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5.21pm The Royal College of Midwives has released a statement on the South West Pay Cartel’s Terms and Conditions Consortium assessment and recommendations about pay, terms and conditions in the NHS.

See full statement attached in bar on right hand side of this page.

5.15pm UKIP has written to Jeremy Hunt calling for Sir David to go.

Stephanie McWilliam, UKIP Health Spokesman, writes: “Given that the role of leadership is to inspire, it can be seen that Sir David Nicholson lacks both ability and public confidence in his ability to provide leadership anywhere within healthcare in the UK and should resign, and if not we call for his dismissal.”

See full letter attached n bar on right hand side of this page.

2.58pm More people than ever before could benefit from personal health budgets under new plans, care and support minister, Norman Lamb.

A consultation, launched today, will gather views on how personal health budgets should be rolled out across the country. See more information here

2.23pm The Spectator carries comment piece saying Nicholson must go. Read it here

1.05pm NHS Partners Network has responded to recent comments about section 75 regulations.

David Worskett, chief executive of the NHS Partners Network, said: “”The regulations as drafted are consistent with overall governing procurement and competition law.

“Watering them down can only create ambiguity and leave patients, taxpayers, commissioners and providers in a worse position. The government must stand firm and we will be urging Ministers to do so.”

12.58am A NHS Commissioning Board target for all hospitals to have electronic patient record systems by 2014 has been watered down, the director overseeing the work tells HSJ.

The board’s director for patients and information Tim Kelsey has admitted the target, which was derived from its 2013-14 planning guidance, would be “literally physically impossible” for some trusts.

11.21am HSJ reporter Sarah Calkin @sjcalkin tweets: “More than 20 comments on the NHS 111 roll out story, and none of them very upbeat”

The story, NHS 111 yet to go live in two out of three sites, is now free for registered users, so sign up to the free registration and you can join the debate.

10.56am The Financial Times takes the view that Monitor’s decision to place Mid Staffordshire FT in administration “piles further pressure on Sir David Nicholson”.  

10.49am HSJ exclusive: Government defends competition rules in letter to Parliament.

Lord Howe has written to Parliament playing down the effect of new competition rules, in an attempt to stave off political opposition, HSJ has learned.

10.24am A very significant day for Sir David Nicholson as Fleet Street piles the pressure on the embattled NHS chief executive to quit.

An editorial in The Times – renowned as the paper of The Establishment –  is titled: “Hospital Pass: After Mid Staffs, the NHS suffers by Sir David Nicholson remaining in his post”.  

It says: “Scandals are what happens when scandalous behaviour comes to light. When an organisation becomes embroiled in one, the important thing is that responsibility is taken and seen to be taken. In the case [of Mid Staffs], this has not yet fully occurred.

“With the stated backing of David Cameron and Labour spokesmen, Sir David will be staying in his post.

“This cannot be right…surely the top line of [the Francis Report] should have been that when a hospital fails so completely, the person at the top cannot hope to stay in place.”

The Daily Telegraph also uses its editorial to rachet up the pressure on Sir David.

It says: “The NHS closes ranks: Three weeks after the Francis report, is no one to be held accountable for what happened at Mid Staffs?

In reference to the NHS Commissioning Board’s decision to publically back Sir David at yesterday’s board meeting, it says:  “Rather than confront the issue, the NHS hierarchy chose to close ranks.

“Is no one to be held accountable for what happened?”

8.12am: 72 per cent of people think that the long-term care system is “out of date and requires an overhaul to ensure it is fit for purpose” according to an online survey. In November, 2,008 people responded to the survey commissioned by Assisted Living Innovation Platform at the Technology Strategy Board. We need to kick-start a radical rethink of the current model of long-term care to create a new and desirable alternative they write.