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ESA benefit payments- retests axed for chronically ill claimants

Claimants of long term sickness benefits will no longer face repeated medical assessments to keep their payments. Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green said it was pointless to re-test recipients of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with severe conditions and no prospect of getting better. More than two million people receive ESA, which is worth […]

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. […]

NHS health staff crisis is worse than cash woes

The growing crisis in healthcare professionals’ morale is a greater risk to the NHS than the financial problems it is grappling with. Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust think tank, warned staff shortages, disputes with government and bullying were creating a “toxic mix”. He said if the problems persisted, the affinity staff felt […]

Agreement in sight for Junior doctors’ contract deal

A potential deal in the long running dispute over a new junior doctors’ contract has been agreed. Government negotiators and the British Medical Association leadership have reached an agreement after eight days of talks at conciliation service Acas. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the deal was a “significant step forward”, while the BMA said it […]

NHS understaffed by 50,000 due to bad health planning

Bad planning and cost cutting have left the NHS in England short of 50,000 vital front line staff MPs are warning. The Public Accounts Committee said the shortfall in doctors, nurses and midwives could even get worse if ministers did not get a “better grip”. The group also warned there had been “no coherent attempt” […]

Fourth Junior Doctor strike hits Health Service

Junior doctors in the NHS are taking part in a fourth strike in their long running contract dispute. The 48 hour strike started at 08:00 this morning as the doctors prepare legal challenges to the government’s decision to impose changes to their pay and conditions from this summer. Doctors are again providing emergency cover- but […]

Doctors’ strike may over-crowd hospitals

Hospitals may end be over crowded tonight as they fail to discharge patients because of the junior doctor strike. The NHS seemed to cope well on Wednesday following the walkout from 08:00 GMT over the contract dispute. But NHS England said the second day of the 48 hour walkout in England was always going to […]

NHS struggles to recruit thousands of healthcare professionals

More than two thirds of NHS trusts and health boards are struggling to recruit qualified healthcare professionals. Data from a BBC Freedom of Information request shows that on 1 December 2015, the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had more than 23,443 nursing vacancies – equivalent to 9% of the workforce. In comparison, the […]

Junior doctors threaten exodus after Hunt’s ultimatum

Junior doctors are threatening an exodus from the NHS after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt imposed a new contract. After two strikes by junior doctors, the sticking point in negotiations remained the rates of pay for working Saturdays. Under the new contract, 7am to 5pm on Saturdays will be regarded as a normal working day. But […]

David Bowie thanked by end of life care doctor

A doctor specialising in end of life care hasĀ  thanked David Bowie helping people to talk about death. Dr Mark Taubert, palliative care consultant at Velindre NHS Trust in Cardiff, said it prompted a “weighty” discussion with a dying woman. His letter, published on the blogs website page of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), has […]