NHS Employers to Increase Pension Contributions

The government has confirmed that GP practices will pay employers pension contributions at an increased rate of over 14% from April. It had been reported last year that the Department of Health was already assessing the level of pension contributions made by employers as part of the NHS pension scheme. The intention of this initiative is to ensure that £35 million in administration savings can be made, by shifting this requirement to provider organisations. A similar process is already... Readmore

Dundee’s Royal Victoria Hospital Faces Elderly Care Wards Closure

Dundee’s Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) faces plans for wards used to care for the elderly to be closed. The news has already been confirmed by the authorities, with information on the subject having been distributed among staff. Wards three and six, containing 22 beds at the West End hospital will undergo a “phased retraction”. Managers have cited organisational changes as the reason behind the move, asserting that the quality of care offered to patients will not diminish. This... Readmore

Spending on Agency Staff Doubles in Four Years in Scotland

New figures indicate that spending on agency staff within the NHS in Scotland has doubled in just four years. The growing vacancy rate in the nation has seen the amount spent on agency staff escalate rapidly to £175 million, with this figure also including locum doctors. Agency spending is now the equivalent of nearly 3% of total staff spending by NHS Scotland. The figure was highlighted in a briefing paper by Audit Scotland ahead of a series of reports on the health service workforce. Commenting... Readmore

New Privatised Records System Prompts 100 Complaints

The NHS has received over 100 official complaints about the new privatised patient records service in its first year. This revelation came from official government figures released by primary care minister David Mowat. And there is concern that primary care is declining after support services were assumed by new contractor Capita. The outsourcing firm has already been strongly criticised by GP organisations for what are perceived to be numerous failings. Capita took over running of the newly... Readmore

Former Torbay Care Trust Charged Over Qualification Lies

The former chair of two NHS trust has been charged with providing misleading information regarding qualifications in order to be hired. Jon Andrewes was chair of Torbay Care Trust from 2007, and its successor trust Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust, until becoming chair of Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in 2015. Yet Andrewes is accused of falsifying qualifications and experience before being appointed to these important healthcare positions. Andrewes appeared at Torbay Magistrates... Readmore

Occupational Health Professionals Reject Fit Note System

Occupational health professionals have rejected the attempts of the British Medical Association to change the way that fit notes operate within the healthcare system. It was intended that this new BMA approach would help reduce GP workload. The BMA voted overwhelmingly at its annual representative meeting earlier this year that “there should be an extension of self-certification for illness from seven to 14 days”. It had been suggested that the Fitness to Work scheme places too much... Readmore

Chief Executive of NHS Providers Paints Worrying Picture of NHS Staffing Situation

Recent evidence has suggested that the pay situation among NHS staff is becoming so serious that some individuals have opted to stack shelves in supermarkets as an alternative. The leader of NHS Providers suggests that workers have been able to earn more money for lesser stress in this environment. Chris Hopson believes that workers are leaving because pay in the health service has not remained commensurate with rises in some parts of the private sector. Hopson believes that the NHS is struggling... Readmore

Neurology Service Temporarily Suspended due to Staffing Issues

The neurology service at Lincolnshire hospitals has been temporarily suspended due to staffing issues with doctors who travel from Sheffield and Nottingham. United Lincolnshire Hospitals' Trust said the service at all of its hospitals including Boston Pilgrim, Lincoln County and Grantham Hospital has been suspended until April next year. This will result in a significant reduction in the capacity of the service which has led to the trust making the 'difficult decision to temporarily close the service... Readmore

Wearable Trackers Have Negligible Benefit According to Research

Wearable trackers may not increase activity levels enough to significantly benefit health, researchers have said. Pedometers are “unlikely to be a panacea for rising rates of chronic disease”, experts concluded following a new study which discovered that the devices did not appear to improve the health outcomes of wearers after one year. The study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, saw an international team of researchers tracking 800 people from Singapore aged 21 to 65 to see whether... Readmore

NHS Overrules Capita in GP Row

NHS England officials have been forced to overrule Capita over a serious issue related to a member of NHS staff. The private contractor had informed a GP that he should stop working indefinitely. But the cause of this was simply his performers list application being stuck in an administrative backlog. Processing such applications has potentially placed Capita in legal jeopardy, and could cause significant confusion and consternation for doctors in the future, according to the BMA. Capita... Readmore

Investigation Indicates Whistleblowers Being Blacklisted due to Employment Records

An investigative report conducted by The Daily Telegraph has suggested that whistleblowers in the NHS face the prospect of being blacklisted due to insufficient legal protection. Maha Yassaie had been awarded £375,000 compensation from the Department of Health, following an internal enquiry which revealed that she had been informed she was too honest to work for the NHS. Yet the post-NHS career of Yassaie has been frustrating, with The NHS apparently having indicated that she had been dismissed... Readmore

NHS Facing Criticism Over Cancer Delays

As structural difficulties in the health service become more apparent, the NHS is being criticised for failing to deal with cancer patients adequately. In many cases, the health service is leaving cancer patients facing unenviable delays in treatment, as hospitals are unable to cope with the numbers of cancer patients. New NHS figures suggest that hospitals in England failed to ensure people with suspected breast cancer was seen by a specialist within 14 days in satisfactory numbers. Meanwhile,... Readmore
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