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16.38pm: The BBC reports 530 GP surgeries are still using expensive 084-prefix phone numbers.

16.30pm: Trusts that were inspected by Sir Bruce Keogh’s teams over high mortality indicator rates are to be “buddied” with more successful trusts.

The HSJ’s Sarah Calkin reports on the move here.

16.11pm: Chair of the BMA UK Consultants Committee Dr Paul Flynn said: “In the coming months we will work with NHS employers to address issues such as  job planning, working hours, pay and professional development.

“The feedback we received from consultants both in the survey and at regional meetings was that they want a fairer and more transparent system of pay and rewards, one which recognises the anti-social, emergency and out of hours work they do.”

Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “The NHS and its patients urgently need the consultants contract to be modernised, so we are extremely pleased that the BMA wants to negotiate changes. This is a once-in-a generation opportunity to help reshape the way the NHS delivers care.

“These negotiations won’t be easy. The BMA is a powerful trade union but they will help set the scene for doctors to take a leading role in transforming working patterns in the NHS.”

15.01pm: Further to last update, the decision means NHS Employers and the BMA can begin talks on changing the contract to allow greater seven day working by consultants and to deal with growing pressures on the consultant workforce.

An agreement has already been reached between NHS Employers and the BMA to begin negotiations over changing the junior doctors’ contract.

Our last story on this subject here.

14.57pm: HSJ’s Shaun Lintern reports that the British Medical Association’s consultants committee has voted to go ahead with negotiations on consultant contracts. More details in a minute.

14.43pm: Our story on a group of Staffordshire CCGs setting up 10 year integrated contracts for cancer and end of life care has provoked some interesting debate on Twitter, with leading figures at the King’s Fund openly questioning whether the scheme is a good idea.

Yesterday evening Nigel Edwards, senior fellow at the King’s Fund, described the innovation as “a carve-out”, and asked: “why does this not create two contractual silos?”

Richard Humphries, the think tank’s assistant director of policy, added: “I too didn’t understand what was integrated about this”.

When another Twitter user cited the health management aphorism that “your integration is my fragmentation”, Mr Edwards added: “You beat me to it – I have made the same comment to the Staffs people.”

King’s Fund chief executive Chris Ham added that the creation of vertical silos around clinical specialisms “would be the wrong kind of integration.”

13.13pm: Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb has told the party’s conference the government will order new standards to improve crisis care for mental health patients.

12.59pm: A financial story, HSJ research reveals the commissioning groups planning significant underspends this financial year.

12.32pm: In better NHS IT news, remember the ‘£1bn’ IT fund announced by Hunt recently? HSJ has a free briefing on how to get the most from it here.

12.30pm: HSJ’s IT expert James Illman reports on the DH’s failed attempt to tempt trusts into adopting the Lorenzo system.

12.24pm: HSJ’s editor Alastair Mclellan reflects on seven-day working in his leader here. Seven-day working is one of the key themes NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh will address in his forthcoming review of urgent and emergency care. Sir Bruce gave some hints about his thinking earlier this month.

10.51am: There has been a sharp decline in the confidence finance directors have in their savings plans, a King’s Fund report shows.

Only one in ten of the finance directors interviewed by the King’s Fund thought the NHS has a 50:50 or better chance of hittings its £20bn savings target by 2015.

10.39am: Busy board meeting of the Care Quality Commission, being covered by the HSJ’s Sarah Calkin on Twitter.

Quick summary:

James Titcombe has been appointed as “national adviser on quality & safety” at the regulator.

The CQC is planning a crack down on the almost 4,000 care homes that do not have a registered manager in place with criminal sanctions including £4k fines.

The Royal College of Surgeons has agreed to tell CQC which trusts it has been into, has done so for wave 1 inspections.

Threshold for duty of candour still being teased out in debate between DH, CQC and stakeholders - chief executive David Behan tells CQC board.

Chiar David Prior hints at redundancies to come at CQC - if people haven’t got specialist skills, won’t necessarily be a role for them in new structure.

David Behan says the Department of Health has been “generous” in its financial settlement but his biggest worry about CQC transformation programme is lack of HR capacity.

10.20am: The HSJ’s Dave West has a story on GP out-of-hours services, suggesting that patients of GP practices that remain directly responsible for out of hours primary care may attend accident and emergency more often than others.

The news comes after Jeremy Hunt has repeatedly said the 2004 GP contract with GPs needs re-negotiation and the Department of Health has worked with the Royal College of GPs on proposals to have named doctors responsible for the out-of-hours care of specific cohorts of patients.


10.15am: Most of the national papers carry reports on the rising costs of the now-abandoned National Programme for IT.

Officials now put the cost at £9.8bn.

8.40am: Good morning, more than 1,000 people took part in our survey on 24/7 working in the NHS sharing more than 6,000 ideas. HSJ asked the question: “What are the behaviour and process changes you believe are needed for the NHS to deliver consistent, financially sustainable 24/7 working?”

A number of themes emerged from the conversation, including managing expectations, changing doctors’ contracts, tracking patient journeys and mirroring the changes in social care. Today as part of our week long coverage of seven day working, we publish the survey results and findings here.