Jeremy Hunt indicates a future Conservative government would meet the £8bn called for by the NHS Five Year Forward View, plus the rest of today’s news and comment
4.30pm The results of the Neonatal Survey 2014 have shown that less than half of respondents are able to speak to a doctor as much as they wanted to.
According to the survey by Picker Institute Europe, only 45 per cent said they were able to speak to a doctor as much as they wanted.
Despite these concerns with doctor-parent communication, this does not seem to have affected faith in either the care available, or teams’ delivering it in general.
The survey reveals a high level of parent trust and confidence in the care teams caring for their babies, with 87 per cent of respondents stating that they “always or nearly always” had confidence and trust in the staff caring for their baby. Seventy nine per cent of parents also stated that they were both “always” able to talk to staff if they had worries and concerns, and “always” received information about their baby’s treatment in a way they could understand.
2.47pm The clinical commissioning groups taking on full control of GP services in their area this week will be responsible for performance managing poor practices and approving practice mergers, according to documents seen by HSJ.
However, NHS England will continue to have responsibility for complaints management, according to the delegation agreement it sent to CCGs and seen by HSJ. This comes in spite of guidelines issued by NHS England last year stating that this responsibility would be passed onto CCGs.
2.46pm Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has indicated the Conservatives would meet the NHS’s funding requirements, but declined to specifically say they would increase spending by the £8bn sum identified by national officials.
Senior figures said following the publication of the NHS Five Year Forward View in the autumn that, even if they made the greatest productivity impovements they thought possible, the NHS would be £8bn short of the funding it needs by 2021. They said closing the remaining gap would require real terms growth in NHS funding worth 1.5 per cent a year over the course of the next parliament.
12.56pm Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that all babies in the UK will soon be vaccinated against meningitis B, The Guardian reports (paper only).
Mr Hunt said Britain would become the first country with a nationwide meningitis B vaccination programme after the government reached an agreement with drug giant GlaxoSmithKline.
The paper reports that the decision follows controversy over the Bexsero MenB vaccines after it emerged that it was still not available to children despite being recommended by health advisers a year ago.
12.38pm NHS England plans to cut jobs and close offices in its primary care support services just weeks before it plans to announce the winning bidder of a £1bn contract to take over the function.
The rationalisation process could lead to over 300 voluntary and compulsory redundancies, from a total workforce of around 1,800. Nine offices running the services are to be closed under the proposals.
11.06am A national framework for the training and development of general managers within the NHS should be set up to support them in their role and ensure all are working to the same standards, a new guide published by HSJ, Nursing Times and NHS Improving Quality reveals.
Such a framework “will ensure managers nationally are held to the same standards, which in turn will lead to a national reduction in over controlling leadership practices”, guide contributors said.
The free interactive guide - published today - sets out how to drive effective change in the NHS and has been entirely curated from suggestions offered by the public as part of the Challenge Top-down Change campaign.
10.26am The Daily Telegraph (newspaper only) reports that patients with dementia are being condemned to needlessly long stays in hospital because of a shortage of care to help them at home, a charity has warned.
Research shows that in the past financial year, people with the condition spent more than three million days in hospital - with average stay in some hospitals three times as long as in others.
The Alzheimer’s Society said dementia sufferers were being forced to endure long stays in frightening and unfamiliar hospital surroundings for want of support at home.
10.17am Hospital staff who take their uniforms home to wash may not be using water that is hot enough to kill off certain bacteria, a study has found.
The Times reports that nurses and other healthcare workers could be inadvertently spreading hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA, according to researchers from De Montfort University in Leicester, who are calling for national guidelines on leaning uniforms and recommend that washing be moved back in-house.
10.15am The Times reports that vulnerable children with mental health problems are being forced to wait for up to three and a half years for assessment, revealing a system that is “creaking at the seams”.
The number of referrals to child and adolescent mental health services increased by more than six per cent between 2013 and last year, according to data from 26 mental health trusts, which also showed that children were being sent hundreds of miles from home owing to a lack of hospital beds.
10.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. In case you missed it yesterday, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has indicated a future Conservative government would meet the NHS’s £8bn spending requirement, while also stating the need “might be [for] more than £8bn, it might be less”.
The figure was stated by national NHS leaders in the autumn as the increase required in annual spending on the service by 2020, if it can also make large efficiency savings.
He said in a Sunday Times interview: “At the last election we were the only party that promised to protect the NHS budget. We didn’t just protect it, we increased it.
“We said to Simon Stevens, ‘How much do you need for your plan next year, the first year of your five-year plan?’ He said ‘£1.7bn’, and we actually found him £2bn.
“We’re now doing the work as to what the efficiency savings are. The gap might be more than £8bn, it might be less.
“That will all be settled in the summer when we do the spending-round discussions. We will continue to spend more in real terms year in, year out.”