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Ambulances too slow to reach 999 calls

Ambulance services are struggling to reach seriously ill and injured patients quickly enough after rising demand has left the system over-stretched. Ambulance services are struggling to reach seriously ill and injured patients quickly enough after rising demand has left the system over-stretched. Patients with life-threatening conditions – like cardiac arrests – are meant to be […]

Thousands miss out on stroke treatment

About 9,000 stroke patients a year are missing out on a treatment that can prevent disability following a stroke, say UK experts. In the UK, nearly 90,000 people each year are admitted to hospital following a stroke. Clot retrieval can restore blood flow to the brain, preventing some lasting damage, but currently only 600 patients […]

NHS will miss targets on foreign patient cost payments

The government is expected to fall well short of its target of recovering £500m a year from overseas visitors treated in NHS hospitals in England. The Department of Health has “refined” to £346m its target for 2017-18, says the National Audit Office. Some £289m was paid in 2015-16; £73m in 2012-13. A new “surcharge” for […]

Implant register launched to safeguard patients

A register of patients in England with breast and other cosmetic implants has been set up to allow them to be traced in the event of any safety concerns. The move comes after faulty Poly Implant ProthËse (PIP) silicone breast implants were recalled in 2010, affecting thousands of women. The inclusion of individual patients’ details […]

DVLA making unfair health driving licence decisions

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is not making fair decisions about medical fitness-to-drive cases, a report has suggested. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s report found “major failings” in eight drivers’ cases. It said people’s lives had been put on hold for years because of flawed decision-making and poor communication. The DVLA said […]

The smoking ban has led to a sharp fall in heart attacks

Major research suggests that the introduction of a smoking ban has resulted in a 40 per cent fall in the number of people suffering from heart attacks as the result of passive smoking. Heart attack rates in the UK have fallen by up to 42 per cent since the 2007 smoking ban, major research suggests. […]

Overseas nurses denied NHS jobs

Thousands of overseas nurses were denied permission to work in England last year, despite hospitals facing staff shortages. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has found that the refusals have hit high profile hospitals in Cambridge, Newcastle and Manchester. A Freedom of Information request to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) found more than 2,341 refusals. […]

Dementia patients face Russian roulette in hospital

Dementia patients admitted to hospital in England play “Russian roulette” with their health, a charity is warning. The Alzheimer’s Society said it had found “shocking” evidence of poor and variable care during its review. The report, based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, found problems with falls, night-time discharges and readmissions, and said standards needed […]

Suicide gene therapy kills prostate cancer cells

A new gene therapy technique is able to modify prostate cancer cells so that a patient’s body attacks and kills them, US scientists have discovered. The technique causes the tumour cells in the body to self destruct, giving it the name ‘suicide gene therapy’. Their research found a 20% improvement in survival in patients with […]

NHS trust failed to investigate hundreds of deaths

The NHS has failed to investigate the unexpected deaths of more than 1,000 people since 2011 according to a new report. It blames a “failure of leadership” at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and that the deaths of mental health and learning disability patients were not properly examined. Southern Health said it “fully accepted” the quality […]