HSJ live logo

HSJ live logo

4.52pm: Sean Worth, former Number 10 adviser, has a blog on NHS innovation and disruption on the Telegraph website.

4.17pm: Paul Jenkins, chief executive of the charity Rethink, tweets: “Mike Richards’ appointment as Chief Inspector of Hospitals reassures me abt role which could have been seen as knee jerk reaction to Francis”

2.34pm: We have published - and readers have made some interesting comments about - a CCG which has withdrawn from the communications support service provided by its NHS commissioning support service.

1.15pm:The DH has announced a new chairman of NHS Blood and Transport.

12.49pm: Virgin Care has responded to Monitor’s announcement it will review closures of primary care walk-in centres. Commissioners in Birmingham are currently considering proposals which could see some of its centres closed. A spokesman said: “We believe that our walk-in and urgent care centres play a vital role in the community, not only offering NHS patients convenient access to a GP or nurse when they need it from 8am to 8pm 365 days per year, but also helping to keep waiting times down

“Our centres score extremely highly in terms of patient satisfaction suggesting that they are highly valued while at the same time saving money for the NHS by offering services at less than half the cost of A&E.

“More than half of the patients who use our Birmingham urgent care centres said that they would have gone to A&E if our centres did not exist.”

12.42pm: Mike Birtwistle tweets: “Richards pioneered cancer peer review and use of detailed patient exp surveys - offers a clue as to how aggregate ratings will work”

12.24pm: Reacting to HSJ’s revelation, Neil Gadhok tweets: “Not quite sure what will happen to Liver Outcomes Strategy now Mike Richards is moving on. #NHS”

11.40am: Sir Mike Richards, the former national director for cancer, has been appointed to the major role of chief inspector of hospitals, we have revealed. The chief inpsector role has been set up in the Care Quality Commission to lead a new inspection regime, and improvements in patient safety.

10.40am: The Daily Telegraph reports on comments made by RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada, headlined “Doctors so overstretched they are dangerous, says leader”.

It quotes Dr Gerada  saying GPs were “unable to deliver safe, effective care”.

saying GPs were overloaded: “I’m sorry that we cannot deliver the sort of care that patients deserve and need. We are trying our best and we are working all hours but it is actually becoming unsafe for my profession to be seeing 60 or 70 patients a day.

“We have the lowest number per head of population of GPs that we have had in our history and we have a predominantly female workforce – which is fine but some women work part-time because they have babies.

“People want to be cared for and we should be caring for them, but because of the system difficulties we can’t care for them in the way they want.

“In primary care we have seen a doubling of the workload, an increase in complexity and my profession are now unable to deliver safe, effective care”

10.36am: We’ve published a story on Monitor’s launching of an investigation into walk in centres. It is an interesting development for primary care and the commissioning of it, and follows complaints from the NHS Partners Network, and Virgin Care, which runs some walk in centres.

9.47am: Official statistics for 2012-13 quarter four activity have been published. They suggest a decrease in admissions - an interesting development in the A&E pressure debate.

The statetement published by NHS England says: “From Q4 2011/12 to Q4 2012/13 the number of decisions to admit has decreased by 43,677 (-3.0% or 0.1% adjusted for working days) to 1.4 million, similarly the number of elective admissions from the list has increased by 46,218 (-3.5% or -0.4% adjusted for working days) to 1.3 million.

“From 2011/12 to 2012/13 the number of decisions to admit has increased by 93,820 (1.7% or 2.5% adjusted for working days) to 5.7 million, similarly the number of elective admissions from the list has increased by 68,753 (1.4% or 2.2% adjusted for working days) to 5.1 million.”

9.37am: Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, at his meeting of NHS staff over A&E problems yesterday, called forthe government to use £1bn funds from last year’s NHS underspend to support social care. It is unclear whether this indicates a suggestion of his own spending intentions for the NHS and social care.

The Press Association reports: During the summit, Mr Burnham called on the government to plough the money which the NHS “under spent” last year into local councils so they can provide better social care.

“Last year there was an under spend in the NHS of around £2 billion we are saying that the government should return around half of that to the Department of Health to take pressure off social care over the next two years,” he said.

“The collapse of social care in England is one of the principle reasons why the system is under such intense pressure and we want the government to take that matter more seriously.”

Experts have recently said that emergency care systems could collapse in six months as a result of rising demand.

Mr Burnham added: “We are aware that everybody is under pressure at the moment at every level of the system. It is not just hospitals, it is general practice, its social care provision, community services.

“The government have spent the last few weeks picking a fight with GPs and in doing so have lost precious time. They failed to face up to the fundamental causes of the pressures on A&E it is now imperative that they do so and develop a practical plan to take the pressure off hard-pressed staff.”

9.24am: Patrick Leahy tweets: “Lord Patel (crossbencher) has tabled an important amendment to the Care Bill to require LETBs to set in plans how they will support CPD”

9.23am: NHS England has published its regular update newsletter.

8.39am: There are more than 3m people volunteering in health and social care according to a recent King’s Fund report. There’s a need to develop more of this. Lay contributors and volunteers not only empower themselves, they bring unique insight, passion and commitment to the NHS, says Roz Davies.