David Dalton and the Department of Health Challenge Strike Justification

Sir David Dalton and the Department of Health have challenged one of the BMA's key justifications for the mooted NHS strikes. Dalton, the chief executive of Salford Royal Foundation Trust who led negotiations for the government, commented that the BMA had, in fact, produced a document outlining plans for seven day services. “I was very surprised to hear the BMA list ‘more detail on seven day services’ as one of their three key demands this week, alongside issues over pay for weekends and part-time... Readmore

Women Under-Represented in Key NHS Positions Figures Indicate

As figures indicate that women continue to occupy relatively few senior positions in the NHS, one Lord has accused the health service of failing disgracefully to utilise the talents of women. Additionally, ethnic minorities are poorly represented in the hierarchy of the National Health Service. The NHS has instigated a two-year initiative in an attempt to address this problem, yet far fewer people proportionately from either group chair an NHS acute hospital trusts or ambulance trust in England. Only... Readmore

Cancer Referral Targets Missed in June

NHS England failed to meet waiting times for cancel referrals in June, meaning that there has effectively been two and half years' worth of missed targets in this area. Performance figures from NHS England indicated that 82.7% of patients beginning their first definitive cancer treatment have been seen within 62 days from an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer. This marginally missed the 85% of target which has been set by the authorities. The 93% guide for two-week wait referrals for patients... Readmore

St Helens CCG Backs Down Over Non-Urgent Surgery Ban

Bosses at a clinical commissioning group which proposed a particularly controversial policy have back down on the idea, ensuring that all non-urgent treatments will continue throughout the winter months. St Helens CCG had mused that banning such treatments during the most demanding months for the NHS could be a viable policy going forward. This was but one cost-cutting measure to be taken by the CCG in an attempt to reduce the financial deficit of the organisation. Responding to the news,... Readmore

Mental Health Deaths not Investigated According to Report

An investigation has discovered that hundreds of patients detained under the Mental Health Act may have been denied inquests to which they are entitled. Any death of a patient considered mentally ill should be reported to a coroner for further investigation. But official figures indicate that of 1,115 cases recorded by the NHS over the last three years, approximately one-third were in fact reported as should be requisite. Charities and politicians have been scathing regarding the figures, with... Readmore

60 NHS Trusts Ordered to Cut Pay Bill

Over 60 NHS trusts have been requested to reduce their staff bills, after extra nurses have been recruited in the immediate aftermath of the Mid-Staffs scandal. But patient groups have been strongly critical of the diktat, suggesting that it could impact negatively on patient safety. The decision is perhaps particularly contentious, as the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had recently explicitly praised hospitals for recruiting thousands of nurses nationwide. With the government now moving to effectively... Readmore

NHS Foundation Trust to Assume Control of Failing GP Practice

An NHS foundation trust will take over the management of a GP practice owing to problems with the recruitment of doctors. Lister House surgery has been unable to enlist enough GPs to ensure its survival, and will thus be overseen by the Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust from 1st August. The trust reportedly has the ability to offer attractive career prospects to trainees, and the promise of delivering a wide variety of work settings. However, there have been some negative consequences... Readmore

Ombudsman’s Report Strongly Criticises Hospital Bosses Over Sepsis

An ombudsman's report has been strongly critical of hospital bosses and doctors, suggesting that they showed a consistent attitude of arrogance following the death of a three-year-old from sepsis. Healthcare professionals involved in the case of Sam Morrish had gratuitously and rashly concluced that his passing was due to rare and unfortunate circumstances. But the ombudsman investigating the case concluded that his death was avoidable. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) urged... Readmore

Waiting List Struggles Continue to Escalate

As Theresa May prepares for her tenure in government, the scale of problems that the NHS faces in the foreseeable future are all too clear. While the existing health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been ebullient following his reappointment to the ministerial position, patients may be considerably less enamoured with the latest figures to emanate from the health service. Over 1,000 people have been waiting more than a year to begin treatment according to official figures. This is the highest level... Readmore

Hundreds of Patients Dying Due to Poor A&E Performance

A scathing report from the Care Quality Commission suggests 100 patients are dying needlessly in A&E departments every year. The commission paint a picture of extremely poor performance in this critical aspect of the health service, after widespread inspection of the hospital stock. It has been revealed by the Care Quality Commission that 57 per cent of the 176 A&E units it visited were not up to scratch. Meanwhile, 16 departments have been rated inadequate, with enforcement action ultimately... Readmore

NHS Hospitals Being Recruited to Fire National Grid

Economically-challenged hospitals in the NHS are teaming up with the National Grid in order to assist the electricity network with the national power supply. Numerous healthcare institutions in the NHS have agreed to operate their emergency generators, and also turn down air conditioning systems, when power supplies are scarce. The National Grid hopes to make more use of “demand side response” schemes, in which energy users are paid to temporarily reduce the amount of power that they derive... Readmore

MPs Call For Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch Independence

A committee of MPs has suggested that a new organisation formed with the remit of improving safety in the NHS must have its independence guaranteed legally. The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) will begin work this autumn, having been formed back in April with a budget of £3.6 million. It will carry out approximately 30 reviews every year. Yet a report from MPs suggests that a public enquiry should be made into its legal basis in order to avoid patient harm within the NHS. The government... Readmore
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