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Archive for August, 2009

Couples are still being refused IVF treatment in a postcode lottery

Couples are still facing problems getting IVF treatment on the NHS, with some trusts refusing to fund procedures or comply with guidelines, such as a woman’s age. Regional disparities mean that the same woman can be too old for treatment in one part of the country and too young in another. Two trusts have provided […]

Want your NHS records to stay private? Good luck

If you don’t want your health records stored online, you may have some trouble finding the ‘opt out’ option. If you are registered with a GP in any of six primary care trusts — Bolton, Bradford and Airedale, Bury, Dorset, South Birmingham and South West Essex — you will last week, have received a leaflet […]

One in three nurses say they will not be immunised against swine flu, despite being offered the vaccine as a priority to protect patients.

Concerns about the swine flu vaccine’s safety and a perception that the infection is mild are among reasons that NHS staff gave for refusing to have the jab, a survey of nearly 1,500 staff found. Frontline health and social care workers will be offered the jab from October, along with patients in at-risk groups — […]

Why it’s time to end the war on drugs

The director of public health for Cumbria, Professor John Ashton, startled a room full of local delegates at a conference entitled “Tackling Drugs, Changing Lives” by calling for total legalisation. “The war on drugs has failed,” he said. “We need to think differently.” He said that heroin, and everything else now banned, should be available […]

NHS health debate is more heat than light

There are moments when politics and healthcare collide and all that is generated is heat. With absolutely no light. As opponents turn their fire on to President Obama’s health plan, a gross mischaracterisation of Britain’s tax funded National Health Service has become the weapon of choice to attack it. In response British politicians from Gordon […]

Cancer postcode lottery- London patients get three times more funding than those in Leicester

The full extent of Britain’s postcode lottery in cancer care has been laid bare by research showing some health trusts are spending three times as much per patient as others. Huge variations in funding mean that cancer sufferers’ chances of being given life-extending drugs, surgery, and specialist care vary wildly from one part of the […]

NHS staffing crisis as one in 20 health professional posts remains unfilled

More than one in 20 posts in the NHS are being left unfilled official figures show as Trusts are forced to spend up to £150,000 to fill each job with agency workers. The NHS Information Centre found that the number of job vacancies for hospital doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives rose for the first time […]

Death toll from MRSA hospital bugs hits new high

More than 30,000 people have died after contracting the hospital infections MRSA and Clostridium difficile in just five years, official figures show. Between 2004 and 2007 there were more than 20,000 deaths linked to C. diff and more than 6,000 associated with MRSA. Data from the Office for National Statistics covering 2004 to 2008 shows […]

Nearly 400 NHS dentists earn more than £300,000

Nearly 400 NHS dentists earned more than £300,000 last year, new figures show, despite millions of patients struggling to access free treatment. In total almost 1,200, or one in every 20 dentists, earned more than £200,000 between 2007 and 2008, three times as many as the previous year. The rising number of dentists earning what […]

Swine flu shirkers cost firms more than virus, say employers

Staff using the swine flu pandemic as an excuse to take time off work are causing more disruption to businesses than the virus itself, according to employers. Thousands of healthy workers are thought to have taken advantage of official guidelines on the pandemic to extend their summer holidays. By simply phoning the NHS swine flu […]