HSJ reporter Judith Welikala is at NHS England’s board meeting this morning, where chief executive Simon Stevens will say the entire NHS provider deficit of £822m can be accounted for by overspending on temporary staff.

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2.15pm Check out all the snippets from NHS England’s board meeting, on reporter Judith Welikala’s Twitter feed: @JudithWelikala

2.07pm More than 250 posts have been axed during the last year at a West Midlands foundation trust in a bid to save £7.5m, reports HSJ correspondent Shaun Lintern

The job cuts at Dudley Group of Hospitals FT are part of a plan to get rid of 400 posts to reduce costs by £14m.

By the end of the 2014-15 financial year the trust removed a total of 259 posts, it has confirmed. Two hundred resulted from permanently removing vacant posts from the trust’s established budget.

2.00pm The Royal College of Midwives could become the first royal college to affiliate to the TUC, after submitting a formal membership application.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a significant, historical and positive decision by the RCM. We already have a range of affiliations and collaborations such as that with the International Confederation of Midwives. Membership of the TUC will bring substantial benefits to our members from both an employment relations and professional perspective.”

12.29pm Eastbourne Borough Council has now joined calls for bosses at East Sussex Healthcare Trust to resign.

This follows a vote of no confidence’ last week from East Sussex County Council health and overview scrutiny committee meeting, 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.

11.45am An independent investigation into collapse of a specialist dermatology service at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has described the handling of the changes as an ‘unmitigated disaster’, HSJ’s Nick Renaud-Komiya reports.

The trust closed its internationally renowned acute adult dermatology service earlier this year after five of its 11 consultants quit rather than transfer to private provider Circle, following its successful bid to run the Nottingham Treatment Centre in 2013.

Medical students who previously trained at the trust have also been transferred to Royal Derby Hospital, while Leicester Royal Infirmary is now providing emergency dermatology care for patients who would have previously been seen at Nottingham.

A draft copy of a report by an independent review panel, seen by HSJ, has revealed Circle is relying on six long term locums costing £300,000 a year each because it cannot fill vacant consultant posts. Some of the locums are not sufficiently qualified to be included on the General Medical Council’s specialist register for dermatology.

11.21am Kieran Walshe, professor of health policy and management at the Manchester Business School, says the Department of Health has started to adopt ‘extra legislative’ solutions to problems, stepping outside or even ignoring the legislation on the statute books, but argues this won’t help the NHS be fit for the future.

Read his full comment piece here.

11.16am The Health Foundation has appointed Branwen Jeffreys, education editor at the BBC, as its new governor. She currently leads specialist coverage on the BBC’s flagship programmes including Radio 4’s Today programme, the Six and Ten O’Clock news, and analysis on the BBC website.

Ms Jeffreys has worked for the BBC for over 25 years, serving as its health correspondent between 2004 and 2015, where she covered the NHS for the Six and Ten o’clock news on BBC One. This included the public inquiry into events at Stafford Hospital, and the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act under the coalition government.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, chief executive at the Health Foundation, said: “I am thrilled that Branwen will be joining our team of governors. She has a wealth of knowledge of the NHS gained during her 11 years as health correspondent with the BBC and will be an excellent addition to our board.”

11.09 Simon Stevens notes the ‘very difficult’ financial position of the NHS provider sector, and says there is a ‘collective responsibility’ to help trusts.


11.06am Simon Stevens tells the NHS England board meeting that its ‘game on’ for implementing the Five Year Forward View, following the general election.

11.05am The Times reports that doctors’ reluctance to send patients for cancer tests costs thousands of lives and contributes to poor survival rates for the disease in Britain,  the first study of its kind has shown.

A clear link has been found between GPs’ willingness to refer patients for x-rays and scans and higher survival rates, according to a study by the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership.

It concluded that the NHS “gatekeeper” role hinders the fight against the disease.

10.57am The Guardian reports on a major trial which found that drugs to keep people with HIV alive should be given as early as possible – before the virus has weakened their immune system – and not delayed as they are now.

Scientists say antiretroviral treatment should be administered before HIV virus has weakened the immune system, the paper reports.

10.49am A major study suggests thousands of breast cancer deaths could be prevented using osteoporosis drugs which cost £1 a day, The Daily Telegraph reports.

10.33am Patients are far less likely to be referred by GPs for urgent cancer tests in Britain than in other Western countries, the Daily Mail reports this morning.

The paper cites a study by Oxford University, saying delays directly affect survival rates, resulting in patients dying earlier in the UK than in Scandinavia, Australia and Canada. GPs in those countries are up to five times more likely to send patients for cancer scans and X-rays, paper reports. 

9.59am There is now a clear case for clamping down on “egregious prices” being charged by some staffing agencies, says Simon Stevens in his report to the NHS England board today.

HSJ reporter Judith Welikala will be sending Twitter updates from the board meeting, which starts at Southside London at 10.30am. Follow this blog for all the latest news.

Mr Stevens, chief executive of the national authority, says: “Notably, the entire net NHS provider deficit of £822m in 2014/15 can be accounted for by the run-up in temporary staffing costs, so there is now a clear case for seeking to convert temporary staff into permanent jobs while clamping down on the egregious prices being charged by some staffing agencies.”

7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. We begin the day with an opinion piece from Darren Leech of NHS Elect, on how a coaching approach to leadership can inspire teams.

Mr Leech writes: “The challenges in the public sector require great leadership. Yet the people related aspects of that challenge continue to prove difficult for many NHS leaders. Increasingly power has to be earned, through moral authority rather than authority traditionally gained through position.”