Decision on Liverpool Community Health Services Delayed

The future of community health services in Liverpool remains in limbo following a decision to postpone a decision on the subject. A leaked email emanating from healthcare bosses in the city indicated that plans could put approximately 300 jobs in the Liverpool health system at risk. NHS bosses were due to award a controversial new contract for community services – including walk-in centres, district nursing and health visitors – at the end of this month. But health chiefs have instead... Readmore

Essex Mental Health Trusts to Merge by April

Two Essex mental health trusts are aiming to merge by April under a new name, according to board papers. South Essex Partnership Foundation Trust and North Essex Partnership Trust, which began talks on a tie up in late 2015, are targeting April 2017 to be merged under the name Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust. Papers discussed at South Essex’s board meeting last month said it would appoint an interim board in November to oversee the merger, before a substantive board takes over... Readmore

“Tsunami” of Mental Health Problems Coming According to Expert

One of the leading British experts on mental health believes that the UK is heading for a tsunami of adult mental health difficulties. Prof Dame Sue Bailey, chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition, believes that urgent action must be taken to assist children in contemporary society if a crisis is to be avoided. Central to this process must be extensive spending from the government on mental health services, according to Bailey. “I describe mental health services... Readmore

Hepatitis C Trust Loses Legal Challenge

Following a legal challenge, the Hepatitis C Trust has lost on the issue of NHS England’s decision to cap access to new drugs for the disease. The charity aims to increase awareness and testing, to provide services on a national and local level to people with, affected by, or at risk of contracting hepatitis C; and to campaign for greater public understanding of the impact of the condition. But Mr Justice Blake ruled that NHS England’s decision to roll out access to the treatments via a “monthly... Readmore

Face-Down Restraint Still Common in Mental Health Despite Guidance to the Contrary

Face-down physical restraint is still being used in mental health wards in England, despite the government and NHS indicating that the practice should be frowned upon. The usage of the practice is considered particularly dangerous as it can restrict the breathing of a patient. Yet despite new guidelines indicating that face-down restraint should be phased out, the incidence of it occurring in the mental health system dropped only slightly over the last two years. In 2013-14, 22.4% of recorded... Readmore

Ambulance Staff Picketing Private Practices in Wage Row

Sussex GPs who hold senior CCG management posts have seen their practices picketed by ambulance staff. The issue is related to a disagreement over unpaid wages, following the collapse of a private provider. Workers from the Sussex Patient Transport service employed by subcontractor Docklands Medical Services suggest that they are owed unpaid wages following the dissolution of the company. The workers’ GMB union states that an ethical commissioning group involved in employing the private... Readmore

Hospitals Forced to Send Patients to Private Hospitals for Eye Treatment

Struggling hospitals have been forced to send thousands of patients into the private sector for vital surgery, as around one in 13 cataract operations is now conducted privately, according to new figures related to the Scottish health system. Questions have been raised about the capacity of the NHS to carry out routine operations after a parliamentary question revealed the number of private cataract procedures has quadrupled since 2012. More than 2,700 vital eye operations were done in the private... Readmore

Circle Holdings Wins Major NHS Services Deal in London

The private healthcare company Circle Holdings has secured a £74 million deal to provide orthopaedic services in London. Circle Holdings will take over the contract on a five-year basis, despite previously struggling to deliver similar NHS services satisfactorily. The company notably pulled out of a contract to run an NHS hospital just last year, which will lead some people to question the validity of this latest public-private partnership. Many will also review the deal as indicative of the general... Readmore

Virgin Care Secures £700 Million Health and Care Co-ordination Deal

The Virgin Care group has landed a major £700 million NHS contract, which will enable them to coordinate over 200 healthcare services in Bath and North East Somerset. According to NHS Bath and North East Somerset CCG, the deal will enable healthcare coordination to be strengthened in the region. The CCTV had received numerous complaints from people who believe that the existing healthcare system is confusing to navigate. Having agreed the deal, Virgin Care has announced that the contract will... Readmore

Domiciliary Carers in Wales Should be Assisted Councils Conclude

Councils in South West Wales have been urged to improve the careers conditions of the large number of domiciliary workers in Wales. The region faces an increasing demand for these services from a greying population. For example, Carmarthenshire Council's in-house domiciliary care team carried out 202,911 visits to residents in 2013-14 and 199,445 in 2015-16. But the number of care visits by external providers escalated rapidly in those years from 698,797 to 961,022. Meanwhile, evidence indicates... Readmore

Fifty NHS Hospitals to be Spared Waiting Time Targets

Over 50 hospitals in England have been granted permission to ignore key waiting time targets owing to their extreme financial difficulties. The decision is part of an overall package of measures which have been taken by NHS bosses following the £2.5 billion deficit accumulated by NHS trusts during the previous financial year. Fines for missing targets in A&E, cancer and routine operations have been scrapped altogether as part of the initiative. The decision to relax targets has already been... Readmore

Hunt Indicates Intention to Press on with Seven-Day NHS

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has reiterated his commitment, and that of NHS England, to ensuring that his seven-day NHS vision is realised. This policy will remain in place despite the resignation of David Cameron as prime minister, and his subsequent replacement by Theresa May. In a written ministerial statement, Hunt indicated that he expected NHS England to “make further progress on the priority of rolling out the seven-day NHS commitment including 'to improve access to GP services, particularly... Readmore
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