The government has been heavily trailing its proposed legislation on social care reform and integration, the latest on the NHS 111 developments, and the rest of today’s news.
5.49pm Clinical commissioning groups will be rated four times a year on their performance and annually on their organisational capability, under a draft assurance regime to be published today, reveals HSJ’s Dave West.
4.47pm An acute provider and a community health trust are likely to compete to be the lead provider of services for the frail elderly under planned changes to contracting in Oxfordshire, HSJ’s commissioning reporter David Williams reveals.
HSJ’s latest Local Briefing examines plans to introduce “outcomes-based commissioning” in the county for frail elderly, adult mental health and maternity services.
Although plans are still at an early stage, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has outlined plans to enter into “competitive dialogue” to find either a lead contractor or a “specialist integrator” for frail elderly services.
One well placed source in the area told HSJ they expected Oxford University Hospitals Trust and Oxford Health Foundation Trust to compete for the contract.
3.45pm Now this is potentially interesting…Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has announced plans to offer patients with lung disease a special test that is required by their insurers before they can travel by air.
Until recently the test, which determines whether or not a patient might require oxygen while on an aeroplane, was paid for by commissioners.
Patients were sent to either Leicester or Papworth for their test. However, since new commissioning arrangements came into operation in April, this test is no longer provided free on the NHS.
HJS editor Alastair McLellan tweets: ”Is this the first example of a CCG requiring NHS patients to pay for something that was previously free?”
Please tweet your thoughts to @HSJnews
2.25pm Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers, has called for a cultural change in the NHS. “We must act swiftly to encourage a positive whistleblowing environment,” he says.
2.15pm A report to inform policy makers and clinicians on improving the management of hepatitis C has been published by a consortium comprising The Hepatitis C Trust, British Liver Trust, and the European Liver Patients Association.
2.14pm Foundation Trust Network chief Chris Hopson says Accident & Emergency services “need a sticking plaster as well as an overhaul”. Read his thoughts on the A&E issue here.
2.12pm Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of NHS England has appointed two national clinical directors both are whom are senior consultants at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation, the trust has announced.
Professor Jonathan Benger has been made National Clinical Director for Urgent Care and Dr Jacqueline Cornish has been made National Clinical Director for Children, Young People and Transition to Adulthood.
12.24pm The Department of Health has published a Guide to the Healthcare System in England.
12.08pm Commissioners have hit back at criticism over failure of NHS 111 in some parts of the country.
Mike Dixon, interim president of NHS Clinical Commissioners, said NHS England interim chief operating officer and deputy chief executive Dame Barbara Hakin’s criticism of the role played by CCGs in the debacle as a “bit rich”.
He said: “The problems were with the primary care trusts and it wasn’t altogether their fault; they were faced with a national specification, there wasn’t proper negotiation with CCGs and the feedback from the pilots [of NHS 111] wasn’t properly listened to. It was a car crash waiting to happen.”
11.34am Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has written a piece for ConservativeHome in which he cites rising demand and decisions taken by the last Labour government for the performance issues current engulfing NHS accident and emergency services.
He writes: “Anyone who has been to an A&E department in recent weeks will know that they are under pressure. A million more people a year are going through the doors compared with Labour’s last year in office.
“Some of the root causes stem from decisions we inherited, like the changes to the GP contract in 2004 which led to a decline in the quality and availability of out of hours care.”
11.12am Leading health policy expert Andy Cowper has recently joined HSJ as our comment editor. In his first piece in this post, he argues HSJ has a duty to scrutinise and challenge NHS leaders as we go through the latest round of reforms. Read Andy’s thoughts here.
11.03am Trusts involved in a controversial pathology services reconfiguration are to consult staff on the changes later this month, amid union claims that major logistical issues surrounding the project remain unresolved, reports HSJ’s James Illman.
11.00am Campaigners who have accused Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Trust of covering up its death rates, a charge it denies, are meeting NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh’s mortality rates review team today, reports the BBC.
About 200 families have taken legal action against the hospital to date.
10.50am The Guardian carries a report on the release of Health and Safety Executive documents revealing which hospitals and firms have lost nuclear material.
The paper said the Royal Free London Foundation Trust had “lost caesium-137 – used in cancer treatment –which a report into the incident accepted had ‘the potential to cause significant radiation injuries to anyone handling [it] directly or being in the proximity for a short time.”
10.38am Problems with the NHS 111 received substantial coverage by national media this weekend.
The Daily Mail reported that a man died of heart attack after 111 staff failed to spot emergency meaning ambulance took three hours to come.
Shadow minister for Public Health Diane Abbott MP told the BBC that “patients are losing faith and going straight to A&E”
The stories follow the subject being discussed by the NHS England board on Friday. Here is a few of the highlights as live tweeted by HSJ reporter Sarah Calkin.
10.26am NHS England chief nursing office Jane Cummings told the BBC4 Today programme NHS 111 service has made “significant improvements” since its poor performance during the Easter weekend when the service was launched.
10.20am Care and support minister, Norman Lamb, has announced legislation will be introduced to give the Care Quality Commission powers to oversee the financial stability of the largest and most difficult to replace care providers.
Mr Lamb said: “Everyone who receives care and support wants to know they will be protected if the company in charge of their care goes bust.
“The fear and upset that the Southern Cross collapse caused to care home residents and families was unacceptable. This early warning system will bring reassurance to people in care and will allow action to be taken to ensure care continues if a provider fails.”
10.16am The Guardian reports Heather Wheeler, a member of the Conservative 1922 backbench committee and chair of the all-party group on local government, has called on the government to hand at least £2bn of the NHS budget to fund social care for older people,
The Financial Times’ story in yesterday’s paper on the forthcoming Queen’s Speech leads on reports that care homes will “face prosecution if they fail to report concerns their staff are mistreating patients”.
The paper states: “Senior coalition officials have told the Financial Times that the law would force care managers to tell regulators if they believed any of their staff might be guilty of neglecting or deliberately harming a patient.”
Raiding the NHS budget to fund social care is not a new idea.
The chancellor outlined plans in October 2010 to transfer nearly £4bn of health service funding to social care by 2014-15, as reported by HSJ.
Some £800m was transferred from the Department of Health capital budget to the social care’s revenue budget in 2011-12. This increased to £900m the following year; £1.1bn being spent in 2013-14 and £1bn in 2014-15.
9.30am: The government has been heavily trailing its proposed legislation on social care reform and integration, the latest on the NHS 111 developments, and the rest of today’s news.