Jeremy Hunt speaks as Dame Fiona Caldicott’s review of information is published, fallout from Jeremy Hunt’s out of hours comments, NHS Direct reverts on cost cuts, and the rest of today’s news.
4.50pm: HSJ has learned that the entire Care Quality Commission executive team is being replaced, and one new board appointee - a “director of change” - is joining from the Department of Work and Pensions, where she led the introduction of the universal credit. Sarah Calkin’s story is here.
4.38pm: NHS Clinical Commissioners - which represents some CCGs - has commented on the out of hours care row. Co-chairs Dr Steve Kell and Dr Amanda Doyle Co-Chairs of NHS Clinical Commissioners Leadership Group have said:
“It is quite clear that Out of Hours care needs to be improved. Professor Steve Field is absolutely right when he says that finding a solution must involve GPs and we would take that one step further and say that what it needs is the direct involvement of local commissioners to find that solution.
“As the current concerns about A&E and the recent issues with NHS 111 clearly show, CCGs are best placed to work within their areas to develop appropriate solutions by specifying and commissioning high quality services.
“In the very great majority of areas, where GPs have opted out of providing an Out of Hours service, CCGs have a statutory duty to ensure the provision of that care. CCGs are responsible for commissioning all parts of the scheduled care mix so they are uniquely placed to ensure that a coordinated system is put in place. Moreover A&E is just one part of the urgent care system, and it is important we address primary, secondary and community service issues and capacity when improving care for patients.
”Our view is that CCGs should review current Out of Hours provision to ensure it is safe and effective, and by harnessing their clinical values ensure they are getting the specification right and commissioning a co-ordinated service which delivers value for their populations.”
3.14pm: HSJ’s Crispin Dowler tweets:Morecambe Bay #NHS foundation trust to cut up to 230 posts in savings drive | HSJ Local | Health Service Journal: http://t.co/akAzJrWTon
1.22pm: James reports on Caldicott:
Speaking at the launch of the report, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the report was “excellent”.
He said a fuller government response would follow but that he “welcomed the spirit” of the review.
Questioned on whether the issue of patient consent to the sharing of their records, he said the NHS would not “cancel” existing agreements with patients who wish to opt out of but that there may be a case for “re-contacting people to explain the new arrangements”.
Patients will have a “veto” on their information being shared.
He said: “GPs will not share information with the Health and Social Care Information Centre if people object.
“There will be some overrides and very clear situations, a public health emergency, a life and death situation child abuse, these are the kind of overrides that people would expect.”
12.32pm: See James Illman’s tweets for coverage of Jeremy Hunt’s initial response to the Cadicott report: “we accept the spirit of the report and will respond in full later #EPR2013”
11.28am: The NHS Information Centre has issued a statement welcoming the Caldicott report.
It says: “The review “Information: to share or not to share” highlights HSCIC’s role as a safe haven for the secure analysis of health data to improve outcomes for patients, as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
“The review also acknowledges HSCIC’s responsibility for developing a Code of Practice for the use of confidential information. Development of the code is well underway, with input from key organisations such as patient and GP groups, and will reflect the outcomes of the review along with the NHS Constitution and other key legislation.
“HSCIC will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, NHS England and other key stakeholders in ensuring the needs of patients and people remain at the heart of all its activity.”
10.38am: Meanwhile the Daily Mail’s take on the Caldicott review is to today proclaim “victory for privacy campaign” this morning.
The Mail’s political editor James Chapman appears to have been briefed in advance of the recommendations.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has backed down, he reports, as patients will be given the right to “opt out of an NHS database” which could otherwise log details of drinking habits, waist sizes and family medical histories.
The move follows protests from privacy campaigners, the Mail reports.
10.19am: The minutes of the DH / NHS England accountability meeting also say: “THE SECRETARY OF STATE outlined that he envisaged access standardsremaining an important measure, among others, for the new Chief Inspector of Hospitals.”
10.14am: The Department of Health has published minutes of the latest meeting between itself and NHS England, from 12 March. It includes: “THE SECRETARY OF STATE suggested that, in view of the NHSCB’s new public facing role, it might be helpful for the NHSCB to take a strategic look at their communications across the next 12 months.”
10.09: HSJ reporter James Illman is covering speeches by Dame Fiona Caldicott and Jeremy Hunt this morning on Twitter, at which she is announcing the findings of her major review of information sharing.
James tweets: “Caldicott report is excellent. It will help drive one of the most significant moments in the NHS - sharing information #EPR2013”
10.05am: The Guardian reports this morning that childbirth experts “are urging the NHS to reverse the policy it has pursued since the 1960s of clamping and cutting a baby’s umbilical cord as soon as it is born, citing mounting evidence that this may leave newborn babies deprived of vital blood from the placenta.”
The paper adds: “Medical bodies, senior doctors and the National Childbirth Trust want maternity staff to stop routinely clamping the cord within seconds of the baby’s arrival and instead leave it untouched for anything from 30 seconds to whenever it stops pulsating naturally, usually within two to five minutes.”
10.03am: A Leeds MP has claimed the cost of the Safe and Sustainable review of children’s heart surgey has reached £8m, based on the answer to a Parliamentary question. The piece includes former health secretary Andrew Lansley defending the independence of NHS England, and its right to decide independently whether to appeal a high court ruling over the reconfiguration.
Mr Lansley said: “These are decisions for NHS England and I, of all people, must recognise that if we legislate to give greater independence in decision making to NHS England on the basis that they will lead on clinical matters.
“What you say will of course be communicated to NHS England and they will obviously consider all the value for money aspects with how they will proceed.”
9.52am: The Daily Telegraph today reports on page 7 HSJ’s story that seriously ill patients have been left on trolleys for more than 12 hours in A&E. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said “disastrous” changes to GPs working hours under Labour have led to an extra four million a year going into A&E.
9.42am: In relation to the GP comments, GP and Tory MP Sarah Wollaston tweets: “Suggestion for @Jeremy_Hunt work experience, Friday night in A&E to see delays caused by staff dealing with carnage from alcohol abuse 1/2
“2/2 many factors incl 111 & GP shortages. Out of hrs access only part of problem. HSC will look at NHS emergency care”
8.07am: We published a story late yesterday revealing NHS Direct’s abandoning of plans to down-band frontline staff because it needs to retain people to run its NHS 111 service.