Atlantis Medical News

Culling of regulators is a must to plan for the NHS workforce

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05 SEP 2018

Recently, it has been announced that a merger between the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and its neighbour, the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, is to go ahead together. This is the reason Dame Julie Moore claimed that it’s high time to cull NHS regulators.

In this case, she even says that provider leaders were not ‘disincentivised’ from taking over struggling neighbours. She also claimed that they don’t have any coherent policy framework for the NHS and that is the reason why regulators are making it really hard for the trust chief executives to do their job.

At present time, the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is responsible for Good Hope, Heartlands, Queen Elizabeth and Solihull hospitals along with the Solihull Community Services and the Birmingham Chest Clinic.

However, in Dame Julie Moore’s final interview as chief executive at the University Hospitals Birmingham, FT Dame Julie Moore obviously praised her staff and at the same time, she didn’t forget to criticise the central oversight of the health service.  Moreover, she stated that so many organisations have lost financial discipline for this “crazy system” and that’s why she called for a cull of regulators and equally for a new approach to address NHS work force shortages.

In her opinion, the problems of the NHS have got to be solved by a national strategy approach “because local organisations are trying really hard to do it and some of the problems they are facing are ones that can’t be locally solved.”  In fact, she also claimed that provider leadership were caught between a stream of regulatory demands for more information and a lack of clarity around future funding and structure of the system.

Viewpoints of Dame Julie Moore in System Leadership

Dame Julie Moore opines that there is actually no system leadership. “I would like to take more of a role. But right now it’s too fragmented and larger teaching hospitals are usually regarded with suspicion. One of the bad side-products of the foundation trust independence for its own sake rather than to drive up quality.” She adds, “so we have some very small foundation trusts- some community services and acute trusts.”

At the same time, Dame Julie Moore agreed that they have some problems in Birmingham that they definitely need to sort out. Some of the clinical commissioning groups have introduced referral management systems for their local hospitals, which also helps with their finances. But the GPs bypass this by referring to the other hospitals that then, due to the marginal rate, don’t get the full tariff. “So we haven’t got a managed system and we haven’t got a market. I’d just rather have a system that actually works.”  

Dame Julie Moore is now taking new roles as an associate non-executive director at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, on the organising committee of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth games and an academic post at Warwick University.  In fact, she stood down as chief executive of UHB on Friday, passing on the leadership of one of country’s largest trusts to her medical director, Dr. David Rosser.


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