Has the government achieved what it set out to? plus the rest of the day’s news.
4.30pm The Health Foundation has responded to some of the lines in the UK Independence Party’s policy.
Under one of the party’s proposals, health regulators Monitor and the Care Quality Commission would be abolished and replaced by “county health boards”.
Richard Taunt, director of policy at the Health Foundation points out that the party had criticised “endless top-down reorganisations” while proposing the abolition of Monitor and the Care Quality Commission.
“It would be difficult to carry this out without what, in effect, would be a top-down reorganisation.
“The Health Foundation’s threetests for a crediblehealthpolicy highlights that no upheaval of administrative structures should be an election priority for politician.
“Further administrative structural change is likely to distract from the work needed to improve the quality of care and should be avoided at all costs.”
3.41pm. ‘Queues’ of clinical commissioning groups would have implemented controversial plans to curb access to services had a high profile attempt at rationing in Devon succeeded, a local commissioner has claimed.
David Jenner, chair of the eastern locality of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon CCG, said the group acted as “pit canary” for more radical NHS rationing, with CCGs around the country ready to follow suit if it had got its plans through.
In December NEW Devon announced plans to require obese patients to lose weight and smokers to stop smoking before they could have routine surgery.
3.22pm Monitor is giving foundation trusts extra time to finalise their financial plans following its publication of a new payments regime.
The regulator said in a letter to FTs last week that it was “extending the existing planning timetable” for full draft submissions from the 27 February to “early-mid April”.
“Foundation trusts will have to make plans on a changed basis, so will need additional time to reflect these changes in their planning process”, the letter from Jason Dorsett, Monitor’s reporting and risk director for finance states.
1.41pm Patients First Director Roger Kline is also sceptical about the UKP ‘licence to manage’ plan.
— roger kline (@rogerkline) February 23, 2015
1.36pm HSJ Senior correspondent David Williams has tweeted some concerns about UKIP’s proposal to force NHS managers to apply for a ‘licence to manage.’
— David Williams (@dwilliamsHSJ) February 23, 2015
1.16pm The health spokesperson for the UK Independence Party dedicated a big chunk in her big policy speech today on how the party would stop “outright wastage and bad management” in the NHS.
Louise Bours said that management failings had often led to “appalling scandals and cover ups” in some hospitals.
To help end bad management, her party would make NHS managers subject to “the same strict discipline” to which doctors are nurses are subject through their respective regulator bodies.
UKIP would introduce a “licence to manager” as a statutory requirement.
“Removal of this licence would prevent incompetent, negligent or bullying managers being ‘conveniently’ moved sideways or re-employed by the NHS as external consultants,” Ms Bours said.
12.42pm Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has been accused of misleading GPs and the public over whether patients in a community based dermatology service run by a private healthcare provider are always seen by specialist consultants.
Optum has admitted one incident where a doctor was incorrectly described as a consultant when they were not on the specialist register held by the General Medical Council.
It has also been forced to change its information for GPs and marketing leaflets.
12.28pm Here’s a round up of stories from today’sTimes. The paper also reports on the research by eating disorder charity Beat by pulling out figures claiming that anorexia and binge eating cost Britain more than £15bn a year.
The conditions, which affect up to 725,000 nationwide, cost the NHS up to £4.6bn a year, while the burden on sufferers and their carers is up to £3.1bn, the research says.
PricewaterhouseCoopers and Beat, the eating disorder charity, estimate the economy loses up to £8bn a year through loss of earnings.
Also in The Times, health experts and women’s rights groups have urged MP to oppose moves to tighten laws against abortions on the ground of gender, warning it could endanger women.
The proposed amendment to the Serious Crime Bill on sex selective abortion, which is due to be debated today, would make it clear that conducting an abortion on the ground of sex was illegal.
Critics say it is unnecessary because abortion on the sole basis of foetal sex is already not permissible.
In a letter to the Times whose signatories include David Richmond, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and Louise Silverton, the director of midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, the experts argue that changing the law could force parents who did not want a child with a sex specific genetic disease to continue with their pregnancy.
The Times also reports on the Scottish nurse who was diagnosed with ebola after returning from Sierra Leone.
It says she faces disciplinary action over claims she hid early signs of her illness.
Four colleagues – two nurses and two doctors – are also under investigation after Public Health England gave information to disciplinary bodies.
12.16pm The chief executive of South Tyneside Foundation Trust is to retire after 18 years in the role, HSJ can reveal.
Lorraine Lambert is due to step down from her position in September.
The search for a new chief executive “will begin
12.10pm Further details of UKIP’s health policy are available from this ITV report.
In addition to the pledge of an extra £3bn, the party would spend £650m on dementia research over the lifetime of the parliament- double that pledged by the prime minister.
The Care Quality Commission watchdog would be abolished and responsibility for hospital inspections passed to local health boards.
These would be encouraged to take evidence from whistle-blowers and patients with grievances.
In what ITV describes as a “populist move”, Ukip has promised to abolish hospital car parking charges - a move that would cost £200 million a year which it would cover by tackling “health tourism” which, it estimates, costs up to £2 billion.
11.52am Breaking: UKIP has launched its health policy, according to the ITV’s health editor Rachael Younger.
UKIP launching health policy with promise of extra £3bn for NHS, end of ‘health tourism’ + no hospital parking charges 4 patients+families
— rachel younger (@rachyoungeritv) February 23, 2015
More to follow…
11.39am In case you missed it: we’ve an exclusive interview with former NHS chief executive Lord Crisp who is heading up a new inquiry into the sector.
Increased funding and more beds may not be the solution to capacity pressures in mental health services, he told HSJ
Lord Crisp, who is also a former permanent secretary of the Department of Health, is leading the Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
He said that solutions to capacity pressures in mental health would vary and involve a range of factors.
The inquiry will “try and understand the dynamic and what seems to be the right mix”, he added.
“I have heard an awful lot of comment about pressure on beds from staff and from patients, but what I am not hearing is people making the comment they just need more beds. It’s about how those beds are used and how they fit into everything else,” Lord Crisp said.
11.06am The Daily Mail reports that sick patients are being forced to wait up to four weeks for a GP appointment at a surgery where each doctor can see 100 patients a day.
Chronic health conditions, an ageing population and problems recruiting doctors are pushing services to breaking point at the Crown Street Surgery in Swinton, near Rotherham.
Its waiting list for non-urgent appointments is thought to be the longest in the country.
10.59am The Daily Telegraph reports that four out of ten people suffering from eating disorders have to wait six months or more for treatment, according to a survey.
The majority of those who develop the condition are teenage girls and the delay in having treatment contributes to them becoming “trapped in a repeated cycle” of illness.
A report commissioned by Beat, an eating disorder charity, found 41 per cent of those surveyed had waited more than six months for specialist treatment and 19 per cent had waited more than a year.
10.58am Much media has covered a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission today that found hundreds of deaths in psychiatric units, prisons and police cells were caused by repeated ‘basic errors’.
The Independent report quotes the report as saying that “serious mistakes have gone on for far too long”
Between 2010 and 2013, 367 adults with mental health conditions died of “natural causes” in detention in psychiatric wards
10.27am Here’s one of today’s stories from our newsdesk: one of the NHS technology community’s leading experts is building a new system to integrate the health service’s myriad patient record systems, and he plans to give it to the NHS for free.
The highly ambitious project is in its early stages but NHS IT experts believe it has the potential to be one of the single biggest developments in the field this decade.
It is being led by David Stables, a founder of the GP records system giant EMIS, who retired in 2013.
The highly regarded industry figure is funding the Endeavour Health Charitable Trust – established to build the system as well as other projects – with an endowment worth several million pounds.
7.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live. Following a £250m cash injection into the health service last year to tackle lengthening waiting times, has the government achieved what it set out to? James Thompson, senior research analyst, health policy, for The King’s Fund asks the questions.