NHS England given permission to use patient data, how the ‘NHS defeated Thatcher’ and the rest of today’s news

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HSJ live logo

4.28pm: HSJ reporter Shaun Lintern tweets:

3.18pm: NHS England has confirmed that the quality, innovation, productivity and prevention savings programme will continue into the next comprehensive spending review period, pledged to set out how major service reconfigurations should be carried out.

The commitments are made in the organisation’s business plan for the next three financial years, published this week ahead of its April meeting.

The plan, which sets out NHS England’s programme of work to 2015-16 says: “We will develop and oversee a framework for major service reconfiguration that will set out the roles, responsibilities and interfaces between the different organisations across the health and care system.” Part of this work will be to ensure there is “full clinical input”.

It also pledges to focus on the development of primary care “in the light of changing populations and medical models of delivery.”

11:54am: Children’s heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary was halted because of poor data showing unusually high death rates which were submitted by the hospital itself, Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, has said.

NHS England decided yesterday that operations could resume at the centre, 11 days after they were stopped amid fears that twice as many babies and children died at the unit compared with specialist facilities elsewhere in the country.

Sir Bruce said that such drastic action was needed given the recent scandals at Stafford Hospital and in Bristol, which had occurred while doctors and managers “prevaricated” over what data meant.

11.06am: The Health and Social Care Information Centre has announced the appointment of its board today. Chaired on an interim basis by Candy Morris, the board includes five executive directors and the following non-executive membership:

  • Sir Nick Partridge, who has worked for the Terrence Higgins Trust since 1985 and was appointed its chief executive in 1991. He has been a consistent voice in media coverage of AIDS and sexual health for almost 30 years, from health promotion, social care and advocacy to research and treatment.
  • Sir Ian Andrews, who is also chair of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).With more than 30 years’ experience working for Defence and the armed forces; Sir Ian served as Second Permanent Under Secretary of the MOD from 2002 to 2008.
  • Tony Allen, who is also chair of The Chislehurst Society and of the Finance Committee of Wigmore Hall. Previously he was lead partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for services to the NHS and the Department of Health.
  • Lucinda Bolton, a former executive director of an investment bank who has held a number of public and voluntary sector non-executive directorships. Previously she was chair of Hammersmith and Fulham PCT and chair of Riverside Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
  • Professor Michael Pearson, an honorary professor of clinical evaluation at The University of Liverpool and Hon Consultant Physician at University Hospital Aintree. He is a trustee director of the Respiratory Education Training Centre and also Lung Health, a company set up to develop patient-focussed software for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease care.

HSCIC interim chief executive Alan Perkins said: “I am delighted to announce our board membership, who together will provide invaluable expertise to the organisation as it strives to meet the information needs of this new and challenging health and care landscape, while keeping the interests of patients and the public at the heart of all activity.”

10.16am: Michael White has analysed Margaret Thatcher’s impact on the NHS in his column ‘The NHS defeated Thatcher’ for HSJ.

He writes: “What a well-timed irony that Margaret Thatcher should die in the very week that the creative disorder of markets − that’s how she would have seen it − was finally imposed upon the NHS in ways she had tried and failed to achieve during her 11-year rule. The NHS defeated Thatcher but Thatcherism is still challenging history’s verdict.”

9.46am: The Times has a news in brief item on page 33 about the restarting of child heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.

A statement from NHS England said: “the review [which saw the decision to restart taken] found that the trust’s data for monitoring surgical results was uniquely poor”.

9.40am BREAKING: NHS England has been granted temporary permission to use sensitive patient information, after being forced to make an urgent application for a special legal exemption, HSJ has learned.

The organisation needed the exemption to allow it to handle patient identifiable data, after discovering that permissions that applied to the old commissioning system were not transferring to the new one. Read the entire story here.

8.15am: Good morning, the “Darzi” Fellowship launched four years ago to provide hospital registrars with postgraduate training in clinical leadership, today, it has a different focus − developing a new breed of primary care “agents provocateurs” to drive forward clinical commissioning writes Varya Shaw on our leadership channel.