A public-private pathology provider part owned by two London trusts increased its revenues last year, but a substantial restructure prompted by changes to tax rules resulted in a small drop in profits,plus all today’s news and comment
5.36pm You can now take a read of HSJ’s executive summary - our roundup of today’s key stories.
The NHS’s financial pain rolls on, with the news that trusts rolling over 2014-15 tariff prices face massive deficits this year.
Meanwhile, NHS England has instructed hospitals to complete 35 per cent of discharges before noon - and HSJ readers are unimpressed.
“Management obsessing with targets and reporting instead of patient experience.”
“Yet another example of top-down micro-management by people who do not know how operations/front line work.”
“A poorly thought out target creating a perverse incentive!”
This is just some of the reaction from our readers to the new NHS England directive.
5.21pm The Daily Telegraph reports that most people would prefer their GPs to be straight-talking and not give them any false hope or optimism, according to a study carried out by the University of Southampton.
3.30pm Guardian leader writer Anne Perkins considers whether Jeremy Hunt will be able to bridge the “damaging, possibly unbridgeable, culture gap” between health and social care in his second term as health secretary.
“Much hangs on the success of the pioneering project to devolve the health budget in Manchester that was announced in March,” she argues.
“Its overarching ambition is to improve health outcomes, and optimists hope it could lead to a real revolution in the way healthcare is managed and delivered.
“Pessimists fear it will be another structural challenge to an organisation that is already weakened by multiple and conflicting accountabilities.”
She concludes: “Right now, it’s hard to envy the health secretary.”
2.18pm Patients are at risk from a loophole in the law that stops them checking whether a cosmetic surgeon is qualified, leading doctors have warned, The Times reports (newspaper only).
The Royal College of Surgeons is urging the government to change a law that bans regulators from telling the public whether doctors have the right training to do cosmetic operations such as nose remodelling and breast enlargements,.
Any doctor can legally carry out cosmetic surgery without extra training and experts say a “kitemark” is needed to protect patients.
2.01pm We’ve got an update our story from last week that NHS providers have reported a deficit of £822m for 2014-15, with foundation trusts ending the year in the red for first time ever.
HSJ analysis suggests that without bailouts the net deficit was closer to £1bn.
1.27pm Councillors in East Sussex have taken a unanimous vote of ‘no confidence’ in the leadership of East Sussex Healthcare Trust and have called on the chief executive to resign.
The vote took place at an East Sussex County Council health and overview scrutiny committee meeting last week, in response to a Care Quality Commission report which found the trust had a “disconnect” between senior management and staff, and where staff said they were afraid to speak out openly.
The trust was rated “inadequate” by the regulator in March following the inspection in September. The publication of the report was delayed for several months and the CQC has decided to reinspect the trust before making a decision on whether to place it in special measures. The second report is expected to be published in July.
Five providers that opted to roll over last year’s tariff prices are each expecting their finances to plunge by more than £30m this year compared to 2014-15, according to figures obtained by HSJ.
The NHS Trust Development Authority says it is working with trusts to finalise financial plans
12.41pm Medical students are spending less time learning to be family doctors, according to figures that cast doubt on the prime minister’s chances of recruiting thousands more GPs, The Times reports.
Ministers want half of new doctors to become GPs by next year, but a study by researchers at University College London found that only 13 per cent of teaching was done in general practice and the amount of time devoted to it had fallen in the past decade.
12.31pm The Times reports NHS chiefs are wasting millions of pounds on a doomed anti-obesity strategy because they do not realise that babies start to become fat even before they are born, the country’s most senior children’s doctor has said.
Neena Modi said that government anti-obesity campaigns directed at adults and young people “have all been failures”. Efforts should be devoted to pregnant women and babies instead, she said.
Programmes to train toddlers to like healthy food and make breastfeeding “trendy” should be tested to find ways of stopping people becoming fat in the first place, Professor Modi said.
11.59am The BBC reports on a link between obesity in adolescence and a greater risk of bowel cancer later in life, according to a study in the World Cancer Research Fund.
Rachel Thompson, dpeuty head of science at the World Cancer Research Fund: “This finding is interesting because it gives an indication that bowel cancer risk might be affected by our lifestyle habits throughout the life course,” she said.
“In some ways, research into the relationship between factors like obesity and cancer risk is still in its infancy.
“It will be interesting to see if further research emerges in the future to back up the apparent relationship between body fatness in youth and later-life cancer risk.”
10.40am A specialist trust that warned it was ‘financially unviable’ has been rated as good by the Care Quality Commission.
10.15am A public-private pathology provider part owned by two London trusts increased its revenues last year, but a substantial restructure prompted by changes to tax rules resulted in a small drop in profits.
Viapath, co-owned by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College Hospital foundation trusts and outsourcing giant Serco, which own a third each, published its 2014 annual accounts earlier this month.
9.40am: Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We start with the news that trusts have been told to try to carry out at least 35 per cent of discharges before midday, in a new NHS England directive aimed at preventing delayed discharges.
However, an investigation by HSJ reveals that hopsitals have been falling far short of this ecommendation for improving urgent care, suggesting it will be difficult for trusts to boost their pre-midday patient discharge rates.