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Archive for November, 2008

Drug addicts on incapacity benefit up 12 per cent in four years

The number of people on incapacity benefit due to drug addiction has increased by more than 12 per cent in the last four years, figures show. More than 50,000 addicts on state handouts cite drugs as the reason they cannot work, costing the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds a year. A study earlier this […]

NHS Data losses an accident waiting to happen

Technology used by public authorities made data security breaches “an accident waiting to happen”, a privacy official warned. Jonathan Bamford, assistant information commissioner, said too many institutions failed to ensure that they had the electronic tools to limit the confidential details they held and prevent them being copied. His comments come before the launch by […]

Hospitals fail to pass latest MRSA superbug hygiene test

Only one in 10 NHS hospitals are complying fully with a compulsory hygiene code intended to prevent MRSA hospital acquired infections, the NHS inspectorate has found in a series of spot checks. Unannounced visits to 51 big acute hospitals – around a third of the total in England – found just five following the hygiene […]

Health trusts may face bill for top-up refunds after labour’s U turn on cancer drugs

Primary care trusts could come under pressure to refund tens of thousands of pounds to patients who have paid for top-up treatment. One PCT has already refunded more than £23,000 to two patients who paid for care that was later deemed to be the responsibility of the NHS. Another faces a demand for nearly £60,000 […]

Health Direct asks if you are happy for your private medical records to open to all?

Health Direct asks you to lobby parliament if you don’t want your medical details to be available to all. Please send labour a clear message about the use of patient information. NHS Connecting for Health (NHS CFH) is conducting a consultation on the wider use of patient information (see http://tinyurl.com/6l2goc). Details of the consultation are […]

GP commissioning costs lots and delivers little

A major study into practice based commissioning has found it to be an “expensive investment” that has delivered little in terms of better services for patients or financial savings. The King’s Fund is urging the Department of Health to use the “reinvigoration” of practice based commissioning announced in the next stage review to set out […]

Doctors will be offered cash incentives to prescribe new medicines

Doctors will be given extra cash when they prescribe newer, more expensive medicines under a pilot scheme aimed at accelerating the UK’s slow uptake of new medicines compared with other European countries. The plan is part of a package agreed by the labour government and the pharmaceutical industry yesterday that aims to reward drugs innovation […]

Doubts about safety of NHS maternity care as negligence payouts reach £1 billion

Errors that caused serious harm to mothers and babies have accounted for nearly half of the £2.1 billion paid out as a result of medical negligence since 1995, Health Direct has learnt. A total of £947 million has been spent on compensation relating directly to obstetrics, reflecting the increasing cost of lifetime care for children […]

Labour’s organ donor fiasco grows

A change in the law on organ donation may yet occur, in spite of an expert advisory body rejecting the idea. The UK Organ Donation Task Force said that moving to a system where people are presumed to give consent to their organs being used for transplant risked damaging the “vital relationship of trust” between […]

Medicines shortage fears grow

British patients face the prospect of drug shortages as the falling price of medicines makes it more profitable for pharmacists and wholesalers to sell them abroad. The weakening of sterling against the euro has reduced British drug prices, compared with levels in other countries. That has fuelled a surge in the legal “grey market” practice […]