News in Brief: CQC Report • NHS tariff • Vanguards

CQC ‘unsafe’ findings in the spotlight
It has been reported widely in the latest political blow to the NHS that “74 per cent” of hospitals in England have been deemed unsafe by the Care Quality Commission.

While most media failed to look beyond the headline figure the BBC underlined in afact check that the figure related to “less than half the total”hospital trusts. In fact it was in 13 of the “74 per cent” that inspectors found a “strong indication that care was unsafe” – often against a backdrop of staff shortages.

The BBCadded that a so-called “tougher” CQC regime had created “a very muddy picture” amid suspicions it was unduly harsh.

Orthopaedics lose out in draft hospital tariff
The financial crunch faced by many hospitals has led to growing criticism of how funding is allocated under England’s “national tariff.”

New plans by Monitor ( for 2016-17 include substantial rises to payments for A&E of 14 per cent, and 7.5 per cent for non-elective orthopaedic trauma procedures.

But elective orthopaedic reconstruction and elective orthopaedic non-trauma procedures will see average tariffs paid fall by 31.3 and 10.1 per cent respectively.

If the changes go ahead it could mean a significant refocus of priorities within trusts. 

Hospital ‘chains’ at the vanguard of NHS plan
NHSChief Executive Sir Simon Stevens has pledged to end the Foundation Trust era of “go it alone”hospitals with a plan to create chains via 13 new Acute Care Collaboration Vanguard trusts.

These will see “excellently-performing individual NHS hospitals” join together and experts from such centres of excellence deployed to hospitals across the country.

Sir Simon suggested the plan would “help sustain the viability of local hospitals, share clinical and management expertise across geographies, and drive efficiency beyond the walls of individual institutions.”