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Archive for March, 2008

Public mistrusts official data- particularly waiting times lists

More than half of Britons think labour politicians interfere with official data, according to a survey by the government’s own statisticians. The figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest efforts by the labour government to improve public confidence have had little effect. The survey places even more pressure on the government to restore trust, […]

Whitehall cannot afford to pay for budget’s incapacity benefit tests

Ministers insisted that they had enough money to implement new budget promises for tests on all incapacity benefit claimants after Conservative claims of a “con”. Disability charities also voiced concerns about people being “thrown off” benefits under the scheme. James Purnell, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said that all 2.6 million benefit claimants will be […]

Gulf in health between rich and poor widens under Labour government

Health inequalities between rich and poor have widened since Labour came to office in 1997. A report published shows that attempts to narrow the gaps have largely failed. In infant mortality and life expectancy, two important measures, the gap is wider now than it was then. David Sinclair, head of policy at Help the Aged, […]

GPs win legal fight over pensions cap

Patricia Hewitt acted unlawfully when health secretary by capping the pensions of family doctors after they earned more from a new contract than expected, the High Court has ruled. GPs retiring between 2004 and 2006 had their pensions capped after earnings from the new contract rocketed and ministers argued they had to cap pensions to […]

NHS IT delays hit cash savings

The potential savings from the £12.4bn NHS’s IT project in England have been hit by delays dogging key parts of the programme, the labour government admits. Officials said a prudent estimate from data from a fifth of NHS trusts showed it was on course to save £1.14bn. They said the figures were positive but acknowledged […]

Pratchett funds Alzheimer’s study as labour wouldn’t fund treatment

Terry Pratchett the best selling fantasy author is to donate £500,000 for research into Alzheimer’s disease. Pratchett, 59, announced the pledge at the Alzheimer’s Research Trust annual conference. Telling leading dementia specialists of his determination to find a cure, he said: “I intend to scream and harangue while there is time.” There are 15,000 people […]

NHS private service ISTC buyback deal could cost £187m

The National Health Service will have to pay out £187m to buy back 14 of the independent sector treatment centres if their five year contracts are not renewed, the Department of Health has acknowledged. The “residual value obligations” are part of the deal for the £1.5bn programme to provide extra operations for NHS patients, and […]

Thousands of mistakes in cancer treatment

Thousands of mistakes were made in treating cancer patients last year and more than 500 cases were missed by doctors, official figures show. The scale of the problem emerged as it was disclosed that the NHS has paid out almost £50 million in negligence claims related to cancer since 1995. In total 502 cases of […]

£1.8bn surplus forecast for NHS after cutbacks in patient care

The National Health Service in England is heading for a surplus of £1.8 billion this year, provoking anger among patient bodies over cutbacks to the funding of care. Details announced by the Department of Health reveal that some health authorities are expected to generate more than £200 million, 25 per cent of their income. The […]

Prostate cancer services subject to wide postcode lottery

Prostate cancer services must be improved to help tackle the wide variations in care seen across England, say health experts in Prostate Cancer week. The Prostate Cancer Charter for Action found death rates from the cancer were twice as high in the London borough of Lewisham than in nearby Southwark. The group said patients needed […]