- Regulator chiefs summoned to No 10
- Doctors’ training shake up recommended
- Carter laments slow pace of pathology reform.
5.59pm A report by the World Health Organisation warns that youth unemployment in the UK is a “public health time bomb waiting to explode”.
5.30pm Writing in HSJ’s sister-title Nursing Times, ahead of its annual awards ceremony tonight, Prince Charles praises the “exceptional care” provided by nurses in the UK.
“We must celebrate the fact that thousands of our nurses understand the value of the human touch,” he says.
5.05pm Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has agreed to legally binding undertakings, following an investigation by Monitor that found meet several targets, including reducing the number of cases of the superbug C. Difficile. Monitor suspects the trust breached its licence to provide NHS funded services.
Robert Davidson, Regional Director at Monitor, said: “Our investigation has highlighted a number of concerns, including how the trust is run in some areas. Patients at Aintree will expect improvement to be made quickly, and that’s why we’ve secured a set of actions – which the trust is legally bound to carry out.
“We will continue to monitor the trust to ensure it makes the changes it has promised.”
Aintree is one of seven NHS trusts found to have a higher than expected death rates for patients who die in hospital or within 30 days of discharge. Read our full story here.
4.10pm The NHS cannot afford to continue providing all services for free, the former head of Marie Curie Cancer Care tells the BBC.
Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett says the NHS should be seen like a garage, which charges for “extras”.
People “need a sat-nav” to “steer them away from the NHS when they don’t need it” and instead towards community support centres or chemists, he adds.
3.29pm In his new blog, waiting times expert Rob Finlay writes that the Care Quality Commission and Monitor are marking down hospitals that treat their long waiting patients, which has made it more difficult for them to clear backlogs and shorten waiting times.
“The CQC and Monitor are both powerful bodies that can, if they wield their power clumsily, inflict serious damage on management practices in the hospitals they oversee,” he says.
2.45pm Competition lawyer Christopher Hutton writes in the The Guardian that the Competition Commission blocking a merger between the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals NHS foundation trust and Poole hospital NHS foundation trust.
“There is a danger of reading too much into the CC’s decision, and trusts should not see it as a signal that it is difficult to get clearance,” he says.
2.25pm The downgrading of A&E units in North West London has been attacked by Unite.
The trade union’s head of health Rachael Maskell said: “With A&Es coming under increasing strain and the winter looming, people will be deeply concerned by this move.”
She added: “While the departments at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals may well continue for the foreseeable future; Hunt’s track record since becoming health secretary in 2012 does not engender confidence that this is any more than a reprieve.”
1.30pm Read the full Independent Reconfiguration Panel report recommending a major reconfiguration of accident and emergency services in North West London here. Jeremy Hunt today accepted its findings, though he told parliament: “A&Es would remain at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals but possibly in a different shape and size”.
1.15pm Jeremy Hunt’s announcement in parliament outlines that nine hospitals across North West London will be reconfigured. Hunt says the A&E departments at Ealing and Charing Cross hospitals will remain open, though there will be changes to their services.
The health secretary says the changes have the unanimous support of local medical directors, who have written to him saying they “save many lives each year and significantly improve patient’s care and experience of the NHS”. Read our full story here.
1.09pm Regarding Lewisham, Hunt says “I had a different interpretation to the courts” but he accepts the court as the “final arbitrator of what the law means”.
1.00pm Jeremy Hunt says: “We are in a better place today than we were when the previous government was dealing with reconfiguration.”
12.50pm Lewisham MP Joan Ruddock tells Jeremy Hunt in parliament to “leave Lewisham Hospital alone”. A judge yesterday rejected the Department of Health’s appeal against a judicial review decision that halted the downgrade of Lewisham Hospital.
12.45pm Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham questions why the government would close hospitals “in the middle of an A&E crisis”. Burnham says Hunt’s “humilation in court” over the Lewisham Hospital appeal raises serious questions over his judgement.
12.40pm Watch Jeremy Hunt’s announcement to approve NW London reconfiguration plans now: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=13972. Hunt says: “There is a very high level of clinical support for these changes” across North West London. “I will not duck a difficult decision,” he adds.
12.32pm Michael White welcomes the appointment of New Labour reformer Simon Stevens as NHS England chief executive. White initially thought it “might send an alarming signal to battered health professionals” but “I hadn’t realised what high personal esteem his Balliol-trained brains and extensive experience command within the system,” he writes.
12.16pm A Monitor investigation into the commissioning of specialised cancer surgery services in Greater Manchester, which launched in August, will look at whether NHS England and local providers broke NHS rules.
The investigation follows complaints made by the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and Stockport NHS Foundation Trust that NHS England did not select providers for cancer services on the basis of patient outcomes and preferences or on the quality of services.
Catherine Davies, Director of Co-operation and Competition said: “We are today publishing a statement of issues that provides an update on our investigation so far, and welcome views from interested parties and others about our proposed way forward.”
11.17am BREAKING: Jeremy Hunt is today expected to approve the biggest reconfiguration in the NHS. He is expected to announce it in parliament at 12.40.
11.15am A judge has rejected the Department of Health’s appeal against a judicial review decision that halted the downgrade of Lewisham Hospital. Read our full story here.
11.01am The General Medical Council has concluded there is no realistic prospect of proving allegations Dame Barbara Hakin bullied former hospital chief executive Gary Walker due to a lack of convincing evidence. Read the GMC’s decision in full.
10.53am Seven NHS trusts have higher than expected death rates for patients who die in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, according to new data
Three of the trusts have had higher than expected rates for the last two years, according to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Find out the identity of the trusts in HSJ’s story.
10.43am Doctors’ training must change to meet the needs of an ageing population, according to a major review.
The Shape of Training report for the UK said doctors have to care for many more patients with chronic illnesses who often have several health problems at once.
10.40am HSJ has also reported growing evidence of what acute sector chiefs say is a culture of micro-management relating to winter pressures affecting hospitals. The chief executives of the three major health regulators have been summoned by the prime minister to discuss the pressures the service is likely to come under this winter, HSJ has discovered.
10.29am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. HSJ has interviewed Lord Carter the author of an influential review of pathology services, which recommended services were grouped into networks. Speaking ahead of before the Office of Fair Trading unveils its verdicts on the legality of two proposed reconfigurations, Lord Carter told HSJ he was “disappointed” the slow pace of reform in the sector. Read our full article here.