Hodge and PAC pass judgement on Circle and Hinchingbrooke

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has today (18 March) published its 46th Report of Session 2014-15 – an examination of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust and the operational control of Circle, the first private company to run an NHS hospital. The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said: “Circle became the first private company to run an NHS hospital when it took operational control of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust in February 2012. However, in January... Readmore

Osborne unveils NHS devolution in Greater Manchester – a blueprint for the future?

Further to this week’s announcement that responsibility for the entire health and social care system in Greater Manchester (including a budget of £6bn) is to be handed to councils and health groups in the region, NHS England and council leaders in Greater Manchester have today unveiled a Memorandum of Understanding which outlines the scope of the agreement. The memorandum, approved and countersigned by Chancellor George Osborne and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, involves NHS England, 12 NHS Clinical... Readmore

NICE’s new drugs cost-effectiveness ‘threshold’ too high claims new research

The ‘threshold’ used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) when scoping the cost-effectiveness of new drugs is “too high” claim researchers at the University of York. Currently, NICE utilises a threshold of £30,000 per Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY is a widely used measure of health that combines length and quality of life) to measure whether the health benefits offered by a new drug are greater than the health likely to be lost because the additional resources... Readmore

New rules on charges for overseas visitors to NHS announced by Department of Health

Overseas visitors who need healthcare while in England are to be charged differently for using the NHS the Department of Health has announced. The new rules are intended to recoup £500m over the next three years. The changes come into effect from April 2015 and will affect visitors and former UK residents differently as they depend on where someone now lives. However, treatment in A&E departments and at GP surgeries will remain free for all. Exemptions include UK Crown servants, British... Readmore

Department of Health announces transfer of 0 to 5 year olds planning and payment responsibilities

The Department of Health (DH) has announced that the responsibility for planning and paying for public health services for 0 to 5-year-olds, including health visiting, will transfer from the NHS to local authorities in October 2015. The DH has also said that, as part of the transfer, a number of universal health visitor reviews, which form part of the 0-5 Healthy Child Programme, will be mandated for a period of 18 months, depending on Parliamentary approval. These reviews are: (i) antenatal... Readmore

TSA guidance review leads to new recommendations

The recommendations of a committee assembled to review the statutory guidance for trust special administrators (TSAs) have been accepted by the Department of Health and incorporated into new guidance issued by the Department and Monitor. The committee, chaired by Paul Burstow MP, put forward a package of proposals to amend the existing guidance to ensure it is clear, practical and meaningful. “I am pleased to have been able to accept the recommendations the committee made to me and believe... Readmore

Chancellor Osborne pledges extra £2bn for NHS

An extra £2bn is to be pumped into the NHS according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Mr Osborne told the BBC that the billion-pound was a“down payment” that he is able to make due to the strength of the UK economy. The chancellor’s plan for the NHS, to be officially announced as part of his Autumn Statement on Wednesday, has already come under fire from shadow chancellor Ed Balls who accused Mr Osborne of making unfunded spending commitments. Mr Balls has said that... Readmore

Decision on Mid Staffs future funding delayed

The process for agreeing the future funding of services at the troubled Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust has been extended the healthcare regulator Monitor announced today (21 October 2013). Although Trust Special Administrators (TSAs) have completed their report and made recommendations as to how essential patient services should be funded in future, agreement between local commissioners, NHS England, University Hospitals of North Staffordshire NHS Trust and the NHS Trust Development Authority... Readmore

Failed NHS IT programme still costing taxpayers

The National Programme for IT in the NHS is continuing to incur significant costs despite being officially ‘dismantled’ a committee of MPs has found. Launched in 2002, the National Programme (known as the Lorenzo system) was designed to reform the way that the NHS in England uses information but has proved to be one of the biggest failures in the history of the public sector. The programme was a joint venture between the NHS and IT services company, CSC. In 2011, the Government announced... Readmore

Value-Based Pricing new approach illustrates the road ahead

The Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme (PPRS), due to expire in 2014, will be replaced by a new Value-based Pricing (VBP) approach designed to stimulate innovation in treatments, Andrew Lansley announced this week at the annual NICE conference. The rationale for such a move is multifactorial but firmly aligned with changes to our commissioning approach too, providing insight for clinical teams, not just R & D pharmaceutical companies. Under the new scheme, still to be fleshed out in terms... Readmore

NHS buildings investment boosts Welsh economy by 1.1 billion

Health Minister for Wales Lesley Griffiths has announced that the Investment the Welsh Government has made in hospital buildings over the last six years has boosted its economy to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds. Since 2006, the Welsh Government has ploughed £363 million into projects now completed, £227 million in sites currently being developed and committed a further £552 million into projects in planning. Of the 12,318 workforce employed on those sites, nearly 80% (9,811)... Readmore
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