6.07pm: The debate at the King’s Fund is sparking significant Twitter debate - follow #kflead.
5.27pm: University College London Hospitals medical director Jonathan Fielden is tweeting from the launch of the King’s Fund research higlighted below, where HSJ editor Alastair McLellan is chairing a round-table debate. Jonathan tweets: “medical leadership ain’t no place for cissies” another gr8t quote from Peter lees-now is the time to professionalise”
3.58pm: We have published a story on interesting research from the King’s Fund - and others - showing the variation in time committed to medical leadership between NHS trusts. It is due to be launched at a roundtable at the King’s Fund featuring HSJ editor Alastair McLellan this evening.
2.45pm: We said this morning that it was unclear how this weekend’s story about a possible NHS funding transfer to social care would be a development of the sums which are already being transferred. In particular, it is worth remembering this HSJ piece from 2010 which paved the way for increasing sums to be transferred each year, running up to £1bn in 2014-15. The question is how this policy will be extended or adapted in 2015-16.
2.32pm: HSJ London reporter Ben Clover tweets: “Kingston Hospital are soon going to have to find a bit more room on their sign, I hear”
2.17pm: Our story on the latest from the NHS Direct / NHS 111 saga from last week is attracting a lot of comment from readers. It relates to NHS Direct backtracking on cost cut plans.
12.58pm: A must-read story published late on Friday is Sarah Calkin’s exclusive about the Care Quality Commission’s overhaul of its board.
12.57pm: We have published a piece on an update of NHS England’s recruitment position - showing one in ten posts were unfilled as the organisation went live on 1 April.
The number of care homes businesses going bust climbed 12% last year (year ending 31 December 2012) from 60 to 67 despite total UK corporate insolvencies falling during the period, the report by accountants Wilkins Kennedy said.
Wilkins Kennedy says that the continued rise in failing care homes comes despite a decline in total UK corporate insolvencies, which fell by 5% from 21,858 in 2011 to 20,731 in 2012. Corporate insolvencies fell back to pre-financial crisis levels at the end of 2012.
11.27am: Sarah tweets from NHS Direct: “NHS Direct is not publishing its risk register this month as it is being ‘reviewed and updated’. Imagine it features a lot of red”
“Decommisioning of NHS Direct is currently estimated to cost £76m, about half of the worst case scenario cost. Cost will be funded by DH”
“NHS Direct’s 0845 contingency number is still taking about 35% of previous volume of calls. At one point post 111 launch it was taking 70%”
“NHS Direct non-exec at board meeting says they fully recognise the extent of the failure of the organisation in implementation of 111”
11.25am: HSJ’s @sjcalkin is live tweeting the NHS Direct Board meeting. It follows the NHS 111 introduction debacle.
10.52am: Your nominations are wanted for HSJ’s search for the most inspirational women working in health. Nominees can come from a clinical or non-clinical background and any area of the industry but must stand out for their passion and ability to innovate and drive change. Nominations are launched today.
10.31am: The Daily Mail reports on a foundation trust governor who is suing her own NHS trust over claims incompetent care hastened her mother in law-s death. Tracey Morgan’s mother-in-law fell and hit her head while in the care of Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals Trust last year however the trust initially denied it, the paper reports. Ms Morgan, who is chief executive for Age Concern in Slough and Berkshire said: “I am in a position where I can call the chief executive or director of nursing because I have those contacts, and it has still taken nearly a year to get them to finally admit it. I have been able to expose what happened here and push and push to get to the truth, but only – partly – because of my job… If it has been like this for me, imagine what it is like for a husband or wife in a similar position in their seventies or eighties.”
The paper also reports on comments from prime minster David Cameron that he is “surprised” by the number of senior staff who earn more than him. Under the headline PM: Why are NHS chiefs on more than me? the paper reports Mr Cameron as saying pay rates had been allowed to drift “up and up” without any thought about whether such high rates were necessary to attract the best candidates.
10.30am: The Daily Telepgraph’s front-page splash story today is headlined “Health and schools cash for defence”.
The paper reports up to £200m could be taken from the Department of Health budget and given to the Ministry of Defence.
It said the 2015-16 settlement for the MOD could otherwise see a five per cent cut in armed forces personnel.
See below for the Independent’s reports over the weekend about NHS cash being under threat.
10.30am: The Daily Telegraph carries a full-page feature on the campaign by advertising-man Maurice Saatchi to get a change made to the law to allow more experimental cancer treatments.
Tomorrow he will address the Royal College of Medicine with the case for the law.
10.29am:The Financial Times also reports today that private hospitals group Spire Healthcare doubled its sales of services to the NHS over the past five years, as it sought to “compensate for a recession-led decline in medical insurance patients”.
The group said “about 23 per cent of total sales in 2012 came from the NHS, up from 20 per cent in 2011 and double the proportion in 2007,” the paper reported.It added that Spire chief executive Rob Roger said rationing of NHS care was creating opportunities for the private sector. It quoted him as saying: “The NHS is rationing in places where treatment is not essential.”You can still function in life with a hernia; it’s just uncomfortable. If it’s uncomfortable, people will just have to put their hands in their own pockets.”
10.19am: The Financial Times reports this morning that leading surgeons “have been commissioned by the government to determine when patients should be offered certain treatments in an acknowledgement that a ‘postcode lottery’ exists in the NHS”.
The paper adds that “under the plan, a panel of top surgeons will issue guidelines later this year, aimed at tackling regional disparities in the availability of treatments and surgical procedures across the NHS.” The work, commissioned by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, will “eventually cover 28 specialisms,” it states.
As HSJ reported in January, https://www.hsj.co.uk/acute-care/commissioners-have-rationed-cataract-surgery-on-inferior-evidence-keogh-admits/5053640.article Sir Bruce is working with the Royal College of Surgeons on a programme of work called Value Based Commissioning of Elective Surgical Care, which is intended to define appropriate access thresholds in a number of areas of treatment. Sir Bruce commissioned the work after being “deluged” by complaints about the differing thresholds at which different NHS commissioners would pay for procedures like cataract surgery or hip replacements.
9.58am: The Independent reports the government is planning to divert “more than £1bn” health spending to local authorities in the 2015-16 comprehensive spending review. It is unclear how this would be a development from increasing sums which are currently transferred to local authorities for social care each year. The Independent says it means “Ministers are to effectively abandon their pledge to ring-fence NHS spending”.
9.53am: Andy Burnham this weekend repeated his plans to give health budgets to local authorities - while giving social care provision to healthcare providers - on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.
8.27am: Good morning, a study led by the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London has found variation in patient experience within trusts is significantly influenced by staff wellbeing at work and work experiences. On HSJ’s innovation channel Jill Maben writes that listening better to the experiences of staff, as well as patients and their relatives, is imperative for improving the patient experience.