Leading cardiac surgeon and president of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has been appointed as the Department of Health's medical director, HSJ has learnt.

The government has announced it will begin using payment by results to drive choice. The system, which was designed to standardise the cost of medical treatment, will set the price paid to acute trusts for hospital and home births at the same level from April next year.

Trusts have been urged not to settle back pay claims from women who claim they were unfairly treated before the introduction of Agenda for Change.


Simon Stevens explains how junior doctors have in some respects been their own worst enemy.

Ian Gilmore and Anthony Harrison discuss whether more care at home and new 'polyclinics' will spell the end of district general hospitals.


Daloni Carlisle reports on how the chief executives of a primary care trust and its main acute provider spent an exceptional week in each other's roles.

Paul Hopley and colleagues argue that allowing the third sector a greater input in shaping local services can make for better results.

Louise Hunt reports on a new initiative that is encouraging medics to embrace management.