have been elected co-chairs of NHS Clinical Commissioners leadership group.
NHS Clinical Commissioners, which represents clinical commissioning groups, said the pair have been elected group which provides overall direction for the organisation’s work programme.
Amanda Doyle said: “We are delighted we have been elected to take on this role by our colleagues. As CCGs take up their full statutory responsibilities it is essential that we are able to provide a collective independent voice for our peers. NHS Clinical Commissioners enables CCGs to come together to share experience and expertise; and provide information, support, tools and resources to help CCGs do their job better. It also gives us a strong, influencing voice from the frontline to the wider NHS, national bodies, government, parliament and the media.”
Steve Kell added: “As a clinical chair and a chief clinical officer, Amanda and I are at the centre of delivering the changes for our local people. As co-chairs of the organisation’s leadership group we are determined to ensure that the experience of the frontline is heard nationally.”
2.30pm: Dr Stephanie Bown, director of policy and communications at the Medical Protection Society (MPS), has said the GMC’s new Good Medical Practice guidance means doctors will never be off duty.
She said: “Upholding professional values is at the heart of the GMC’s guidance and it’s only right that doctors take the lead in ensuring high quality, safe care, especially for vulnerable patients.
“However, the guidance further extends the expectations of doctors, placing even heavier burdens on their shoulders. Being readily available to patients and colleagues on duty potentially creates unrealistic expectations, without taking account of heavy workloads, interruptions and prioritising multiple tasks.
“The new guidance extends its expectations in relation to all vulnerable people, even where they are not the doctor’s patients. So this might involve intervening where a patient is smacking a child in a supermarket at the weekend.
“Essentially, doctors can never take off their mantle of professionalism.”
Policy director, Don Redding, said: “National Voices campaigned with AvMA, the Health Foundation and NALM for a legal duty of candour to be put in last year’s Health & Social Care Act. The government resisted throughout, but Robert Francis listened to all sides of the argument and concluded the time had come.
“In cases where patients have been harmed or worse, both senior managers and their legal advisers have generally decided their first duty is to the interests of the trust. This new legal duty will rebalance that by giving them a duty to disclose to the patient and/or their family what went wrong and why.
“Like the new policy on gagging orders, it should remove a huge chunk of the culture of cover-up – in this case, one which has been particularly harmful and distressing to patients, who have had to fight their care providers to get at the truth.
“But it must be noted that it is not only hospitals that can cause harm or death. We hope the new duty will equally apply to primary and community care.”
12.45: On Tuesday the government is due to publish its full response to the Francis report into care failures at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.
Live coverage on the day will be free for registered users of hsj.co.uk.
The government’s response is expected to address issues including criminal sanctions for hiding patient safety errors, an overhaul of quality inspection, regulation of healthcare assistants, and the use of so-called “gagging” clauses.
Register for free to access hsj.co.uk now. Registered users can sign up for newsletters, add comments to stories, save content to your library and build your profile.
12.33pm: Nearly 50 NHS trusts are likely to face merger or franchised management as they are unable to gain foundation status in their current form, HSJ has learned.
Of the 99 NHS hospital, mental health, community and ambulance providers which have yet to become foundation trusts, nearly half will be unable to do so as independent organisations, according to the authority responsible.
Read the story here.
12.10pm: Monitor board papers just out reveal the state of the foundation trust sector at the end of quarter three.
The regulator’s “provider regulation update” said the “financial performance of the sector for the nine months ending 31 December 2012 is ahead of both plan and the same period last year:”
Monitor reported the sector with a surplus of £365m against a plan of £259m and a position at the same point last year of £327m.
It reported: “The number of foundation trusts in the loss making ‘tail’ of the S curve has reduced from 26 at Q2 to 19 at Q3.”
The regulator also reported it expected six trusts to be able to move out of significant breach of the terms of their authorisation over the next six months.
There are 20 trusts currently in breach, and three are in the process of being escalated.
11.45am: The BMJ has reported the case of a locum consultant anaesthetist who has successfully sued Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust for libel after it sent two letters to the General Medical Council.
Michael Fish has won a six figure sum in damages and costs in a settlement with the hospital trust which has apologised for libelling him after it wrongly alleged he had fraudulently claimed for more hours than he had worked while as locum between July and October 2009.
The BMJ said a statement read out at the High Court in London on 19 March, the trust confirmed “they now recognise and accept that Dr Fish did not make any fraudulent claims.”
11.05am: Former Mid Staffordshire Hospital chief executive Martin Yeates was made the subject of a confidential compromise agreement, Health Minister Dan Poulter has told Parliament.
In response to a written question by Conservative MP Stephen Barclay the minister said Mr Yeates, who resigned in May 2009, did not receive any special severance payment when he left the trust’s employment.
Mr Poulter said: “He was entitled to six months’ salary on notice of his resignation, which he received in lieu of notice. As Mr Yeates did not receive a payment over and above his contractual entitlement, HM Treasury approval was not required.
“We understand from Monitor that this payment was made in the context of a compromise agreement between the trust and Mr Yeates, the terms of which are confidential between the parties, and therefore are not known to the Department.”
He added: “The Department has been consistently clear that nothing within a contract of employment or compromise agreement should prevent an individual from speaking out about issues such as patient care and safety, or anything else that could be in the wider public interest.”
It emerged at the Mid Staffordshire Public Inquiry that Mr Yeates had requested 12 months salary and was being considered for a job in another part of the NHS.
He resigned in May 2009 to avoid disciplinary action after being suspended on full pay following the publication of the Healthcare Commission’s damning investigation of the trust in March 2009.
10.58am: And finally from the Telegraph, a short report on page 18 on a senior surgeon at Leed’s Children Hospital who has been banned from operating pending an investigation.
The hospital is due to lose its cardiac surgery unit under the national paediatric cardiac surgery review led by Sir Neil McKay .
Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, which runs the children’s hospital, told the paper the surgeon’s suspension was not to with “surgical outcomes”.
10.55am: The Daily Telegraph has two stories which it says place pressure on Sir David Nicholson to resign as NHS Chief Executive.
The first says 64 letters of complaint regarding Mid Staffs were sent to the Department of Health but nothing was done with them because the DH “does not officially investigate complaints”.
News that letters were sent to the Department of Health has previously been disclosed to the Francis Inquiry but the exact number was given in answer to a question by Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, the paper reports.
The second report concerns a mortality study comparing seven different countries.
The study, from Professor Sir Brian Jarman, puts England top of the league for “hospital death rates” and the paper contrasts this with what NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh told a Parliamentary committee last week, in which he said he did not know where England stood in the comparison because the data had been “anonymised”.
The paper reports Sir Brian as saying England’s rates appear to have improved over recent years.
He adds: “I’m really very worried about the Department of Health and wouldn’t be asking for Sir David Nicholson to go if I didn’t think there was something wrong.”
10.52am: The Financial Times reports this morning that the assurance regime for clinical commissioning groups is “likely to include three-monthly financial assessments” for “many” groups. The paper also quotes Dr Hugh Reeve, chair of Cumbria CCG, as saying that the NHS reforms have “fragmented things in a way that wasn’t intended, I’m sure”.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce the duty tomorrow as part of the government’s response to the Francis report. It is understood the duty would implemented via the Care Quality Commission’s regulations.
Mr Lamb told the newspaper ministers would be looking to appoint an “independent spirit”. He said the appointment would come in alongside a proposed new “rating” system for care providers - who will be ranked “excellent”, “adequate” or “poor”, the paper reported. Mr Lamb said: “The chief inspector’s role will be very powerful when combined with this new ratings system. The idea is it will be a very high-profile public role, very much on the side of patients.”
10.35am: The General Medical Council has published an updated version of Good Medical Practice, its guidance to medics on how to meet their professional standards.
The GMC claims the updated guidance will support the revalidation process which launched in December.
The guidance which applies to all 250,000 doctors on the GMC’s register has been amended to include guidance on the use of social media.
You can download a copy of Good Medical Practice here.
10.27am: The Daily Telegraph carries a story on page 11 headlined: “GPs could be asked to warn social services over depressed mothers”.
It reports calls from the CQC and Ofsted for primary care to alert social services when mothers with mental health problems present to GPs.
A study of Serious Case Reviews who had died or been harmed over a four-year period showed mental health difficulties , addiction problems and domestic abuse were the most common charecteristics of the families involved, the paper reported.
Countering the calls from the CQC and Ofsted the Telegraph quotes the founder of online forum Mumsnet saying the information sharing could make mothers even more reluctant to seek help.
10.15am: The Daily Mail has a story about NHS 111 this morning, with the British Medical Association warning that introducing the service will put lives at risk.
The paper puzzlingly reports that Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s GP committee, called for “health secretary Andrew Lansley” to suspend the nationwide launch of NHS 111.
“Doctors are very worried patients’ lives will be put at risk when this is introduced in April,” he is quoted as saying.
10.10am: The Daily Telegraphreports this morning that hospitals will be obliged to set out how they will deal with heatwaves and floods, under new legislation.
The Climate Change Act will oblige trusts to make plans as to how buildings should be “climate proofed” during refurbishment, the paper reports.
“Hospitals should have shades on the windows and replace equipment with more energy efficient appliances” it said.
10am: Royal College of Physicians is holding its Annual general Meeting today with fellows expected to vote in its unusual presidential election.
Former MP and co-leader of the National Health Action Party , Dr Richard Taylor, is attempting to unseat sitting president Dr Richard Thompson.
Details of the process can be found here.
Details of the election statements by each candidate were previously leaked to HSJ and can be downloaded free (see right).
8.23am Good morning, the role of a clinical director is viewed as critical in maintaining quality and patient safety in the NHS while it is under financial stress. Today on HSJ Kerrie Montoute looks at the current and future state of the job.