4.06pm: “Regulator chiefs summoned to Number 10 over winter pressures” is currently our most commented upon story. Read it here or just enjoy this brief sample of reader views:
“This is about system leadership at a local level - CCGs and LAs need to get their heads out from where the sun don’t shine and work with providers to design a local system that will work. There is the authority to do this - but local leadership remains upward looking, terrified of the competition laws and mistrustful of providers.”
“The winter mess is a result of the mismanagement by Cameron & Co but make no mistake, Cameron and his supporters will use this as an excuse to fundamentally change the nature of the NHS so that the carpetbaggers get a foothold on the estate.”
4pm: New in our Opinion section today, HSJ editor Alastair McLellan says there are two kinds of performance problems large enough to set alarm bells ringing at national level and get newspaper leader writers dusting off their “NHS in crisis” clichés. Find out what they are here.
3.55pm: New on hsj.co.uk today, Claire Murdoch argues that hospitals dominate policymaking and media coverage of healthcare, while great developments in community and mental health services are going unnoticed.
3.33pm: As part of HSJ’s Innovation Week, there will be a live discussion with a panel of experts on what can be done to make innovation a priority within the NHS on Wednesday from 12.30pm. You can post your questions in the comments section ahead of the chat. Share the link on Twitter with the hashtag #HSJInnovators.
2.42pm: The news that the NHS has approached privateequity companies to take over support units that help buy billions of pounds of services for hospital and GPs has been attacked by the National Health Action Party as “like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank”.
Dr John Lister, NHA Party member and director of London Health Emergency added: “This is working through the real Health & Social Care Act, not the ridiculous, cosmetically enhanced version that was promoted by ministers to GPs (some of whom may even have believed they were going to be put in charge of commissioning), and the wider public.”
2.31pm: The NHS has been urged to place greater emphasis on supporting vulnerable groups during periods of moderately cold rather than freezing temperatures after a study suggested this is when services come under greatest strain. Public Health England has partially adapted this year’s Cold Weather Plan in line with the preliminary findings of a Department of Health-commissioned report.
2.26pm: Increasing numbers of accident and emergency patients are being treated outside the maximum four hour wait year on year over the past four summers, an HSJ analysis shows.
2.24pm: Further details have emerged of the independent inquiry into University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust’s maternity and neonatal services. Inquiry chair Bill Kirkup issued a statement on Friday saying he wanted the investigation to be transparent, with affected families encouraged to attend the hearings and interviews. Read Sophie Barnes’ story here.
12.22pm: The standards required by trusts to receive incentive payments designed to drive innovation were “probably set too low”, NHS England’s innovation chief said last week. Read James Illman’s report on hsj.co.uk here.
12.10pm: People are least likely to be in hospital at the end of their lives in Cambridge and most likely to die in hospital in Waltham Forest, north east London, Public Health England said. In Cambridge just 37.9 per cent of people died in hospital between 2009 and 2011, the PHE report on end of life care found.
11.57am: Cancer patients living in the most deprived parts of England are a third less likely to be alive five to 10 years after diagnosis than those in the most affluent areas. New figures from Macmillan Cancer Support and the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) show people in poorer areas are 33% less likely to survive.
10.40am: Taxpayers are being kept in the dark about a Department of Health decision to spend £250m on cancer treatment branded a “white elephant” by medical experts, writes the Express. A value-for-money study was ordered into the project to buy two Proton Beam Therapy machines at The Christie Hospital in Manchester and University College, London Hospital. However the 200-page business case for the machine, published last week, is heavily censored for “commercial confidentiality”.
10.15am: Still on the papers, a quickie from the Sundays. “GPs will be banned from using rip-off phone lines to handle appointments,” said the Sunday Mirror. It says “NHS bosses” have agreed to act against 0844 numbers after the Sunday Mirror revealed patients were being charged as much as £12 to make a call.
10.13am: Our mistake: the Mail has two obesity stories today. It’s a Super Size Me day, obviously. Here’s the other one: “Putting children to bed earlier may be a simple way to keep their weight down, research has shown. Childhood obesity is not only caused by fast food, sugary drinks and lack of exercise, the new findings suggest.”
10.05am: The Mail offers its usual daily helping of an overcooked obesity story. Today it’s: “We’re eating less but still getting fatter: couch potato lifestyle means Britons are still among most obese in Europe.” All you can eat, er, read, here.
10am: Also in the Independent: screening for a virus linked to cervical cancer can give up to 70 per cent better protection against the disease than conventional smear tests, according to a newly published study.
9.55am: Britain has been guilty of fuelling a “brain drain” of health workers from some of the world’s poorest countries that threatens to reverse gains in global disease control, a leading charity has warned. Rich countries collectively save billions of pounds every year by taking on doctors, nurses and midwives who were trained overseas, said a report by Health Poverty Action. See the Independent story here.
9.50am: Interesting lead story in the Guardian about female genital mutilation, not least for the 471 (and counting) reader comments, many accusing the Guardian itself of not having tackled the problem head on, using the phrase “African cultures” instead of “Islamic countries”, for example.
9.37am: Cancer patients in England are 33% less likely to be alivefive to 10 years after diagnosis if they are from the most deprived areas than the least, according to research by Macmillan Cancer Support and the National Cancer Intelligence Network. This research, being presented at the National Cancer Research Institute conference in Liverpool today, reveals for the very first time how the proportion of people living with and beyond cancer varies according to socio-economic deprivation.
9.20am: Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live, where you’ll find links not just to all the latest news and opinion on hsj.co.uk but to all the stories relating to Innovation Week. All this week, HSJ is celebrating innovation in the health service, and on Wednesday we will reveal the list of the 50 most innovative people in the sector.
And remember to keep a track on twitter with the hashtag #HSJinnovation. There will be new pieces every day by prominent healthcare figures, kicking off today with Helen Bevan. The chief transformation officer for NHS Horizons looks at how healthcare leaders can deliver better services using existing resources, by examining processes, services and strategies. Read it here.