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Archive for December, 2008

One in 20 midwife positions unfilled

One in 20 midwife positions in NHS hospitals are unfilled despite a labour Government promise to would recruit 1,000 more midwives. The NHS may not be able to give women a single dedicated midwife during pregnancy and labour, as promised by ministers. Figures show that 583 midwife posts in NHS hospitals are vacant and 276 […]

NHS trusts waste effort chasing EU working time directive

NHS Trusts are wasting millions of pounds and losing thousands of service hours over preparing for the European working time directive. Others risk prosecution and fines because the way they are assessing junior doctors’ compliance with the directive does not match the EU measurement. Data from 123 trusts shows the proportion of posts compliant with […]

Sir Richard Branson accuses labour of failing over hospital superbugs

Sir Richard Branson criticised horrific hospital infection rates, accusing labour politicians and health bosses of “tinkering” with the problem. The Virgin tycoon, who was recently appointed vice president of the Patients Association, called for all hospital staff to be screened for the superbug MRSA and receive immediate treatment if infected. He has also said managers […]

Flu cases could be heading towards rates not seen for eight years

Flu cases in England and Wales could be heading towards rates not seen for eight years after they rose by more than 75 per cent in a week. The number of cases identified by GPs is now also 73 per cent higher than at the same time last year. The virus is also hitting greater […]

Healthcare Commission warns NHS has some way to go on patient safety

NHS boards are devolving vital decisions on safety and failing to report serious incidents such as radiation overdoses, preliminary Healthcare Commission findings have revealed. An upcoming review looking at governance systems and how NHS trust boards respond to information will show that the monitoring of safety issues is often poor. The early analysis, due to […]

Premium rate phone lines to book GPs appointments to be reviewed

A ban on the use, by GP surgeries and other parts of the NHS, of premium rate phone numbers which begin with 084 is being considered, say labour ministers. They have launched an England wide consultation to ask people whether they want to keep the numbers. Doctors say the new systems enable them to offer […]

Comply with NICE or pay, Care Quality Commission tells trusts

Healthcare providers could be shut down for failing to comply with National Institute for Curbing Expenditure (NICE) guidance under plans to make adherence a requirement of the Care Quality Commission’s registration scheme. CQC chair Baroness Young has revealed that organisations from hospitals to GP surgeries will be expected to prove they are complying with national […]

Too many people still admitted to mixed sex sleeping areas, says Healthcare Commission

Too many people are still admitted to mixed sex sleeping areas in NHS hospitals, the health watchdog has warned. One in ten patients find themselves in mixed sex areas when admitted for planned operations and 29 per cent when admitted as emergency cases. Three in ten patients said they had to use bathrooms or showers […]

Alan Johnson extends nanny state as shop cigarette displays to be removed

Tobacco displays will be removed from shops and access to vending machines restricted as part of labour’s nanny state to stop children and young people from smoking. After holding a consultation on tobacco control, the Department of Health said cigarette displays promote smoking to young people, prompt impulse purchases of cigarettes and undermine efforts to […]

Health chiefs agree to clear £327m debts

Improvements to London’s health services will be delayed and some hospital services reshaped as the NHS tries to resolve long standing financial problems. Under a plan agreed by the capital’s 31 primary care trust [PCT] chief executives, though not yet by their boards, about £327m ($481m) of debt would be wiped from 10 of the […]