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Archive for February, 2008

Contract was a windfall for GPs but ‘not a good deal for patients’

The controversial contract to improve GPs pay and efficiency cost £1.76 billion more than the labour goverment expected and NHS productivity has actually fallen, a damning report by auditors concludes. The findings, by the National Audit Office, show that GPs who run their own practices received huge pay rises while giving up responsibility for the […]

Health spending on non NHS care soars

Spending on patient care from outside the NHS has been the fastest growing component of the health service’s expenditure during the past decade and reached £5bn a year in 2006, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. Spending on care bought from the private and voluntary sectors and local authorities has been rising by […]

Private surgeries hurt NHS, say academics

Two leading academics claimed the government’s fast track private surgery centres for NHS patients would “contribute to NHS deficits, NHS service closure and staff redundancies”. Allyson Pollock and Sylvia Godden of Edinburgh university’s centre for public health policy said: “There is no good evidence that independent sector treatment centres [ISTCs] have provided additional capacity, value […]

Hugh Grant calls for terminal care funds and labour to keep it’s promise

Hugh Grant accused labour ministers of breaking a key commitment to the terminally ill as he called for extra funds for their care on Tuesday. The actor claimed Labour had pledged to double funding for palliative care in their 2005 manifesto but said the money “hasn’t materialised”. Grant, whose mother was cared for by Marie […]

NHS 18 week target is preventing choice

Hospitals across England are stopping patients booking advance appointments in an attempt to meet a labour Government promise of treatment within 18 weeks. Pulse magazine said 90 per cent of hospital trusts reduced the scope for advanced booking in the past six months to help meet the target of 18 weeks between GP referral and […]

Midwives left woman to drown in the bath

A pregnant woman lay drowning in a hospital bath just as she was about to give birth after staff left her unattended for 45 minutes – despite being told she had a history of fainting attacks, an inquest has heard. Doctors managed to save Lorraine Maddi’s baby son, who was delivered by caesarean section after […]

Row erupts over NHS health trusts in centralist health dictats

A battle for the soul of NHS reform has broken out after accusations that the labour government has usurped key hospitals’ independence. At the centre of the row are letters from the health department to all NHS hospitals, including foundation trusts, telling them to appoint extra matrons, undertake an annual deep clean to combat hospital-acquired […]

A&E patients die waiting for ambulances to meet labour targets

Seriously ill patients are left for hours in ambulances instead of being immediately admitted to accident and emergency departments to meet a labour Government target on treatment times, it was claimed. The practice of “patient stacking” has left some waiting for up to five hours because A&E; units have refused to admit them until they […]

Dentists warn of future of NHS services at risk

Contract changes that have seen more than 1,000 dentists leave the health service threaten to bring about the end of NHS dentistry, MPs are warned. The introduction of financial penalties for missing targets has already seen twice as many dentists leave the NHS as the Government estimated. Thousands more are questioning their future in the […]

Health Minister defensive over Cerner NPfIT NHS progress

When advisers to ministers write replies to Parliamentary questions they have no legal duty to be candid. Within reason they can say what they like. So for them answering written Parliamentary questions may be no more challenging than playing tennis with the net down. Indeed, when asked about the NHS’s National Programme for IT [NPfIT], […]