Health Bill 2011


Lansley: NHS should get £5bn Brexit bonus by 2019

The NHS should get a “Brexit bonus” of at least £5bn a year no later than the 2019-20, former health secretary Andrew Lansley has said.

Houses of Parliament

Exclusive: Government 'downgrades' independence of patient champion body

The role and independence of the NHS’s official patient champion organisation is being “downgraded”, an HSJ investigation has established.

Ros Roughton

Exclusive: Health Act to be changed to boost joint commissioning

The Health Act 2012 is set to be changed to make it easier for clinical commissioning groups to come together with each other – and with NHS England – to jointly commission services, HSJ has learned.

Health secretary Andy Burnham

Burnham sets out plans for repeal of Health Act

Labour would force clinical commissioning groups to include a wider range of clinicians and reverse the increased private patient income cap, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has told HSJ.

David Nicholson

Exclusive: Competition rules hold back quality, says Nicholson

NHS England’s chief executive has said the government may need to change the law because competition rules are standing in the way of improvements to NHS services.

Stephen Thornton

Thornton urges 'old guard' to take responsibility for Mid Staffs

The current leadership of the NHS should take “complete” responsibility for the culture of fear that led to the care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust, the outgoing chief executive of the Health Foundation has told HSJ.

Clinical commissioning

Exclusive: Nine CCGs planning overspends in first year

Nine clinical commissioning groups are forecasting multimillion pound deficits in their first year, HSJ has learned.

Pound coins

Growth of payment by results 'unsustainable', says Monitor director

The past decade’s rapid expansion in the number of nationally set “payment by results” prices for NHS services is unsustainable - and “may already have gone too far”, Monitor’s pricing director has told HSJ.

Man holding a box of office belongings

Commissioning reforms redundancy count exceeds 10,000

More than 10,000 NHS staff have been made redundant in the past three financial years as a result of the government’s commissioning reforms, according to official figures published today.


Exclusive: NHS England could 'ratchet up' financial pressure on private mental health providers, analysts warn

Private mental health providers could see pressure on their profit margins “ratcheted up” by the centralisation of secure and specialised mental healthcare commissioning in the hands of NHS England, according to a new report by market analysts Laing and Buisson.


OFT extends its remit over NHS mergers

Healthcare sector regulator Monitor has confirmed the Office of Fair Trading will in future have responsibility for assessing any merger involving an NHS foundation trust.

David Bennett

Regulator moves to put Mid Staffs in administration

Healthcare sector regulator Monitor has begun the process of putting Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust into administration.

Local Healthwatch 'bound and gagged'

Local branches of the new “consumer champion” for health and social care will be left “bound and gagged” by government regulations restricting their campaigning activity, it has been claimed.


Regulator's hit squad brands Mid Staffs 'unviable' in current form

The hit squad sent into Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust by regulator Monitor has concluded the troubled trust is unable to achieve long-term financial or clinical sustainability “in its current form”.

Jo-Anne Wass

Commissioning board to 'lift and shift' staff

The NHS Commissioning Board is likely to delay some management cuts until 2013-14 and take on interim staff under emergency measures sparked by delays in the transition to new NHS structures.


Too many 'risk pools' could force organisations into failure, Nicholson warns

The decentralising of financial control under the NHS reforms poses a risk that agencies could hold too much funding back from frontline care and force organisations “into failure”, Sir David Nicholson has warned.

Anna Soubry

New minister admits government 'screwed up' on NHS reform

A newly-promoted health minister has admitted the government “screwed up” its handling of its controversial NHS reforms.

David Flory

Tenders for sexual health contracts could leave HIV services 'unviable'

Plans to put sexual health services out to competitive tender could make it “unviable” for some NHS trusts to continue offering HIV treatment and care, the Department of Health has warned.

Jeremy Hunt

Concern about service change delay as Hunt replaces Lansley

Andrew Lansley has been sacked as health secretary and replaced by Jeremy Hunt, sparking concern about delays to critical NHS service change plans.

Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt replaces Andrew Lansley as health secretary

Jeremy Hunt has been appointed as health secretary, replacing Andrew Lansley, in a ministerial reshuffle. Three of the department’s other ministers have also been replaced.

David Bennett

Private providers in NHS 'likely' to escape toughest regulatory controls

Only a “very small” number of NHS services provided by private firms face the toughest regulatory controls, sector leaders have insisted following the publication of new Monitor guidance.


NHS regulator drops 'Chinese walls' plan

Foundation trust regulator Monitor has scrapped its plan to build “Chinese walls” within its organisation to separate its existing role from its future responsibility to regulate the entire NHS healthcare sector.

Graphic illustrating Monitor's dropped proposals

Monitor drops controversial credit rating plan

Future healthcare sector regulator Monitor has scrapped many of the controversial restrictions it had proposed placing on providers of essential NHS services, including debt caps, external credit ratings, and curbs on dividend payments.


Commissioners could be incentivised not to give services additional protection

Commissioners may be given a “financial incentive” not to designate large numbers of NHS services for extra regulatory protection, future sector regulator Monitor has suggested.

Empty board room chairs and table

Curbs proposed on council powers over NHS reconfiguration

The Department of Health has begun consultation on regulations that would significantly check local government’s power to refer controversial NHS reconfigurations to the health secretary.

IMG 7065

Meldrum urges caution over further pensions action

The outgoing British Medical Association leader has urged the union to be cautious about taking further industrial action over pensions.

Sue Slipman cropped wide

FTs warn of 'regulatory driven failure' under NHS reforms

Foundation trusts are lobbying Monitor to ensure financially challenged providers will be able to “temporarily” close protected NHS services under their new regulatory regime.

Monitor logo

Exclusive: Monitor to launch major review of barriers to NHS competition

Future “sector regulator” for healthcare Monitor will tomorrow issue a call for evidence for a major review of all barriers to a “level playing field” for competing providers of NHS-funded healthcare, HSJ has learned.

Empty board room table

Exclusive: commissioning board offices 'to match old SHAs'

There are set to be 27 local arms of the NHS Commissioning Board, it has been confirmed.

 generic competition boxing

DH unveils plans for increased competition in diagnostics and mental health

The Department of Health has unveiled its strategy for extending competition from any qualified provider to new areas of NHS care, including mental health and diagnostic tests.

NHS Commissioning Board chair Malcolm Grant

Commissioning board chair: liberation of the NHS 'won't happen overnight'

The health service should not expect a “sudden overnight change on 1 April next year” to an autonomous and liberated system, the chair of the NHS Commissioning Board has told HSJ.

Information tribunal judgment says DH should have released risk register

An information tribunal has ruled the Department of Health’s transition risk register should have been released because of the “general alarm at what was happening”.

Masters Adrian 2007

Market competition test proposed for trusts seeking extra funding

Monitor might refuse to allow local increases to the prices paid to NHS trusts unless commissioners have proven they could not buy the services more cheaply elsewhere, an independent report for the regulator has suggested.

Monitor chair and chief executive David Bennett

Monitor should toughen assessments following scandal - Bennett

Monitor’s executive chair has admitted it is “very likely” University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay had “deep-seated problems” at the time his organisation granted the trust foundation status.

Nick Clegg

Lib Dem vote against support for bill puts more pressure on peers

Liberal Democrat peers are under pressure to make more changes to the Health Bill after a manoeuvre by the party’s leadership in support of the bill backfired at its spring conference on Sunday.

John Healey at LGC50 2008  credit  Philip Waterman

Tribunal calls for Health Bill risk register to be published

The Department of Health’s case for withholding the Health Bill risk register has been rejected, it has been announced this morning.

Earl Howe

Exclusive: flagship HealthWatch policy to be 'watered down' by amendments

Government plans to amend the Health Bill to clarify arrangements for HealthWatch have angered campaigners who claim the change will “water down” patient and public involvement in the NHS.


Paediatricians become latest college to reject bill

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has become the latest professional organisation to call on the government to withdraw the Health and Social Care Bill.

David Cameron at LGA conference 2009

Exclusive: PM reveals government's four NHS commitments

The prime minister has revealed “four Fs” which he believes sum up the government’s approach to the NHS. They came while he attempted to bat off criticism of the Health Bill at a Downing Street summit today.

David Cameron

Exclusive: prime minister calls summit on 'implementing NHS reforms'

The prime minister has called a summit to discuss the “implementation of the NHS reforms” on Monday afternoon with senior healthcare leaders.


Debt cap proposed for private providers to NHS

Monitor has proposed to set a cap on the level of debt carried by any organisation providing essential healthcare services to the NHS.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

DH sets aside £617m for redundancy and restructuring costs

The Department of Health has announced £617m has been put into a contingency fund for NHS reform redundancy payments and restructuring costs during 2011-12.

David Cameron

PM responds to HSJ's criticisms of reforms

David Cameron has defended his government’s health reforms at prime minister’s question time from the criticisms set out in HSJ’s joint leader with Nursing Times and the BMJ.

Office desk with finance calculator

Private providers attack Monitor failure regime

Private mental health firms are lobbying for deep changes to Monitor’s proposed failure regime, claiming rules putting “patients ahead of creditors” will prevent them from borrowing.

BMA consultants committee chair Mark Porter

Medical royal colleges divide over Health Bill

There is a deepening split in the position taken by the medical royal colleges towards the Health Bill.

Bob Ricketts

Fixed NHS prices could become 'increasingly problematic' commission warns

The use of fixed prices to prevent competition driving down care quality could become “increasingly problematic”, a “seminal report” warned this week.

Pen and letter

Exclusive: DH letters to staff admit 'no clarity' on jobs

The Department of Health has given NHS managers a choice of two letters to send staff this month on the future of their roles – one of which is to be used in cases where there is still “no clarity” on what will happen to their jobs.

EExclusive: Health Bill concessions on 'autonomy' and SoS accountability

Exclusive: Health Bill concessions on 'autonomy' and SoS accountability

The government is offering a series of Health Bill concessions in an attempt to diffuse the row over the health secretary’s responsibility for the NHS.

Circle chief executive Ali Parsa

Private sector faces referral to Competition Commission

The NHS reforms would have “blown up in people’s faces” without last week’s decision to refer the private healthcare market to the Competition Commission, the boss of Circle has told HSJ.

Pound coins

Ratings agency predicts more government bailouts for loss-making trusts

There is a “very high likelihood” of continued government bailouts for struggling providers, according to ratings agency Standard and Poor’s.