A round-up of what’s happening across the sector today
5.00pm: Jessica Fuhl writes
Dr Gabriel Scally, a senior NHS doctor, was until April employed by the Department of Health, but he resigned as a direct result of his alarm at the coalition government’s health policies – and because he wanted the freedom to oppose them. In his first interview since quitting, he speaks to Denis Campbell.
Since 1993, I’ve been restructured and reorganised eight times, I think, and that’s enough really. Throughout these restructurings I’ve seen a loss of talent, of momentum and of coherence, in both the NHS structures and public health structures. This one [by Andrew Lansley] was the final straw.
You can read the interview in full online here. That’s all from us today, we’re back tomorrow.
2.16pm: Jessica Fuhl writes
Macmillan Cancer support have responded to the news that we mentioned earlier today that half of people in England are still dying in hospital and not always receiving the health and social care support they need to allow them to die at home.
Gus Baldwin, Head of Public Affairs at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
This new research shows that the current system is not providing the vital support cancer patients in the last months of life and their families need, such as social care services and 24/7 nursing care.
It is vital that the Government uses the opportunity of the forthcoming social care reforms to ensure that people are supported to die at home if they wish to do so. Scrapping the social care means-test for those in the final months of life, as recommended by the Independent Palliative Care Funding Review, would help more people to be discharged from hospital quickly and cared for at home.
Macmillan Cancer Support is calling for the social care white paper to support the principle of free social care for all patients who are on an end of life care register.
Elsewhere, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS trust is to introduce a new e-patient record system as part of a £67m Information Management and Technology strategy, Public Service today reports.
1.39pm: Clare Horton writes
The NHS Commissioning Board has published a draft code of conduct.
Pulse reports that huge swathes of practice funding look set to be opened up to competition under the new guidance, which says only enhanced services of ‘limited value’ or where GPs are the ‘only capable providers’ should be commissioned directly from practices.
While GP Business says members of health and wellbeing boards or other CCGs could be asked to sit in on a CCG’s primary care commissioning decisions to provide “additional scrutiny”.
1.33pm: Clare Horton writes
The NHS has paid out a record £1bn in litigation claims in one year, according to the Independent. It says the NHS Litigation Authority’s annual accounts show a surge in the number of claims made by NHS patients or their families led to the health service paying out £1.2bn for its clinical negligence compensation bill between 2011 and 2012 compared with £863m the previous year.
A public inquiry into the closure of a GP surgery in north London that was run by a private company says there is “a serious loophole” in the national contract for alternative providers, reports the BMJ.
1.06pm: Clare Horton writes
Here’s a quick round-up of the lunchtime headlines:
The quality of NHS end of life care is good but choice is still lacking, reports the BBC. It says around 22,000 people responded to the first ever survey that measured care leading up to death – published by the Office for National Statistics.
The Telegraph reports that the survey found half of families said hospital nurses did not always treat their dying family member with respect. Almost a third said the quality of care in hospital was fair or poor and only 35% of families rated pain relief in hospital in the final two days as excellent.
Meanwhile, the Guardian’s TV and radio blog has invited the staff of King’s College hospital in south-east London, the stars of Channel 4′s 24 Hours in A&E, to review the latest episode of Holby City – and say how soaps scrub up compared with NHS reality.
10.48am: Clare Horton writes
Andrew Lansley has admitted that hospitals are likely to see ward closures and fewer beds under the Coalition’s controversial NHS reforms, according to the Telegraph. It says the health secretary told LBC Radio the coming shake-up of the NHS would lead to “better services”, as more people will be treated in the home, rather than hospitals. He said:
If you have more services provided in the community, you will have less happening in hospitals. That may mean wards shutting down, that might mean fewer beds.
10.15am: Lizzi Easterbrook writes
An independent review by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence into the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has found failings “at every level” according to the BBC today. The report includes a range of recommendations for the NMC including changing the culture of “resigned resilience” and defining clear behavioural values from the leadership team.
The BBC are also reporting that hospitals in Staffordshire could could share more services under a partnership between Mid Staffordshire NHS foundation trust and University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS foundation trust.
9.45am: Lizzi Easterbrook writes
Good morning and welcome to the daily blog from the Guardian healthcare network. Throughout the day we’ll be rounding up the key news stories, comment pieces and analysis from around the sector.
On the network this morning is a piece looking at the transformation of London’s stroke services. Professor Tony Rudd, consultant stroke physician at the St Thomas’ and Guy’s NHS foundation trust discusses the work done in London, including getting all patients into eight hyper stroke units and the importance of setting and rewarding high standards of care. He also discusses his thoughts on the NHS reforms and a loss of expertise from the NHS.
An article on our Life and Style pages looks at nervousness about childbirth and according to research from the Association for Improvement in the Maternity Services (Aims), there has been an increase in anxiety about giving birth over the past 20 years. A new scheme aims to tell women about positive birth stories through ‘birth buddies’ and a website which shares positive birthing experiences.
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