Trust chairs believe there are other Mid Staffs-type failures and the rest of the today’s news

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4.57pm Following the study into quality ratings for hospital trusts that found that focusing on single organisational measures risks “leaving out what matters to patients with specific conditions”, Mike Birtwistle, managing director at MHP Health Mandate, has written an article explaining the consultancy’s model for a quality index rating based on trusts addressing local patients’ concerns.

He says: “Hospitals treat patients; trusting them to design their quality ratings could have many benefits.”

4.16pm The South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and West Yorkshire commissioning support units have merged, the NHS Commissioning Board has announced.

HSJ’s Briefing on commissioning support in January reported that the two organisations were sharing a single leader after former South Yorkshire managing director Ming Tang was appointed to the NHS Commissioning Board. The two CSUs were already sharing finance functions.

The commissioning board is also now listing Staffordshire and Lancashire CSUs as a single entity. Both have been sharing a leader for some months, and together form the first CSU operating across two distinct geographies.

It means there are now 19 CSUs across England.

4.13pm A former receptionist at a GP surgery in Southampton has been prosecuted by the Information Commissioner’s Office for unlawfully obtaining sensitive medical information relating to her ex-husband’s new wife.

Appearing at West Hampshire Magistrates today, Marcia Phillips was prosecuted under section 55 of the Data Protection Act and fined £750 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £400 prosecution costs.

Ms Phillips was found to have accessed the information on 15 separate occasions over a 16-month period while working as a receptionist at the Bath Lodge Practice.

4.05pm: Results of the 2012 Clinical Excellence Awards for doctors have been delayed.

The Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards has said it is “not yet in a position” to announce the results of the 2012 round of CEA applications in an update posted on the Department of Health’s website here.

It said it was hoping to write to successful candidates next week.

The 2012 round was delayed after the Government waited until May last year to give the go ahead for the scheme.

Clinical Excellence Awards allow doctors to earn between £2,950 up to £75,000 in bonuses, with the cost of awards split between local hospital trusts and the DH.

The total cost of the awards is estimated at around £200m a year but they have been criticised for not providing value for money.

A review of the CEAs by the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Body proposed changes to the awards including capping costs at £35,000 for local awards and £40,000 for national awards.

It also proposed new awards should be one-off lump sum payments while national awards should only be held for a maximum of five years.

3.09pm @HSJnews has tweeted this infographic on our survey of the hospital chairs on Francis report

1pm The Times has called for the government’s self-imposed prohibition on cutting the NHS budget to be removed “as part of a serious reappraisal of whether the health service is fit for the future it will face”.

The paper, in a lead article, urges care to be moved out of hospitals and adds: “The debate about the amount of money… is masking the fact that the real crisis in the NHS is not a crisis of funding. It is that there is no consensus for the necessary reform.”

12.35pm How should boards govern post-Francis? Join our Twitter chat on 13 March at 12pm on the findings from HSJ’s hospital chairs’ survey . #HSJchairs

11.40am The Royal College of Nursing has responded to the new Section 75 regulations laid in Parliament to clarify the role of competition in the health service.

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN said: “We are pleased to see that the government has listened to, and acted on, the widespread concerns over these regulations.

“It is extremely important that competition does not become a barrier to collaboration and integration. Clinical Commissioning Groups must be confident that they are able to make decisions based on quality of care and local needs without being forced into tendering processes.”

11.21am A large majority of provider chairs believe there are “a small number” of trusts failing in a similar way to Mid Staffordshire, an HSJ survey has found.

Of the 60 chairs who responded to the HSJ/Odgers Berndtson survey, 73.7 per cent said they believed there were “a small number” of organisations with the same scale or problems. Four per cent thought there were “many trusts” in that position. 

Only 5 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement “Mid Staffs was a one-off”. The remainder said they did not know.

It appears to echo a lack of confidence among executive provider leadership. In an HSJ Barometer survey of hospital chief executives last year, 44 per cent of respondents said they were “not confident” regulators would detect another care scandal.

The survey also revealed that most chairs back Francis’s recommended rules for board members. Read the entire story here.

10.49am The Daily Telegraph devotes a short space on its front page this morning to yesterday’s news that Dame Barbara Hakin has been made interim deputy chief executive of the NHS Commissioning Board.

“Manager of scandal hit hospital is promoted”, runs the headline. “Anger over new NHS deputy.”

Dame Barbara “has been accused of blocking an external review of mortality rates at United Lincolnshire  NHS trust, and effectively forcing the resignation of the hospital’s chief executive,” the Telegraph reports.

“She is understood to be facing a General Medical Council investigation into her conduct.”

10.40am Bill Morgan, the former adviser to Andrew Lansley, has been tweeting (@Billmorgan82) about the new competition regulations published yesterday. He comments: “@HSJEditor slightly bizarre declaratory provision at 15(2). Sets out a power monitor *does not* have. Bet lawyers were bemused by that.”

10.34am A study into quality ratings for hospital trusts has found that single organisational measures - which are being explored by the government - “run the risk of leaving out what matters to patients with specific conditions”.

MHP Health Mandate’s report, which has been published today, comes as a government commissioned review on the use of Ofsted-style aggregate quality ratings for NHS providers, by the Nuffield Trust, is due to report at the end of this month.

10.24am The Department of Health has amended key sections of controversial secondary legislation covering the contracting out of NHS services.

The original ‘section 75’ regulations, released last month, had prompted accusations that the government had reneged on its commitment to let commissioners decide whether or not services should be tendered.

10.09am The health and social care system is “struggling” to care properly for people with dementia, according to the Care Quality Commission.

A new CQC report, based on 20,000 inspections conducted in 2012, has found that in 78 out of 151 local health authorities in England people with dementia who lived in care homes were admitted to hospital for an avoidable reason “significantly more” than people without dementia. Once in hospital, patients with dementia are more likely to stay there longer, be readmitted or to die there.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society said: “Tolerating inaction on dementia care even a day longer is tantamount to playing Russian roulette with the lives of people with the condition. If we’re to avoid the next Mid-Staffs we need hospitals to commit to improve care now.”

Care services minister Norman Lamb told the BBC that there is “no excuse for delivering poor care.”

8.04am Good morning, today on HSJ, Georgina Owen looks at how the two new important forums, health and wellbeing boards and academic health science networks, will help each other to deliver their agendas.

The networks will be focused on driving collaboration regionally across health providers to achieve the aim of improving “patient and population health outcomes by translating research into practice and developing and implementing integrated healthcare systems.”