Ministers launch pilots to explore ways to relieve pressure on carers

Ministers have launched a series of pilots across the UK that will explore ways to help carers balance work with their caring responsibilities. Statistics show that there are currently more than three million people in the UK who have work and family caring responsibilities and, according to ministers, providing them with support to manage caring alongside paid work would benefit them and their families and give British businesses and the UK economy potential saving of up to £1.3 billion a year. The... Readmore

NHS England sets out guidance on new mental health standards

Following the announcement (by NHS England and the Department of Health) in October 2014 of the need for measures  to improve access to mental health services, NHS England has produced guidance which sets out how new access and waiting time standards for mental health services are to be introduced. Created for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the new NHS England guidance explains the case for change in four areas and sets out the expectations of local commissioners for delivery during 2015... Readmore

GMC responds to ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ review

An independent review into creating an open and honest culture in the NHS has been welcomed by the General Medical Council (GMC). The review, led by Sir Robert Francis QC, provides many recommendations as to how to create a culture in which NHS staff feel safe to make disclosures about any aspect of the quality of care, malpractice or wrongdoing at work without fear of recrimination. The team undertaking the review spoke to individual NHS workers, as well as with employers, trade unions, professional... Readmore

‘Major incidents’ declared at UK hospitals

Medical staff struggling to cope with patient numbers this winter has led to a number of UK hospitals declaring a ‘major incident.' The hospitals – in North Yorkshire, Surrey and two in Gloucestershire – stated that an unprecedented surge in demand has caused them to be unable to cope adequately and that extra resources are needed. The declarations come just a month after Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, warned that that the “system is cracking” as winter approached. ... Readmore

Chancellor Osborne pledges extra £2bn for NHS

An extra £2bn is to be pumped into the NHS according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Mr Osborne told the BBC that the billion-pound was a“down payment” that he is able to make due to the strength of the UK economy. The chancellor’s plan for the NHS, to be officially announced as part of his Autumn Statement on Wednesday, has already come under fire from shadow chancellor Ed Balls who accused Mr Osborne of making unfunded spending commitments. Mr Balls has said that... Readmore

Foundation trusts need to deliver greater efficiencies says regulator

NHS foundation trusts are being urged to tighten up contract and agency staffing costs and increase their efficiency savings by the healthcare regulator Monitor. Foundation trusts (which make up two-thirds of all NHS trusts) are under increasing strain – both financial and operational. A&E targets have been missed, staff morale is low, and the foundation trust sector as a whole is projecting a deficit of £271 million at the end of financial year 2014/15. David Bennett, Chief Executive... Readmore

NHS England and CQC issue ‘Hard Truths’ joint guidance

NHS England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have issued joint guidance to Trusts on the delivery of the ‘Hard Truths’ commitments associated with publishing staffing data regarding nursing, midwifery and care staff levels. The guidance, issued by Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, follows on from National Quality Board guidance ‘How to ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right... Readmore

Failed NHS IT programme still costing taxpayers

The National Programme for IT in the NHS is continuing to incur significant costs despite being officially ‘dismantled’ a committee of MPs has found. Launched in 2002, the National Programme (known as the Lorenzo system) was designed to reform the way that the NHS in England uses information but has proved to be one of the biggest failures in the history of the public sector. The programme was a joint venture between the NHS and IT services company, CSC. In 2011, the Government announced... Readmore

Cervical cancer screening pilot gets go-ahead

A pilot cervical cancer screening programme which has the potential to identify women who may be at risk more accurately has been given the go-ahead by the UK National Screening Committee (NSC). Following a meeting of the Committee some weeks ago, a number of recommendations on screening have now been made. These include the introduction of a pilot to examine the feasibility of a new approach to screening for cervical disease and the age at which to start cervical screening. Dr Anne Mackie,... Readmore

NHS Litigation Authority unveils new Chief Executive

A strong addition to the health sector has been made this week with Catherine Dixon joining the NHS Litigation Authority as its new Chief Executive. Catherine was previously General Counsel and Company Secretary at the NSPCC, and played a leading role within the Executive Team as the charity went through a period of significant change.  “I am delighted to join the NHS Litigation Authority, an organisation which makes a major contribution to patient safety,” said Catherine. “The NHSLA... Readmore
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