Robert Francis warns MPs of a lack of NHS accountability and the rest of today’s news

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4.34pm We have updated our story about the health secretary’s announcement of a review to try to reduce NHS bureaucracy. It includes coverage of his speech today on the matter.

3.13pm Read HSJ’s editor Alastair McLellan’s final verdict on the “disappointing” Francis report here.

2.48pm HSJ’s reporter Sarah Calkin is covering Jeremy’s Hunt’s speech at the Reform conference. Follow her on Twitter (@sjcalkin) to get all the latest updates.

2.40pm Five women from the world of health feature in the BBC Women’s Hour list of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, is in the top 10, occupying the sixth spot.

Other four to make it to the list are Clare Gerada MBE (Chair of the Royal College of GPs), Dame Julie Moore (Chief Executive of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust), Professor Dame Carol (Adviser on Health at Work and chair of Nuffield Trust) and Professor Sue Bailey (President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists).

2.03pm A lack of accountability in the NHS, from ward level through to the secretary of state, has been exposed by the report into care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, its author has told MPs. Robert Francis QC was questioned for over two hours about his 1,900 page report and its 290 recommendations by the Commons health committee.

See our first report on the hearing here.

12.47pm EXCLUSIVE: Sir David Nicholson will face questions from MPs in March about efforts to dismantle the National Programme for IT, HSJ has learned.

Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, said she would be asking him questions about the Department of Health deal to offer trusts extra funding if they buy CSC’s Lorenzo patient record system.

12.38pm The NHS in Sheffield is expected to agree a step-up in investment in community services and a new risk sharing deal as part of a citywide programme aimed at reforming urgent care. The Right First Time programme aims to address problems which have seen the city struggle to meet financial and accident and emergency waiting times requirements in recent years. It is the subject of an HSJ Local Briefing analysis published this week.

12.33pm BREAKING NEWS: Every potential student nurse or qualified healthcare worker entering training will in future be interviewed and tested to make sure they have the right values and skills to provide good care, HSJ reveals. Here’s more.

11.05am The Telegraph has also followed up yesterday’s announcement of plans to reform social care funding. Along with a news story quoting Andrew Dilnot saying the £75,000 cap on care costs is too high, columnist Philip Johnston asks: “Why is it the state’s job to pay for our care?

He writes: “Should someone’s house, usually their most valuable asset, be uniquely protected in this way? If a widow living alone in a £2 million home needs care then surely the accumulated equity should be used to pay for it. After all, the property will almost certainly have been purchased many years earlier at a fraction of its current value.”

10.50am A health minister has ruled out exempting private companies providing NHS services from paying corporation tax. Earl Howe gave his assurances following reports that the health service’s economic regulator, Monitor, was proposing to suggest that firms should receive tax breaks to level the playing field with NHS providers.

10.42am Guardian’s Polly Toynbee has criticised the government’s proposals for funding of long term social care. She says Jeremy Hunt’s attempt at reform fails both economically and politically and that the government “should have left this snake’s nest alone.”

10.25 am @ShaunLintern tweets: “I wish to see them (frontline staff) empowered to express a view and defending their position. #Francis”

10.20am Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is today expected to set out plans to cut “cumbersome bureaucracy” in the health service by a third. NHS staff believe red tape gets in the way of providing the care to patients, Mr Hunt is expected to tell the Reform conference on changes to the NHS.

10.07am The Daily Telegraph has picked up yesterday’s news that Sir Bruce Keogh is to examine another nine hospital trusts as part of his investigation into providers with high mortality rates.

They have calculated that the extra trusts could have caused up to 2,800 unnecessary deaths. “Taking into account the 3,000 excess deaths estimated at the five hospitals already under investigation, almost 6,000 patients may have died unnecessarily across the 14 trusts”, the Telegraph says.

Read HSJ’s account of this story here.

9.53am Robert Francis QC is appearing before MPs on the health select committee today at 9.30am. Follow our reporter ShaunLintern’s tweets (@ShaunLintern) for the latest updates.

7.30am Medically trained professionals account for just 5 per cent of CEOs in the NHS. A recent search for medically qualified chief executives, carried out by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and the NHS Leadership Academy, found just 13 individuals.

But Dr Chris Gordon, programme director for QIPP at the NHS Leadership Academy, says with the right guidance, training and career opportunities, doctors can rise to the top. He writes: “We need to build recognition of the physician leader as a desirable role model and generate a career pipeline that has opportunities for more doctors to apply for board level posts other than medical director.”