University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust is to partner with a struggling FT more than 150 miles away in a bid to help the organisation make quality improvements, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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4.50pm MPs will be urged to double the provision of psychological therapy in the health service at a meeting in Parliament next Tuesday.

Professors Richard Layard and David Clark from the Centre for Economic Performance will present data to try and prove the economic case for increased access to psychological therapy in the NHS, arguing that the savings to the taxpayer of providing treatment outweigh the cost of the treatments themselves.

Their findings include:

  • The average cost of treatment for depression or anxiety disorders is £650, 50 per cent of those treated recover.
  • People who also have mental health problems alongside a physical illness cost on average an extra £2,000 a year in physical healthcare – which costs the NHS £10 billion a year in total.
  • Mental health problems account for almost 50 per cent of the days that people take off sick.

3.55pm In response to Suzanne Rastrick’s appointment as chief allied health professions officer, previous post holder, Prof Karen Middleton, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: “AHPs will be central to delivering the kind of integrated care closer to home that the NHS needs to provide in the future and I am delighted that Suzanne has been appointed to be their advocate in this important and influential post.

“The CSP will be working hard to support Suzanne in improving the commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services for the public.”

3.50pm NHS England has announced the appointment of Suzanne Rastrick as chief allied health professions officer.

Ms Rastrick will take up the role in September, taking the lead in developing the contribution from the 12 allied health professions (AHPs) to further improve the commissioning and services provided by AHPs to achieve better outcomes for patients after illness and injury. 

She will work alongside colleagues both within and outside of NHS England, as the senior adviser to the Department of Health on AHP matters, as well as representing England’s health professionals internationally.

She was one of the first allied health professionals (AHPs) to hold a substantive director of nursing post. She has also been chief executive of a Primary Care Trust Cluster.

Since 2013, she has played a role in clinical commissioning, as interim chief executive of Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group during its shadow form, followed by director of quality.

NHS England’s national medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said: “Suzanne has a proven track record in representing the allied health professions and in commissioning. Her appointment will help to keep AHP expertise at the heart of our services and provide a firm focus on the delivery of patient-centred care.”

3.28pm In The Guardian, mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin writes about his poor experience of mental health care in light of comments from outgoing president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Sue Bailey, who described the current offering as “a car crash”.

2.15pm A raft of proposals aimed at improving the training of junior doctors will put patients at risk and waste taxpayers’ money, the British Medical Association has warned.

Under plans laid out in last year’s Shape of Training Review, medical students would be allowed to become fully registered with the General Medical Council when they graduate from university – instead of after their foundation year working in the NHS.

This idea was rejected by the British Medical Association’s annual conference this week.

The decision to scrap the regime - which recommended the withdrawal of treatment, food and water from some sedated patients in their final hours or days - has been called into question by some corners of the medical profession, with many questioning how patients would be cared for in the final hours and days of their lives.

In July last year it was announced that the measure would no longer be used after an independent review concluded doctors had used the LCP “as an excuse for poor quality care”.

Speaking at the Commissioning Show at the Excel centre, Jeremy Hunt said a more accountable future for CCGs would involve “taking responsibility for the entire delivery of healthcare for the populations that they represent and to show vision and leadership, based on capitation funding”.

He said NHS England’s invitation for CCGs to be involved in “co-commissioning” primary care would help realise this vision, as it would move them closer to controlling the budget for all healthcare for their populations.

12.45pm 35 per cent of patients with learning disabilities that were in hospital in April 2013 have now been transferred, and 88 per cent of people admitted in the 12 months after 1 March 2013 do not have a transfer date according to the latest data from NHS England.

The Winterbourne View Concordat was set up to ensure that patients with learning disabilities were not in hospital unnecesarily and staying there too long.

Norman Lamb criticised the lack of progress made and said that the 1 June deadline would be missed.

Other findings include 81 per cent of people who have not had a formal review in six months have been in hospital for over a year. of a total of 2,615 patients, 256 have a transfer date, of which 182 are before 1 June 1, 2014. 1,702 patients do not have a planned transfer date due to a clinical decision preventing it.

12.28pm Professor Sir Simon Wessely starts his three year term of office as the new president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists today.

Professor Wessely is professor and head of the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. He is also a practicing clinical psychiatrist, working in liaison psychiatry at the Maudsley and King’s College Hospital in South London.

He works on issues such as chronic fatigue syndrome, stress related disorders, epidemiology, schizophrenia and military health, and has a close relationship with the Armed Forces, where he is also consultant advisor on Psychiatry to the British Army.

Professor Wessely said: “I am delighted to have been chosen to lead the Royal College of Psychiatrists over the next three years. My predecessor, Professor Dame Sue Bailey has done a fantastic job in increasing the profile of psychiatry not just in the public eye, but also in the corridors of power, and the acceptance of “parity of esteem” – treating physical and mental disorders with the same respect, is something that owes much to her efforts. I of course am committed to continuing this, as well as ensuring that we can translate policy and rhetoric into action.”

Professor Wessely succeeds Professor Sue Bailey, who has been president since 2011.

The partnership with Medway FT follows similar “buddying” arrangements between the Birmingham FT and both George Eliot Hospital Trust and Burton Hospital FT.

All three trusts were put into special measures almost a year ago. Medway has made particularly slow progress: its chair and chief executive resigned at the beginning of the year and were replaced with interims appointed by Monitor.

11.21am This week’s issue of HSJ is ready to read on the app.

In this issue doctors’ desire for “kudos” is leading to new treatments being introduced without good evidence of their effectiveness, warn senior health leaders, plus GP surgeries with the highest patient to doctor ratios are increasingly turning to other primary care staff to address the GP shortfall.

Details of the proposal and motivation for the radical reshaping of the government agency, which commissions training for healthcare professionals, have been outlined in HEE papers seen by HSJ.

The HEE does not “always act or feel like a single organisation”, the papers said.

In reference to its current structure of a central national body and 13 regional local education and training boards, the papers stated that it “often feels to staff and stakeholders like 14 organisations with a national body called HEE and 13 local bodies”.

10.06am A simple blood test could offer women an early warning of breast cancer even if they have not inherited genes linked to the disease, say scientists.

The Times reports that research has identified a molecular “switch” in blood samples that is linked to an increased likelihood of developing the disease.

9.56am The Times reports that fizzy drinks could be effectively banished from the nation’s diets under new public health guidelines.

Just one can of a sugary soft drink contain’s an adult’s entire daily sugar allowance under new limits from from government health advisers.

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We begin the day with a comment piece from the King’s Fund’s David Oliver.

David writes that too often pilots are set up as a quick fix that inevitably fail, or are too expensive to become permanent. This must stop to effectively operate new models of care across the NHS, he argues.