Top NHS interims’ salaries revealed, new twist in NHS patient data debate, and the rest of today’s news and comment

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3.50pm Meanwhile, the British Medical Association, in its submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body has called for doctors to receive a “minimum increase in line with inflation”.

In a statement released as it submitted its evidence today, the union said that despite playing “a leading role in maintaining high quality care across the NHS in the face of budget cuts and rising demand, doctors have faced a series of pay freezes and below inflation rises cutting their pay in real terms”.

Since 2009 doctors’ pay in England had risen by just 5.5 per cent compared to other NHS staff who have had greater increases such as nurses (7.5 per cent) and NHS managers (12.9 per cent), the BMA added.

Dr Mark Porter, Chair of the BMA Council, said: “We recognise fully the economic constraints the NHS is working under but the continued erosion in the real value of contracts for doctors has now reached a critical point.

“We are also concerned that despite the excellent work done by doctors under enormous pressures it is once again unlikely to be recognised as the Government has already made it quite clear what it expects the DDRB to recommend.

“This ignores the reality. Despite claims pay is out of control, the vast majority of doctors have seen real term cuts in their income year on year.”

3.41pm NHS Employers has said doctors pay should be frozen in 2014 in its evidence submitted to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body.

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said: “Doctors work incredibly hard and many would argue they deserve an increase, but one per cent more pay for doctors would cost around £100 million, which is equivalent to the salaries of well over 2,000 registrars working in hospitals. A pay increase at this time is not the best use of NHS funding when money is so tight and services are so stretched. The average wage of many individual doctors will keep climbing because of their inbuilt system of pay progression.”

He added: “I hope doctors will welcome the opportunity and endorse our suggestion of using pay review body recommendations to facilitate more seven day working and to put the patient at the heart of healthcare, rather than just adding more to the NHS pay rates. This has to be the right approach at a time when we are negotiating terms and conditions”

Average pay for NHS doctors in 2012 (including basic pay plus additions such as overtime) was £109,651 for a consultant, £53,365 for a registrar and £36,655 for other trainee doctors, while average NHS manager pay is £47,702.

2.18pm Another breaking exclusive on this afternoon: Monitor has decided not to grant foundation trust status to any further NHS trusts until it can receive “robust assurance” from the Care Quality Commission that the applicants are providing good quality care

12.11pm This week’s issue of HSJ magazine is now available to read on our tablet app. You can download the apps for iPad or Android here.

11.45am Frimley Park Hospital Foundation Trust is planning to acquire neighbouring Heatherwood and Wexham Park Foundation Trust at the beginning of April next year, HSJ has learned. However, this timetable could be set back if the Office of Fair Trading decides to refer the takeover to the Competition Commission. You can read the full story here.

11.25am In an interesting exclusive that will feed into the ongoing debate about the use of patient-identifiable data in the NHS, HSJ’s James Illman has reported that the Department for Work and Pensions last year “attempted to obtain access to confidential patient data so that it could be linked to information about employment, tax credits and benefits claims”.

Privacy campaigners said news of the abortive attempt “should be ringing alarm bells”, and warned that such activities by government departments could undermine public trust in the NHS.

11.18am The government’s planned reforms to the system of healthcare regulation are “deeply flawed”, Andrew Lansley’s former special advisor has claimed. In a piece for HSJ published today, Bill Morgan writes: ” For a start, it creates a system in which a single organisation responsible for enforcement – the [Care Quality Commission] – is substituted for a range of organisations with differing jurisdictions and differing powers of intervention.

“Indeed, in the case of NHS trusts, the system is completely circular: enforcement action will now be led by the [NHS Trust Development Authority] which, as the “headquarters” of NHS trusts, is the organisation whose prior failure to address a safety issue will have led to the need to take enforcement action in the first place.”

10.57am Meanwhile, the financially troubled Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust has been issued with a Care Quality Commission warning notice after inspectors heard that staffing levels at the provider were “abysmal”, HSJ reports.

According to the CQC’s inspection report nurses said staffing levels were “horrendous”, with one saying: “We cannot go on, it’s terrible, nurses are crying because it’s so bad in here.”

10.39am An important breaking exclusive from HSJ’s Ben Clover has just been published here. The NHS hospital trust sector is set to be in deficit in 2013-14, with nearly half of all non-foundation trust acutes predicting they will finish the year in the red.

Ben writes that “slashed income and a reduction in bailouts have led to a spike in the number of individual trusts predicting deficits”.

10.34am Also new on this morning is this story about the General Medical Council warning more than 8,000 doctors that their licence to work is at risk.The GMC is still yet to hear from 7,818 doctors who have not responded to requests that they confirm the designated body that will help them to revalidate.

10.30am You can now read the full story on about plastic surgeons continuing to offer perks and package deals despite NHS England’s call for them to be banned.

10.21am The Daily Telegraph is reporting that NHS trusts are paying senior managers rates of up to £570,000 a year via private agencies for interim appointments.

It found 24 managers were paid rates of more than £1,000 a day during 2012-13 - including 11 executives on more than £300,000 a year.

Among those named was Michael Morgan, chief executive at Rotherham Foundation trust who was paid £95,000 for two months.

Eric Morton at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation trust was said to earn £190,000 for 5.5 months while Dr Mark Goldman earned £135,000 for five months at the same trust.

The paper also found that Jim Birrell earned £186,000 for six months at University Hospitals of Leicester, while Leeds Teaching Hospitals paid Clive Walsh £295,000 10.5 months.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals paid Peter Reading £345k for 12 months.

10.15am A coroner has today condemned the ‘chaotic response’ by East of England Ambulance Service Trust after a baby girl died when an emergency vehicle got lost and a second stopped for petrol, the Daily Mail reports.

Three-month-old Bella Hellings died at hospital after she suffered a fit and stopped breathing at her home in Thetford, Norfolk.

10.10am The Times reports on calls from the President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons for a ban on the use of “perks and discounts” to sell cosmetic surgery. The paper reported “extras such as chauffeurs, free photo shoots and holidays” were being offered to entice people into having cosmetic procedures.

10.05am David Cameron is to announce the renewal of the cancer drugs fund, the “special £200m annual budget to pay for expensive cancer drugs judged poor value for money by the health service’s own medicines advisory body”, the Financial Times reports today.

The paper explains that the fund was due to expire in March 2014, but the prime minister is “due to announce its extension during the Conservative party conference in Manchester next week”.

9.32am: Good morning, today on HSJ’s innovation and efficiency channel, Greta Westwood and colleagues explain how academic clinical nurses use their analytical and research skills to question, investigate, research and innovate help improve patient experiences and outcomes in everyday clinical care. They write: “Clinical academics are, for certain, set to change the future landscape of the NHS workforce.”