HSJ takes a look back at the 50 most read stories of 2020. 

The covid-19 pandemic has dominated the news agenda since March. HSJ has broken a number of pivotal stories, including revealing in April how the government had altered the way it counted tests in a bid to reach its 100,000 tests a day target and in September that ex-Sainsbury’s chief Mike Coupe was due to take over the testing director role at NHS Test and Trace

At a more local level, in October, HSJ revealed Royal Surrey Foundation Trust was investigating an incident involving 22 junior doctors attending an offsite event where social distancing was ignored and after which two juniors developed covid. 

Outside of news, in June, HSJ editor Alastair McLellan reflected on where the NHS stood mid-pandemic and what challenges it was likely to face over the next six months. That same month, HSJ put together an expert panel for a webinar exploring what the coivid crisis meant for the relationship between the NHS and industry

HSJ also continued to appraise and scrutinise the NHS’ leadership and influential players throughout 2020, including releasing its first BAME power list — the BAME50 — in October. 

Meanwhile, in September, HSJ covered the hiring — and subsequent firing — of Gateshead Health Foundation Trust ex-chief executive Ian Renwick as Medway FT’s improvement director on the direction of NHS Improvement. NHSI confirmed the Kent trust “terminated [his] interim arrangement” after both organisations received “previously undisclosed information”.

NHS CEOs featured in the news this year include Louise Robson, who joined a string of senior staff to leave struggling Stockport Foundation Trust, and University Hospitals Birmingham FT’s David Rosser, who was revealed to be facing a fit and proper persons review following a critical employment tribunal hearing

Leadership at the Care Quality Commission was also under fire, with the senior team facing a vote of no confidence at the start of the year, as unions protested the watchdog’s decision to stop providing broadband to its homeworkers. The CQC later agreed to make “goodwill” payments of £350 to its 2,000 homeworkers to settle the dispute. 

You can read all of 2020’s 50 most read stories among our subscribers here:

  1. The 50 most influential BAME people in health
  2. The NHS in the time of covid: what happens next
  3. Webinar: how covid sparked unprecedented collaboration between the NHS and industry
  4. NHSI appointed sacked trust CEO as improvement director then dismissed him after receiving ‘undisclosed information’
  5. Government counts mailouts to hit 100,000 testing target
  6. Revealed: The CCG map after new wave of mergers
  7. Trust stripped of ‘outstanding’ rating amid culture concerns
  8. Leadership of struggling trust to be taken over as CEO announces sudden departure
  9. CQC to prosecute acute trust in groundbreaking case
  10. Exclusive: 22 junior doctors under investigation after covid outbreak
  11. PM’s local hospital chief exec resigns in wake of covid controversy
  12. Selbie: ‘I am sorry beyond words’
  13. Concerns were raised over CEO before sick leave announcement
  14. Merger set to create region’s first mega trust
  15. Damning CQC report finds ‘bullying and predatory behaviour’ concerns at trust
  16. Exclusive: Nearly 200 NHS staff at support organisation face redundancy risk
  17. Exclusive: Trust CEO subject to ‘fit and proper person’ review
  18. Chief exec of NHS agency resigns
  19. The NHS’ rapid response to covid would have been impossible without CCGs
  20. CEO says lives were lost as he was ‘leant on’ to delay covid restrictions
  21. Exclusive: Ex-Sainsbury’s boss to join beleaguered Test and Trace as NHS chief returns to trust
  22. Covid deaths at single trust nearly double that of any other provider
  23. Trust blames behaviour ‘from top of the NHS’ for bullying
  24. Teaching trust CEO resigns to take up post as government adviser
  25. Historic shift from market principles as NHSE sets out new system-level funding
  26. Teaching hospital’s new boss leaves ‘after 57 days’
  27. NHS staff offered snack box or a ‘commemorative badge’ for covid efforts
  28. Revealed: £350m for first three months of Nightingale hospitals
  29. NHS planning for second covid peak more than double the size
  30. NHS England launches investigation into staff concerns at leading trust
  31. Covid deaths soar in Manchester as government U-turns on restrictions
  32. ‘Confidential’ document warns second covid peak could hit NHS five times harder
  33. Bullying, bad behaviour and broken IT uncovered at worst trusts for junior doctors
  34. Trust chief steps down to join national covid testing team
  35. Chair of scandal-hit trust stepping down ‘to do more work in the Middle East’
  36. Confusion over hospital’s ‘critical incident’
  37. ‘Mac the Knife’ to lead STP and five CCGs
  38. Exclusive: CQC chiefs face no confidence vote
  39. Investigation launched after seven ‘never events’ in two years at leading trust
  40. Exclusive: Trusts set to be let off £10bn debt
  41. Single trust accounts for one in three covid hospital deaths
  42. Exclusive: Trust faces national finance inquiry after £46m ‘adjustment’
  43. Leadership shake-up resolves ‘fractious situations’
  44. Teaching trust reopens five years of accounts after £50m ‘discrepancy’
  45. Second covid wave will be ‘10 times harder’ for the NHS, says CEO
  46. Trust blames ‘second peak’ as it records 8pc of all covid deaths
  47. Consultants communicated with managers through solicitors as care deteriorated at teaching trust
  48. Ex-DH and trust director spared jail over degree lie
  49. Trust’s consultants allege they’re ‘bullied by managers’
  50. Exclusive: No 10 tells Hancock ‘wait until 2021’ for NHS law change