Information from London Region BMA (edited by JF)

 Financial Improvement. Six London Trusts have been accepted onto the financial improvement programme aimed at helping them to improve their financial position: North Middlesex, Whittington, Lewisham & Greenwich, Royal Free, Hillingdon and the Imperial.

UCLH. The new chief executive, Professor Marcel Levi, has said he does not think the hospital chain model is “going to work” and his trust will instead look to form provider “alliances”. He has also queried the development of accountable care organisations and suggested the UK needs to put more emphasis on improving the experience of its junior staff. His comments come as several leading trusts seek to develop hospital chain type arrangements, including UCLH’s north London neighbour, the Royal Free. He suggests the need to think in terms of network and alliances. His concerns focus on control and oversight, and the people in the hospital will start to complain that they never actually see the CEO and they don’t know who they are. “So as we are very big now at UCLH, I’m not sure we should be much bigger. But we need to work with other providers in the system to do the things that we cannot do because we have limited capacity. That means we have to form alliances with other hospitals.” The trust recently signed a memorandum of understanding with The Whittington Hospital Trust, agreeing to share some services. Talking about the development of ACOs, Professor Levi said: “We already have an ACO in the UK and it’s called the National Health Service; that’s actually one big ACO. I’m not completely sure what an ACO at regional level is going to bring. It’s also extremely complex in the London area because if I look at our STP region, we have five boroughs and five CCGs coming together, but only 30 or 40 per cent of our patients will come from that region. An enormous amount of patients come from other London boroughs such as Westminster which is not our STP and more than 50 per cent of our patients do not even come from London. That’s making STP thinking more difficult for London then for other parts of the country. But I think if we think in terms of networks it’s going to work.”

Information on website  Royal Free group model

Camden CCG have awarded an extended primary care services contract to a private provider over the GP federation that was already providing the service. AT Medics, a private provider of primary care services, has been appointed as its extended GP access provider following a procurement process. It is a GP led provider of various primary care services in London, including core GP services and urgent care. This was despite a receiving bid from the Haverstock Healthcare, a GP federation operating in the borough, and which currently provides the service. It covers 200,000 patients across 26 GP practices in Camden. It appears that the contract has been awarded as part of a joint procurement process for extended GP services across five North central London CCG areas – Camden, Haringey, Islington, Barnet and Enfield – related to the national GP access fund.

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Trust Board has ruled out a full merger with the Royal Free. They may decide to be part of a chain or run as a franchise arrangement. They already have a MOU on closer working with the Royal Free.


The Mirror and a large number of regional publications including the Bristol Post, Kent Online, Scunthorpe Telegraph and Grimsby Telegraph report on NHS performance figures for February which reveal that the NHS is performing worse than ever and patients are enduring longer A&E waiting times. Commenting on the figures, Dr Mark Porter, said: “With the NHS at breaking point, we need politicians of all parties to face up to the current crisis and commit to credible plans that guarantee the fully funded health service that staff and patients want to see.” He added: “These figures underline the strain that local hospitals are facing with many struggling to provide effective care to their patients.”

NHS England has asked all retailers with hospital outlets to limit the drinks to no more than 10 per cent of the total beverages they sell by next April. Responding to the potential sugary drinks ban in hospitals, BMA board of science chair, Profesor Parveen Kumar, said:

“While this is a step in the right direction, it does not go far enough.  These unhealthy drinks have no place in the NHS which is supposed to encourage, and improve, health and wellbeing. Selling sugary drinks in hospitals sends mixed messages to patients and visitors, especially children and young people.” She added: “It is also important to promote the health and wellbeing for staff, who are often so stretched that they have to use on site vending machines for their food.  I would like to see the NHS go one step further and extend this decision to include all unhealthy food and snacks sold in hospitals, with a sugar content over a specific amount per 100 grams, to help further promote healthy eating.”

In other news the Daily Telegraph reports that the number of patients being forced to endure mixed-sex wards has trebled in two years.

Local hospital targets missed after “winter meltdown”

Daily Mirror, Thursday 20 April 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

Figures reveal hospitals at breaking point

Trinity Mirror Copy, Thursday 20 April 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

Hospital shops agree limit on sugary drinks

BBC News Online, Friday 21 April 2017

Number of patients in mixed sex wards trebles

Daily Telegraph, Thursday 20 April 2017

Crackdown on migrants forces NHS to act as border guards

Guardian, Thursday 20 April 2017



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