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Archive for April, 2009

Swine flu- nanny state launches mass advertising campaign as ministers step up fight

Labour ministers will blow more taxpayers’ money as a mass advertising campaign will be mounted to try to contain the growing swine flu outbreak in the UK. Every household in the country will have a leaflet through the door from next Tuesday onwards As five cases of swine flu were confirmed in the UK – […]

Families call for fresh police investigation into Gosport hospital death ward

Relatives of five patients who died on a hospital’s “death ward” have called for a GP to be reinvestigated after an inquest jury decided excessive doses of morphine contributed to their deaths. Dr Jane Barton, who was the prescribing doctor in each case, was the subject of two lengthy police investigations into a total of […]

Swine flu confirmed in Britain

Swine flu has reached Britain it was disclosed last night, as officials confirmed that two people were being treated in a hospital isolation unit after contracting the disease on holiday in Mexico. Cases have also been confirmed in Spain, Canada, and several states in the USA. They were named in the Scottish press as honeymooners […]

Relatives win 10 year battle to prove NHS culture of euthanasia

Three patients who died at a hospital in Hampshire in the late 1990s were given inappropriate medication, an inquest jury has ruled. The panel of five women and three men also found that two patients were given the correct medication but in doses which contributed to their deaths. The patients’ families are now calling for […]

Hospital death rates to be published on NHS Choices website

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has instructed the website NHS Choices to publish each hospital trust’s overall death rate. Sir Bruce’s move follows concern that failures at Mid Staffordshire foundation trust may have been spotted sooner had more attention been paid to its hospital standardised mortality ratio (HSMR). The ratios are one way of […]

NHS and healthcare to bear the brunt of 2009 budget cuts

The NHS and the Department of Health took the biggest hit yesterday as the labour government allocated its £5bn cut in public spending for next year, which it claims will be made up by efficiency savings. The NHS has to make virtually half the savings – £2.3bn – on top of the 3 per cent […]

Acute overspending raises questions over PCT plans

Primary care trusts have overspent against acute contracts by hundreds of millions of pounds, raising questions over the success of efforts to deliver care more cheaply in the community. The average overspend figure for PCTs contacted by HSJ this week was £7.6m, suggesting that nationally the total could be as much as £1.2bn. HSJ asked […]

Overworked healthcare professionals blamed for medical errors

Patient safety is being put at risk by overworked medical staff who made 4,000 avoidable errors last year, it has been disclosed. More than half of the blunders – 2,221 – were considered serious, resulting in deaths, injuries and patients being left in severe pain, according to new figures. They included surgeons operating on the […]

Mid Staffordshire redundancies under scrutiny

Mid Staffordshire hospital trust paid out £1.3m in redundancy payments between 2006 and 2009, figures disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed. The request was made by the Liberal Democrats. The party’s health spokesman Norman Lamb said the figures were “absolutely shocking” as the lay offs coincided with at least 400 unnecessary deaths […]

Flaws exposed in NHS winter planning

The NHS must improve the way it deals with the increased demand for hospital care in winter months, director general of NHS finance, performance and operations David Flory has said. Mr Flory said in the quarterly update on performance that he was “disappointed” that the NHS as a whole had missed its target to see […]