STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

MyNotes Medical – Download the app to your mobile or tablet.

The MyNotes Medical program has been designed to help people care for themselves, their loved ones and their patients (even if they are carers or health practitioners)   

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MyNotes Medical

http://www.mynotesmedical.com

The MyNotes Medical program has been designed to help people care for themselves, their loved ones and their patients (even if they are carers or health practitioners)

Users of the app can keep and share accurate and accessible records of their health condition and treatment at the tap of a finger.

To Take Notes: Recording robust written, audio and visual notes with the MyNotes Medical app enables patients to be more “informed, involved and engaged in getting better”.

The rich, chronological event log of text, audio, video and photo notes is automatically built and secured in a searchable format by the MyNotes Medical app. Users of the MyNotes Medical app can easily add their personal information and details of treatment, medications, and appointments.

To Share Notes: MyNotes Medical users can easily refer to and share all of these details – including an accurate record of what was said as treatment progresses.

To Research Health Issues between visits to the doctor or consultant, MyNotes Medical allows patients and carers to review and share recordings of the consultation/diagnosis with friends and family and to research vetted sites about related healthcare issues.

download

Available on Android

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Staffing crisis leaves NHS on brink of another Mid Staffs disaster, nurses warn

Exclusive: The Royal College of Nursing is giving the Government a ‘final warning’

Nurses are warning Theresa May that dire staffing shortages have left the NHS on the brink of another Mid Staffs hospital scandal, putting hundreds of lives at risk.

Royal College of Nursing chief executive Janet Davies said the Government has failed to respond to clear and alarming signals that the tragedy she called “inevitable” is about to happen again.

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Click on the link to read more

https://goo.gl/MJF4Tc

 

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

NHS cyber-attack: hospital computer systems held to ransom across England

Many hospitals having to divert emergency patients, with doctors reporting messages demanding money

Hospitals across England have been hit by a large-scale cyber-attack, the NHS has confirmed, which has locked staff out of their computers and forced many trusts to divert emergency patients.

The IT systems of NHS sites across the country appear to have been simultaneously hit, with a pop-up message demanding a ransom in exchange for access to the PCs. NHS England has declared a major incident. NHS Digital said it was aware of the problem and would release more details soon.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/12/hospitals-across-england-hit-by-large-scale-cyber-attack

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‘Humanitarian crisis’ in NHS hospitals, warns Red Cross

There is a “humanitarian crisis” in NHS hospitals in England, the British Red Cross has said

The charity said volunteers and staff had been helping patients get home from hospital and called for more government money to stabilise the situation.

It comes as a third of hospital trusts in England warned they needed action to cope with patient numbers last month. NHS England said plans were in place to deal with winter pressure and beds were not as full as this time last year.

Figures show that 42 A&E departments ordered ambulances to divert to other hospitals last week – double the number during the same period in 2015.

Click on the link to read more
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38538637

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Questions over efficiency of NHS referral management centres

NHS bodies are paying millions of pounds to private firms that stop patients being referred to hospital by their GP, an investigation has found.

NHS bodies are paying millions of pounds to private firms that stop patients being referred to hospital by their GP, an investigation has found. Controversial referral management centres are used by some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to scrutinise patient referrals to hospitals by family doctors.

 Supporters say they can cut down on inappropriate referrals, saving the NHS money, but critics argue that adding an extra layer of scrutiny can risk delaying diagnosis for the patient. There is also a question mark over how effective such schemes are.

In a new investigation, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) sent freedom of information requests to all 211 CCGs in England. Of 184 that responded, 72 (39%) said they currently commissioned some form of referral management scheme to help manage outpatient demand at their local hospitals.

Almost a third (32%) of the schemes are provided by private companies, while a further 29% are provided in house and 11% by local NHS trusts. Some 69% of CCGs with schemes gave details of operating costs. These CCGs combined have spent at least £57m on schemes since April 2013.

Most CCGs were unable to provide evidence showing the scheme saved money. Only 14% could show that the scheme had saved more cash than it had cost to operate, while 12% showed that their schemes had not saved money overall.

Meanwhile, 74% of CCGs (53 groups) failed to supply figures to show whether any money had been saved, the BMJ reported.

Click on the link to read more

https://goo.gl/7ZhZaC

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NHS bosses ‘trying to keep cuts secret’ an investigation has found

NHS chiefs are trying to keep plans to cut hospital services in England secret, an investigation has found.

Full details of 44 reviews of services around the country – which involve closing some A&Es or, in one case, a whole hospital – are yet to emerge. That is because NHS England told local managers to keep the plans “out of the public domain” and avoid requests for information, the King’s Fund suggested. Managers were even told how to reject freedom of information requests.

The King’s Fund report did not include any details of cuts, but from the leaks and plans that have been published so far a partial picture is emerging of what is involved.

This includes:

  • Plans in south west London to close one of five hospitals – St George’s, Kingston, Croydon, St Helier or Epsom
  • The North Tees proposal to centralise specialist services, including A&E, on two sites. It would lead to services being downgraded at one of the three major hospitals in the area
  • In Devon bosses are looking at whether to close some A&E, maternity and stroke services at hospitals across the county so they can be centralised at bigger sites
  • In Merseyside there has been talk of merging four hospitals – the Royal Liverpool, Broadgreen, Aintree and Liverpool Women’s – to plug a £1bn shortfall, according to leaked documents
  • Plans in Birmingham and Solihull involve reorganising maternity services with fears this could result in fewer units
  • Bosses at North Central London have talked about a consolidation of services on fewer sites, leading to fears that the Whittington Hospital could lose its A&E

During its research, the King’s Fund carried out interviews with staff involved in four of the reviews, known as sustainability and transformation plans (STPs). These were done on an anonymised basis.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37943379

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Exclusive: GP practices serving more than 5m patients could close in the next year

More than 5m patients in England could be forced to look for a new GP over the next year as surgery closures hit record levels, a poll suggests.

One in 10 GPs believe their practice is at risk of closure in the next 12 months because of underfunding, workload or recruitment problems, according to a GPonline opinion poll of 298 GPs.

Many more GPs are aware of struggling practices in their local area – 41% of respondents said they knew a neighbouring practice that was at risk of closure in the next year. GP leaders warned that NHS England must do more to deliver rapid bailout funding to prevent the collapse of practices across the country.

The closure of one in 10 of the 7,500-plus GP practices in England – which have an average list size of around 7,000 – could leave 5.25m patients looking for a new family doctor.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/YKnnGR

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A&E in Meltdown?

Watchdogs have concerns about safety at two thirds of England’s A&E departments, according to the latest Tonight programme.

Despite the best efforts of staff, the performance of A&Es is now as bad as it ever has been. And a report by the Care Quality Commission confirms that overcrowding is leaving patient safety compromised.

Reporter Fiona Foster interviews Dr Taj Hassan the President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine who tells the programme:

Our recent statistics show that anywhere from five hundred to a thousand patients per year are dying because unfortunately our departments are ever more crowded.“ – Dr Taj Hassan

Chris Hopson of NHS Providers runs the body that represents most of the hospital and ambulance chiefs around the country. He says:
We are running our hospitals at ninety five, ninety eighty, ninety nine percent capacity. So when you get a surge in demand that overloads the system. You have to be careful about saying that the NHS is suddenly going to fall off the edge of a cliff because it never does. What I think we tend to see is a long slow deterioration.”

The NHS is short of 2,000 emergency doctors, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. And experts estimate that up to a third of A&E patients could be better treated elsewhere.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-10-13/tonight-a-e-in-meltdown/

If you missed the tonight programme you can view on the itv hub (expires 12th Nov)

http://www.itv.com/hub/tonight/1a2803a1046

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A&E patients lined up in a corridor waiting for treatment Credit: ITV / Tonight

Filed under: A&E, ,

They’re not bed blockers, just older people who want to get home

The NHS is faced with a rising tide of demand for care combined with a tight rein on both NHS and social care finances. The impact of these pressures is seen across the health and care system. It manifests itself obviously in delayed transfers out of hospitals.

Year on year these delays are rising, with more people staying in hospital when they don’t need to be there. It has an impact on the care of some of the frailest and most vulnerable people and is the subject of continued attention from the media, healthcare regulators and politicians. When media and commentators discuss this issue it’s only a matter of time before a certain horrible term is used – “bed blocker”.

The phrase “blocked bed” originated in the UK in the late 50s, driven by hospital clinicians’ concerns about a lack of beds. Its use grew between 1961 and 1967, when the elderly population increased by 14% while bed numbers remained static. In 1986 “bed blocking” made its first appearance in a British Medical Journal headline. Although it was not accepted as a medical term, by the 90s it was being widely used by health economists as a marker of inefficiency.

Click on the link to read more

goo.gl/kT9uSf

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NHS to withhold report on primary care support problems until 2017

NHS England will wait more than a year before it publishes its report of serious and significant events recorded for primary care support services since Capita took over.

Pulse has learned that NHS England intends to publish an annual round-up of the problems raised by practices, but the first publication – due July 2016 – will only cover issues reported by 31 March this year.

This will not include the details around the piles of uncollected patient notes and dwindling stocks of essential clinical supplies, which have happened since the new national system went live at the start of April. LMC leaders are also reporting that GPs have ‘given up’ on flagging concerns because they are fatigued with the number of problems they have to document.

GP leaders have labelled NHS England’s decision a ‘bloody disgrace’, adding that Capita is operating under different standards to practices that are required to regularly audit and learn from significant events.

Click on the link to read the full article

http://goo.gl/w2inl4

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North Middlesex hospital A&E faces closure on safety grounds

Exclusive: Move would be first in NHS history, as internal documents seen by the Guardian show junior staff often left in charge of casualty unit.

An A&E unit has been threatened with closure on safety grounds for the first time in the NHS’s history, amid fears that its 500 patients a day are at what the medical regulator calls “serious risk” of suffering harm. The General Medical Council, which regulates doctors, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing agency, have both issued the unprecedented warnings to North Middlesex hospital over what one local MP described as “a catalogue of failings” in its emergency department.

Unpublished internal confidential NHS documents seen by the Guardian reveal widespread alarm in the NHS locally and nationally that some of the hospital’s A&E doctors lack the basic skills to do their jobs, and that young, inexperienced doctors have been asked to perform tasks they were not qualified to undertake.

There are also occasions on which, despite their lack of experience, “junior staff [are] being left in charge of the [emergency] department, highlighting a probable risk to patients”, a private meeting of NHS chiefs was told last month. There is also serious concern that just two of the 26 junior doctors in training in the A&E have ever worked in an emergency department before and that care in the unit overnight is described as “an area of significant risk” to patient safety.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jun/14/north-middlesex-hospital-ae-faces-closure-on-safety-grounds

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Ambulances outside A&E at North Middlesex hospital.

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Patients ‘will be put at risk and operations delayed’ as shortage of anaesthetists in the NHS is set to grow

  • In 2033 there may only be 8,000 anaesthetists instead of promised 11, 800
  • A shortage of anaesthetists could jeopardise the safety of patients
  • 74% of hospitals are forced to bring in locum anaesthetists from outside 

New research has shown that by 2033 we will not have enough anaesthetists in hospital to cater for rising patient demand. The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) has warned that while the NHS has promised there will be 11,800 anaesthetists by 2033, in reality there may only be 8,000  – 33 per cent less than anticipated.

Anaesthesia is just one area of medical care which suffers a shortfall in staff despite their work being vital to the smooth running of hospitals. Their roles include the preoperative preparation of surgical patients, pain relief in labour and obstetric anaesthesia and transport of acutely ill and injured patients. A shortage of anaesthetists could jeopardise the safety of patients.

According to the college’s latest census of the UK’s anaesthesia workforce, 74% of hospitals are forced to bring in locum anaesthetists from medical employment agencies – all of which adds to the NHS’s £3.7billion annual bill for temporary staff. Moreover more often than not staff anaesthetists are called on to perform other duties around hospitals in extra shifts to fill up the rota.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/SL45Lk

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Filed under: Hospital, ,

‘This isn’t acceptable’: outcry at state of NHS mental health care funding

Ministers given wake-up call after YouGov poll shows huge support for greater spending on mental health care

A cross-party inquiry by MPs into the funding of mental health services has received more than 95,000 personal submissions in an unprecedented display of anger over the state of the NHS.  One woman who submitted testimony linking the lack of support to suicide rates said the failure of the system to respond to people in trouble was often “what pushes you over the edge”. She wrote: “I’m scared my husband could become one of these statistics.”

A separate YouGov poll commissioned and crowdfunded by the campaigning organisation38 Degrees found that 74% of voters believe that funding for mental health should be greater or equal to funding for physical health. The amount actually spent on mental health by the NHS last year, despite government pledges to establish parity, was just 11.9% of overall NHS spending.

Meg Hillier, chairwoman of the public accounts committee holding the inquiry, said the scale of the response underlined the strength of feeling that mental health was being underfunded. “We shall question NHS England and the Department of Health on how they can meet the government’s pledges,” she said.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jun/11/public-anger-soaring-mental-health-care-nhs?CMP=twt_gu

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North Middlesex issued with warning over emergency department

A warning notice has been issued to North Middlesex University NHS Trust after an unannounced CQC inspection found ineffective treatment of patients in the emergency room.

The inspection, in April, found the department was lacking middle grade doctors and consultants and suffered delays in assessing patients and moving them to specialist wards. The trust has now been given until 26 August to make improvements.

Professor Edward Baker, the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals, said: “People going to the emergency department at the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust are entitled to an service that is safe, effective and responsive.

“When we inspected we found that patients were not receiving the quality of care that they should have been. We have strongly encouraged the trust to engage with other organisations across the local health and social care system to resolve this challenging issue.”

Julie Lowe, the trust’s chief executive, said that there were currently only seven out of 15 emergency department consultants and seven out of 13 middle grade emergency doctors in place, leading to “unacceptably long” waiting times.

“We have undertaken extensive recruitment exercises and despite our best efforts have, so far, been unable to fill all the posts, although we have made good progress in recent weeks with the support of partners,” she said. “We are working hard with our health partners to resolve the issues and bring the service back to the standard both we and our patients expect us to achieve.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Health-Care-News/north-middlesex-issued-with-warning-over-emergency-department

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Revealed: 30,000 patients left waiting in ambulances outside London A&Es last year

More than 30,000 patients suffered “appalling” delays stuck in ambulances outside London A&Es last year because of a lack of hospital beds, it can be revealed.

They were forced to wait at least 30 minutes — double the maximum time permitted under NHS rules — before crews were able to wheel them into the emergency department.

More than 3,000 were kept in ambulances for more than an hour. The total amount of time wasted during “delayed handovers” totalled 16,361 hours — the equivalent of almost two years. It is one of the reasons London Ambulance Service failed to hit the eight-minute response target for 999 calls every month last year, as crews and vehicles were unavailable for the next call.

Patient groups today warned that the total delay in patients receiving care was likely to have been far greater, as patients may have to wait an hour or more for an ambulance and then at least four hours in A&E.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/xRyRqp

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Decline in NHS quality’ reported – International Medical Press – 25 May 2016

Over the past year the quality of patient care has deteriorated in a number of areas, according to  a  report from The King’s Fund.

A new report from The King’s Fund has revealed that 65% of trust finance directors and 54% of Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) leads feel that patient care has declined in the past year.

Only 2% of trust finance directors and 12% of CCG finance leads said that patient care had improved in the past 12 months. Findings are based on a survey of 241 trust finance directors and 149 CCG finance leads. The think-tank says the latest findings are the ‘most worrying’ since it began monitoring this in 2012.

Click on the link to read more

Decline in NHS quality

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Junior doctors dispute: BMA and government reach deal. 18 May 2016

Acas released a statement following ten days of ‘intensive talks’ to seek to resolve the long running junior doctors’ dispute Credit: Reuters

The government and the British Medical Association (BMA) have reached a deal in resolving the dispute over new junior doctors’ contracts, following 10 days of talks at the conciliation service Acas.

The deal is subject to BMA junior doctor members approving the new contract in a vote. Under the deal, doctors will be paid a normal rate for Saturdays and Sundays between the hours of 9am and 9pm.

It also includes:

  • A basic pay rise of between 10% and 11%
  • Any shifts which start at or after 8pm and lasts longer than eight hours, and which finishes at or by 10am the following day, will result in an enhanced 37% pay rate for all the hours worked.
  • Doctors will receive a percentage of their salary for working more than six weekends a year – this will range from 3% for working one weekend in 7, and up to 10% if working one weekend in two.

If approved, Acas expect the new deal to be finalised in the next two weeks, with elements of the new contract coming into force from August. All junior doctors will then move onto the new terms between October and August 2017.

No further industrial action will be called while the vote is underway. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and the BMA have both welcomed the deal.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-05-18/junior-doctors-dispute-bma-and-government-reach-deal/

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How it all started, my mothers story

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Joanna Slater chronicles her mother Kay’s agonising six-month decline after a routine hip op – at the hands of an NHS where  many have simply forgotten how to care… 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1394300/NHS-hip-operation-mother-died-Daughters-harrowing-account.html

 

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Press release – NHS Improvement intends to take further action at Southern Health

NHS Improvement announces its intention to take further regulatory action at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Improvement has informed Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust that it intends to take further regulatory action at the trust to ensure urgent patient safety improvements are made, following a warning notice being issued by Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The trust was issued with a warning notice by the CQC which highlighted a number of improvements that needed to be made following an inspection. The CQC’s announcement is available here.

NHS Improvement intends to put an additional condition in the trust’s licence to provide NHS services, which would allow it to make management changes at the trust if progress isn’t made on fixing the concerns raised. The warning notice issued by the CQC identifies issues with how the trust monitors and improves the safety of its services, and how it assesses and manages any risks to its patients.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-improvement-intends-to-take-further-action-at-southern-health

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NHS whistle-blower told she was ‘too honest’ to work for the health service

An NHS whistle-blower who raised concerns about patient safety was told she was “too honest” to work for the organisation, The Telegraph can disclose.

Maha Yassaie, chief pharmacist at the now defunct Berkshire West Primary Care Trust, was told by a human resources consultant that her “values” made it difficult to work for the health service.

The investigator, Kelvin Cheatle, who was brought in from a private law firm to examine bullying claims and has carried out several similar inquiries for other NHS trusts, told the whistle-blower during a meeting: “If I had your values I would find it very difficult to work in the NHS”, according to a transcript of the conversation. The independence of the consultant who made the comments has also been called into question since the conclusion of his investigation, when it emerged that he appeared to coach witnesses during the inquiry.

Mrs Yassaie was subsequently sacked from the Trust. However, following an employment tribunal in 2014, the whistle-blower was awarded £375,000 by the NHS, and the Department of Health was forced to admit that “the investigation and disciplinary processes… were, in some respects, flawed”.

The disclosures about the investigation into Mrs Yassaie after she raised concerns will fuel fears that NHS whistle-blowers are not treated fairly.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/03/nhs-whistle-blower-told-she-was-too-honest-to-work-for-the-healt/

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Maha Yassaie at her home in Buckinghamshire

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

The number of ‘serious untoward incidents’ in the Welsh NHS has doubled in four years

The figures have renewed calls for the Welsh Government to hold an independent ‘Keogh-style’ inquiry into standards of care

The number of incidents in NHS hospitals which resulted in severe harm or avoidable deaths to patients has more than doubled in the past four years, it has been revealed. New figures show that 945 so-called ‘serious untoward incidents’ (SUI) were reported in 2014-15 compared to 414 in 2011-12 – a rise of 128.3%. But the Welsh Government said the number of incidents had increased because it asked the Welsh NHS to widen its scope to include infections and high-grade pressure ulcers.

The Welsh Conservatives, who uncovered the figures, have renewed calls for the Welsh Government to hold an independent “Keogh-style” inquiry into standards of care. Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM said: “These figures highlight a growing number of shocking failings in care in the Labour-run Welsh NHS.

“Incidents such as these where patients could come to serious harm or death are avoidable and should never happen. “The fact that they are rising and have increased threefold in some health boards in recent years is very concerning and provides further evidence of the impact of Labour’s record-breaking cuts on the NHS budget in Wales. “One avoidable death is one too many and the alarming rate at which these incidents are being reported to the Health Minister suggests that there are problems which need to be urgently addressed.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/number-serious-untoward-incidents-welsh-11092637

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Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

NHS junior doctors who turn whistleblowers risk ‘career suicide’ reveals a doctor who did it

Dr Chris Day raised concerns about what he believed was poor care but soon discovered that his commitment was unwelcome

Junior doctors risk losing their jobs if they raise concerns about poor care, according to one young medic. Chris Day, 31, said he was removed from consultant training in 2014 after alerting bosses to dangerously low staffing levels on his intensive care unit.

Dr Day, who worked at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in South East London, said: “They took away my training number and without that you are out. No reason was given and I had no way of appealing.” He tried to take his case to a tribunal, but last week an appeal ruled junior doctors’ contracts are not protected under whistleblowing rules. Dr Day, now working as a locum, is seeking legal advice.
He said: “It’s saying if you are one of 54,000 junior doctors and blow the whistle, you have no protection.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-junior-doctors-who-turn-7635466

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Dr Chris Day who turned whistleblower found out that it wasn’t appreciated

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Francis adviser to lead inquiry into ‘heart breaking’ baby death – BY SHAUN LINTERN

An adviser to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry will lead an investigation into the death and treatment of a baby girl whose case exposed a “regulatory gap” in the NHS.

Professor Peter Hutton, a senior consultant anaesthetist from the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and a former chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, will conduct the inquiry into the death and treatment of baby Elizabeth Dixon. She was born prematurely at Frimley Park Hospital in 2000 and was left with permanent brain damage after hospital staff failed to monitor or treat her high blood pressure. Less than a year later she died of suffocation when a newly qualified nurse failed to keep her breathing tube clear.

The cause of her brain damage only emerged in 2013 and her parents have a dossier of evidence suggesting their daughter’s poor care was covered up by senior clinicians in a number of organisations. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered an inquiry in September last year after Nursing Times’ sister titleHealth Service Journal highlighted the reluctance of national bodies, including NHS England and the health service ombudsman, to take on the case.

Click on the link to read more from The Nursing Times

An adviser to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry will lead an investigation into the death and treatment of a baby girl

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Elizabeth Dixon

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Staffing crisis as nurses quit NHS – More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone

More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone and health chiefs fear the exodus will grow as experienced staff take advantage of early retirement clauses in their contracts.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has also warned that the benefit of the £1billion pledged by David Cameron is unlikely to be felt until 2018. NHS boss Jim Mackey told the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network annual conference that “there is no cavalry coming”. Nursing recruitment is in crisis with vacancy levels averaging 10 per cent and a shortfall of 25,000 posts leading to huge bills for agency nurses to plug gaps. The Government has scrapped education bursaries so student nurses now apply for loans like other students.

The impact of the changes is likely to be felt more acutely in the mental health sector where recruits tend to be older and will struggle to afford the fees and student loan debts. Howard Catton, of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This is a massive roll of the dice.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/653954/Staffing-crisis-nurses-quit-NHS-health-Britain-mental-health

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Bullied into silence: NHS staff survey shows fears about whistleblowing

A poll of one quarter of NHS staff shows rising levels of bullying and widespread concerns about a failure to listen to those who raise concerns about safety

Just one in four NHS doctors and nurses believes whistleblowers are treated fairly by hospitals, according to a mass survey which shows rising complaints about staff bullying.

The poll of 300,000 NHS staff – around one in four of all workers – found widespread concerns about treatment of whistleblowers. In total, less than one in three said hospitals encouraged them to speak up when safety is at risk. Just 24 per cent said colleagues who became involved in a safety incident were treated fairly. Doctors and nurses said that when blunders or “near-misses” were reported, hospitals failed to learn from them.

Just 23 per cent of staff said that their hospitals took action to ensure failings were not repeated.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/laura-donnelly/12170705/Bullied-into-silence-NHS-staff-survey-shows-fears-about-whistleblowing.html

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Dr Raj Mattu, a cardiologist, was suspended for eight years, then sacked, after warning that patients were dying because of cost-cutting practices introduced by a Coventry hospital

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

GE Healthcare: US healthcare giant makes fortune from NHS but pays hardly a penny in tax

One of the biggest suppliers of equipment and testing services to the NHS pays barely any corporate tax in the UK, despite receiving hundreds of millions of pounds a year from medical sales to British clinics and hospitals.

A study of GE Healthcare’s accounts by The Independent suggests it has received more money back in tax benefits over the past 12 years than it has paid in, with the taxpayer appearing to be missing out on millions of pounds a year in lost revenues. The company has been headquartered in Buckinghamshire since 2003 when its vast US owner, General Electric, bought the British multinational medical firm Nycomed Amersham. It makes scanners and other equipment used in areas such as oncology and heart disease.

Nycomed Amersham typically used to pay up to £8m in corporation tax to the Exchequer every year, plus £50m to £90m more abroad. But in the 12 years since its takeover by GE, the UK divisions examined by The Independent made a total net gain of £1.6m in benefits from the taxman.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/cdUiNd

GE-Healthcare

Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS whistleblower helpline ‘useless’ campaigner Rab Wilson claims

A CONFIDENTIAL phone line set up to allow NHS workers to report concerns about patient safety and bullying has been branded “useless” by one of the country’s most high-profile whistleblowers.

Rab Wilson, a nurse who uncovered a catalogue of failings at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said he had suggested the measure to Nicola Sturgeon but the initiative had “failed utterly” as it had proved toothless in holding health boards to account. The Scottish Government hit back at the claims, saying its policies allowing health workers to raise concerns were already “robust” and would be strengthened further with the appointment of an independent national whistleblowing officer.

Mr Wilson spoke out after Dr Jane Hamilton, a consultant psychiatrist, revealed that she was retiring after believing that she had become known as a “troublemaker” within the Scottish NHS. She warned bosses that lives were being put at risk at a specialist Mother and Baby Unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston before going public with her fears. Dr Hamilton said that she had been unable to find work north of the Border and that a weekly commute to Yorkshire where she worked for the NHS in England had proved too demanding.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/14170660.NHS_whistleblower_helpline__useless___campaigner_claims/

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Rab Wilson, outside the Scottish Parliament

Filed under: Whistleblowing, , , ,

Whistle blower retires with her career in Scotland ruined

A whistle-blowing doctor who was at the centre of a gagging row, has retired after deciding her career in Scotland is beyond repair.

Dr Jane Hamilton now advises any doctor thinking of blowing the whistle in Scotland to think very hard before doing so as it has ruined her professional life. The consultant perinatal psychiatrist has been working in Hull where her specialist expertise has been warmly welcomed. But her family is settled north of the border and she has finally found the weekly commute too demanding.

However she believes she is now seen as a trouble-maker within the NHS in Scotland. Jobs she has applied for have been re-advertised shortly afterwards. “It would appear they would rather have nobody than have me,” she said.

She and her family had moved north in 2007 because Dr Hamilton had been appointed to the Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at St John’s Hospital in Livingston. Her national reputation in the care of mothers with severe psychiatric problems had been recognised when she was asked to help draw up the UK guidelines before her appointment in Scotland.

By the end of 2007 she raised concerns over how the unit was being run and shortly afterwards warned in writing that patients could die. Two women patients subsequently took their own lives and the family of one is now suing the health board for medical negligence.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/14168041.Whistle_blower_retires_with_her_career_in_Scotland_ruined/

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Dr Jane Hamilton, a consultant psychiatrist pictured in Glasgow.

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Biggest NHS ‘market’ deal to date collapses – what now?

A highly controversial new style of contract for nearly a billion pounds worth of older people’s healthcare in the East of England has collapsed – but will anyone learn the right lessons? 

One of the largest NHS ‘market’ contracts to date collapsed this month. The£800million (originally £1 billion) deal to provide NHS care for older people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough failed after only 8 months, deemed “financially unsustainable”.

So what does this mean for the future of health care in the region? And for the government’s preferred – and expensive – approach to offering up NHS contracts? Back in 2013 Cambridgeshire NHS bosses created the largest potential privatisation to date. They claimed that only by offering all older people’s healthcare to private sector bidders, could they deliver the ‘innovative’ services needed, ‘joined up’ with social care.

The controversial contract – delivered through the largely untested model of ‘outcome based contracting’ – included bold promises to reduce nearby hospital admissions by 20%.

As private firms like Virgin, Care UK and UnitedHealth submitted bids, a huge public backlash followed – including a successful legal challenge by local campaigners to find out more detail on the plans. Several private bidders including Capita, Circle, Serco and Interserve pulled out, citing ‘affordability concerns’.

A new NHS ‘Uniting Care Partnership’ (the local acute and mental health trusts) eventually took over, after a bidding process that cost the CCG over a million pounds (and cost the NHS hospitals that had to fight off the private health firms, considerably more). Predictably perhaps, the ‘Partnership’ has now found they couldn’t deliver the promised outcomes for the money on offer, either.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/caroline-molloy/biggest-nhs-market-deal-to-date-collapses

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Filed under: Elderly, ,

Call to review baby death rates at more than 20 NHS trusts and boards

Inquiry urges those with higher than average stillbirth and newborn death rates to examine their maternity care to see if mistakes were made

More than 20 NHS trusts and health boards in the UK should investigate why they have a higher stillbirth and newborn baby death rate than their peers, an inquiry has recommended.

The trusts and boards should review their maternity care to find out whether mistakes were made or if there were other reasons for a death rate that was more than 10% higher than average, said a national team of experts from MBRRACE-UK  https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/mbrrace-uk  (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk Through Audits and Confidential Enquiries Across the UK), led by the University of Leicester.

It is the first time potential issues in childbirth have been highlighted at individual trust level. Out of 162 trusts and boards, 21 have been red flagged by the investigators and told they should hold a review. A further 52 have an orange flag, which means they are advised to consider a review.

“These data provide NHS trusts and health boards from around the UK with the clearest insight yet in helping them understand their performance against their peers. Whilst there is always room for improvement, the data flags those trusts and health boards which need to review their performance as a priority,” said Prof David Field, from MBRRACE-UK.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/16/call-to-review-baby-death-rates-at-more-than-20-nhs-trusts-and-boards

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Filed under: Hospital, ,

There is a sickness at the heart of the NHS – and if we pretend not to see it, we’ll condemn it to destruction – By Ian Birrell

You have to wonder if use of the word ‘trust’ in these hospital titles is cruel irony

Two weeks ago I went to a journalism awards ceremony at which the speaker was a man who blew the whistle on malpractice within the National Health Service rather than the usual comedian or TV personality inflicted on such events. Gary Walker, a former hospital trust chief executive, spoke passionately about how he was gagged, smeared and threatened in the most appalling manner after raising concerns that pressure to meet targets was compromising patient safety.

Walker was the most senior whistleblower in NHS history and his speech, highlighting the crucial public interest role of the media, was rather chilling. He said he knew it was custom for top staff to cover-up incompetence by gagging those that sought to speak out, yet was shocked to be subject to such a restrictive silencing order that he could not even mention its existence – then threatened with being sued for £500,000 when going public. This brave man, almost crushed fighting for decent care, claims he remains ‘blacklisted’ by the NHS.

This is all too often the plight of whistleblowers, as I have seen dealing with others who sought to highlight corruption and waste in public services. Politicians promise to protect them, new regulations get published, but nothing changes. And when mistakes come to light after cover-ups, no-one is held accountable – even when involving hundreds of premature deaths as in the shameful mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal. Some of those responsible even glided on to other top jobs.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/there-is-a-sickness-at-the-heart-of-the-nhs-and-if-we-pretend-not-to-see-it-well-condemn-it-to-a6771546.html

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Connor Sparrowhawk’s family say their concerns about his epilepsy were ignored

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Prostate cancer could be ‘transformed from killer disease to chronic illness’ for thousands of men after NHS give green light to promising drug

  • Experts say men who took the drug had 29% better chance of survival
  • Trials found drug delayed need for chemotherapy by average of 17 months 
  • Drug costs £2,734 a month and had previously been refused by NICE

Thousands of men are to benefit from a prostate cancer drug which delays the need for gruelling chemotherapy. Officials at NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – have reversed their previous decision and recommended that enzalutamide be funded on the NHS. An estimated 5,500 men in England and Wales each year are expected to benefit from use of the drug, which slashes the risk of prostate cancer progressing. Clinical trials have shown that the treatment delays the need for chemotherapy by an average 17 months, substantially increasing quality of life for patients.

Men who took the drug at this stage also had a 29 per cent better overall chance of survival. Doctors say the treatment, which was developed by British scientists, has the potential to transform prostate cancer from a killer disease unto a chronic illness. Enzalutamide is already available if chemotherapy has failed – but cancer charities have repeatedly insisted that the drug, which is also called Xtandi, will benefit even more men if it is used before chemotherapy. Yet officials at NICE published a draft decision in June indicating it would not be approved for routine use before chemotherapy.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3356254/Prostate-cancer-transformed-killer-disease-chronic-illness-thousands-men-NHS-green-light-promising-drug.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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The drug was found to delay the need for chemotherapy in patients for an average 17 months, increasing the quality of life for patients. (The prostate is pictured, orange, below the bladder)

Filed under: Cancer, , , ,

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 report obtained by BBC News.

It blames a “failure of leadership” at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. It says the deaths of mental health and learning-disability patients were not properly examined. Southern Health, one of the country’s largest mental health trusts, has “serious concerns” about the report’s interpretation of the evidence.

The trust covers Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, providing services to about 45,000 people. The investigation, commissioned by NHS England and carried out by Mazars, a large audit firm, looked at all deaths at the trust between April 2011 and March 2015. During that period, it found 10,306 people had died. Most were expected. However, 1,454 were not. Of those, 272 were treated as critical incidents, of which just 195 – 13% – were treated by the trust as a serious incident requiring investigation (SIRI).

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35051845

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Connor Sparrowhawk, who died at Slade House, had epilepsy and experienced seizures

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

Gagged, smeared, sued and threatened by the NHS – a media whistleblower tells his story

A former hospital executive who blew the whistle to the BBC over concerns about patient safety has revealed that he remains blacklisted by the NHS two years on.

Gary Walker broke a gagging order in order to raise concerns about Lincolnshire NHS Trust in 2013. Speaking at this week’s British Journalism Awards he revealed how he was punished by the NHS for speaking out. He revealed that he agreed to break a gagging order imposed as part of his exit agreement when he was sacked from his NHS job in 2010 after “unrelenting persistent persuasion” by Andrew Hosken of the BBC.

He said: “It was February and I’d just watched the prime minster in the House of Commons announce the results of Sir Robert Francis’ review into what went wrong at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. “That review, which took two years and cost more than £19m of taxpayers’ money, didn’t find a single person accountable for the premature deaths of hundreds perhaps thousands of people. “From my time in the NHS, I knew it was custom and practice for those in senior roles to hide their wrongdoing or incompetence by gagging those who attempted to speak out.

“I myself was an example of someone gagged for putting patient safety ahead of targets. Indeed the gag was so draconian I wasn’t even allowed to mention it existed.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/hospital-chief-who-blew-whistle-patient-safety-bbc-blacklisted-working-nhs

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Gary Walker

Filed under: Whistleblowing, ,

Junior doctors contract: Jeremy Hunt accused of ‘lying’ over weekend mortality

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of “lying” about weekend mortality rates, over his use of data from a study published in the British Medical Journal.

An audience member on the BBC’s Question Time programme said some of his liver transplant patients refused life-saving operations because they now feared going under the knife at the weekend.

It is not the first time Mr Hunt’s use of the study has been questioned. In October, BMJ editor Dr Fiona Godlee sought clarification over comments which she said implied the higher weekend death risk was due to poor staffing, despite the study itself not apportioning blame.

Mr Hunt has used the study repeatedly and the government says there is enough evidence to support the claims.

 

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Junior doctors’ strike called off but disruption still widespread

A survey of NHS trusts shows 600 operations and 3,500 outpatient appointments have been cancelled despite temporary agreement

Thousands of patients have had their operations and appointments cancelled despite a strike by junior doctors being called off. A temporary agreement reached on Monday night between the government, the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS employers means three days of strikes will now no longer go ahead as long as a final settlement can be agreed. There has already been mass disruption to the NHS, with thousands of patients unable to undergo operations or attend appointments on Tuesday alone.

A survey of almost 20 NHS trusts by the Press Association has revealed around 600 operations and procedures cancelled alongside around 3,500 outpatient appointments. This represents less than a fifth of the trusts across England.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/01/thousands-operations-cancelled-strike-called-off

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Babies born in NHS hospitals at weekends ‘have lower survival rate’

Babies born at weekends in NHS hospitals are more likely to die in the first week of life than those delivered on weekdays, new research suggests.

Experts estimated 770 more babies die annually and 470 more infections occur among new mothers than would happen if performance was consistent across the week. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), were based on a study of 1.3 million births in England between April 2010 and March 2012. The death rate among babies was 7.3 per 1,000 delivered at weekends – 0.9 higher than for weekdays. However, there was no consistent link between death rates and staffing level.

Nevertheless, the study is likely to feed the debate over the state of weekend NHS services. A separate study published in the BMJ in September showed that around 11,000 more people die every year within 30 days of admission to hospital on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday compared with other days of the week. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt used those figures as part of his drive to create a seven-day NHS.

The latest results showed that “babies born at the weekend had an increased risk of being stillborn or dying in hospital within the first seven days”, researchers from Imperial College London said.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-11-25/babies-born-in-nhs-hospitals-at-weekends-have-lower-survival-rate/

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

2,300 assaults on West Midlands NHS staff in a year

There have been more than 2,300 physical assaults on NHS staff in the West Midlands in the last year.

Nationally, there were 67,864 attacks throughout in 2014/15. The figures have been released by NHS Protect and show that many of the attacks were the result of ‘medical factors’ – by people who did not know what they were doing due to illness, treatment or severe learning disability. The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs New Cross, reported a total of 102 violent incidents.

Of those assaults, 77 were the result of medical factors and 25 were without. There were 340 assaults at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, 306 with medical factors and 34 without.

Toby Lewis, chief executive said: “We actively encourage staff to report all incidents of physical assault so that we can put measures in place to address safety and security.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/11/23/2300-assaults-on-west-midlands-nhs-staff-in-a-year/

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Filed under: Mental Health, NHS, ,

Raid on health department funds to pay for frontline NHS services by Sarah Neville, Public Policy Editor – ft.com

 

As negotiations continued this week over the settlement for health, government insiders argued that the “ring fence”, which ensures spending on the health service rises at least at the rate of inflation, applied to the NHS but not to other areas of health department spending. The move raises the prospect of cuts to areas of expenditure such as public health, nurses’ and doctors’ education and capital for maintaining and expanding NHS infrastructure. However, it would allow George Osborne to argue that he was putting money into frontline services as he implements a promise to give the service an additional £8bn a year by 2020.

Total department of health spending in England in 2014-15 stood at £113bn, compared with the NHS England budget of £98bn. That leaves £15bn outside the ring fence: £11bn of revenue funding, with public health and clinical training consuming the lion’s share; and £4bn of capital. This unprotected expenditure could be put into frontline services run by NHS England.

Click on the link to read

Raid on health department funds to pay for frontline NHS services

 

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Funds for areas such as public health and nurses’ training look set to be raided for money to pour into frontline NHS services in next week’s spending review.

Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS whistleblower fears patients will die as he leaks image of suffering patients

Ambulance worker Martin Jackson turned whistleblower to hand over a shocking picture of seriously ill people queuing on stretchers to be checked in at A&E

A NHS whistleblower fears ­patients will DIE in corridors due to the crisis in hospital. The warning from ambulance ­worker Martin Jackson came as he ­handed over this shocking picture of seriously ill patients on stretchers queuing to be checked in at A&E.

He said they waited for two hours. The hospital denied it was that long. The photo was taken at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington which opened in June and has been described as a “vision for the NHS”. But Mr Jackson, 51, said: “It’s only a ­matter of time before a patient dies on a stretcher waiting to be seen, the Sunday People reports.

He said centralising A&E care for serious illness and injury in such ­“super” hospitals at the expense of other NHS units was not good for patient care. He believed it meant longer travel time for patients and waits for ­ambulance crews.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-whistleblower-fears-patients-die-6875670

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Worries: Martin Jackson fears a patient will die on a stretcher

Filed under: A&E, Whistleblowing, , , ,

Jack Adcock trial: Nurse guilty of six-year old’s manslaughter

A nurse has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a six-year-old boy whose resuscitation was mistakenly called off.

Jack Adcock, who had Down’s syndrome, died of a cardiac arrest at Leicester Royal Infirmary in February 2011. Portuguese-born agency nurse Isabel Amaro, 47, was found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence. The jury is deliberating on the same charge for two other medics – Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba and nurse Theresa Taylor.

Jack, who had a heart condition, was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and died from a cardiac arrest after sepsis was triggered by a bacterial infection about 11 hours later. The trial has heard the boy’s death was caused by “serious neglect on the part of the doctor and the two nurses”. They failed to recognise his body was “shutting down” due to sepsis and close to death, the prosecution claimed.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-34704404

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Jack Adcock

Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, ,

How trust made secret 111 plan to hit all-important NHS targets

The deaths of up to 25 patients have come under investigation, after whistleblower reveals extent of policy that delayed help for seriously ill patients

In December last year, South East Coast Ambulance trust was facing major problems. Key NHS targets – to send an ambulance out within eight minutes for all cases designated as “life-threatening” were slipping far out of reach, with too few crews to send out to meet growing pressures as winter drew in. The creation of the controversial 111 phone line was supposed to ease demand for ambulances, making sure those with more minor needs could get help without an ambulance being dispatched.

Instead, the phoneline was adding to pressures on services, with fears that “risk averse” call handling were too often sending out ambulances. And so a plan was hatched. Behind closed doors, senior managers at the ambulance trust devised their own protocols. Any “life-threatening” calls which were sent their way would no longer get an automatic ambulance response.

Those which had been categorised as “Red 2”– life-threatening, but not the most immediately time-sensitive – would be allowed an extra ten minute delay, while the 999 service “re-triaged” them to decide on the best response. Such cases would still be counted as hitting the all-important NHS targets, implying that a response had still been received within eight minutes.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11967520/How-trust-made-secret-111-plan-to-hit-all-important-NHS-targets.html

EYF3DT South East Coast Ambulance Service Mercedes Ambulance in Eastbourne East Sussex UK with Stroke Act Fast sign attached blue light

 

Filed under: Whistleblowing, , ,

What a new government could do to improve our failing NHS – By Will Powell

With the General Election less than a month away, Will Powell asks what steps a new government could take to address the current faults within the NHS.

1.  Ensure that there is openness and transparency both in the providing of healthcare and how the NHS is being financially run.

2.  Ensure that all Managers and Chief Executives have the skill and expertise to provide the services they are being paid to provide. If not, either retrain them or terminate their employment. Everyone employed by the NHS should be a fit and proper person with integrity.

3.  Ensure that all doctors and nurses have the skill and expertise to provide the services they are being paid to provide. If not, either retrain them or terminate their employment.

4.  Ensure that any doctor, nurse or healthcare professional that is dishonest about mistakes are forthwith suspended, without pay, and referred to their regulatory body.

5.    Encourage the culling of exorbitant payment to lawyers defending indefensible medical errors.  Admit liability immediately as and when appropriate.

6.  Ensure that all failures in the providing of healthcare are identified and learned from to prevent repetition.

7.  Ensure that all complaints are robustly and independently investigated by first taking a statement of truth from the complainant. If appropriate apologise to the complainant and reassure them that all will be done to remedy any damage caused. Outlaw discrimination against the complainant and welcome complaints to improve NHS services.

8.  Introduce a mechanism that secures original/photocopies of the relevant medical records immediately following an adverse event.

9.  Appoint a Whistleblowers/Complainants Representative in every hospital, care home and GP practice.

10.  Appoint a Whistleblowers/Complainants Minister at the Department of Health to address any allegations of NHS cover ups.

11.  Ensure that all whistleblowers are protected by law and not discriminated against, or bullied by management, or anyone else for that matter. Any proven discrimination or bullying should result in instant dismissal or disciplinary action.

12.  Secure a statement of truth  from all Whistleblowers and provide the statement to the appointed Whistleblowers’ Minister and Whistleblowers’ Representative. Fully investigate the Whistleblower’s allegations without fear, favour or prejudice.

13.  Ensure that everyone employed by the NHS is held accountable for their actions and/or inactions and in particular when it is detrimental to patient safety issues and/or the financial running of the NHS.

14.  Appreciate and promote the very people within the NHS who best serve the public and their needs and not the wrongdoers as has been the case for far too long.

Will Powell

NHS Adviser for Mistreatment.com

http://www.mistreatment.com/news/article/what-a-new-government-could-do-to-improve-our-failing-nhs-273/#.VjMju_nhCM9

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Will Powell

Filed under: NHS,

Around 500 GPs are needed to help save a struggling NHS in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, according to a new report.

There is a warning that a GP crisis – which means ever-increasing waiting times in East Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire – is deepening.

New figures have revealed 500 GPs are needed, with the NHS seemingly struggling to fill the void. Now it is having to turn overseas to help fill it. Fiona Dwyer reports:

Click on the link to watch the video report

http://www.itv.com/news/calendar/story/2015-10-22/regions-gp-crisis/

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Filed under: GP's, , ,

Leader of NHS junior doctors urges Jeremy Hunt to reopen negotiations

At London protest Dr Johann Malawana tells health secretary to stop lambasting junior medics, in bid to stop BMA strike

The leader of NHS junior doctors in England has urged Jeremy Hunt to stop treating them like “the enemy” and instead reopen negotiations in a bid to stop their threatened strike. Dr Johann Malawana told the health secretary he must stop lambasting junior doctors if he wants to settle a long-running dispute over his threat to introduce new NHS contracts.

“Stop attacking us. We are not the enemy. We are just health professionals who want to have a meaningful discussion. Talk to us, talk to us reasonably. Stop going to the press claiming that we are scaremongering”, said Malawana as he addressed a protest rally in central London attended by many thousands of junior doctors, their families and other health service personnel.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/17/leader-of-nhs-junior-doctors-urges-jeremy-hunt-to-reopen-negotiations

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Whistleblower outed by hospital bosses in cancer drugs cover-up: Health chiefs try to discredit and reveal name of professor

  • Professor revealed patients were needlessly put through chemotherapy
  • Had wished to remain anonymous after disclosing ‘macabre experiment’ 
  • Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust named whistleblower in a statement
  • Tried to discredit him by stating restrictions had been put on his ability to practice

An NHS whistleblower who revealed patients were needlessly put through the agony of chemotherapy has been outed by his bosses. The professor wished to remain anonymous after disclosing the ‘macabre experiment’ carried out by colleagues. But health chiefs tried to discredit him yesterday in a statement described as ‘obscene victimisation’.

The whistleblower had previously been gagged from warning the public about his concerns by bosses at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.  He was also subjected to racist abuse, which became the focus of a criminal investigation. Last night, MPs and campaigners demanded intervention from the Health Secretary. Former colleagues of the whistleblower also contacted the Mail to speak out about his ‘horrendous treatment’.

One said: ‘The whistleblower was one of the most valued members of staff. There has been a witchhunt to silence him. Instead of tarnishing his name they should apologise to the patients.’ The Daily Mail yesterday revealed how 55 patients aged between 49 and 83 were wrongly exposed to chemotherapy by two doctors between 2005 and 2009. The chemotherapy, which was administered against guidelines, was of no medical use to the patients because their type of cancer required different treatment. But it exposed them to horrific and unnecessary side effects including higher risk of fatal infections and lost fertility.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3273193/Whistleblower-outed-hospital-bosses-cancer-drugs-cover-Health-chiefs-try-discredit-reveal-professor.html

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The chemotherapy was administered in defiance of strict guidelines by oncologists Dr Margaret King, and Dr Mark Churn,  to patients with colorectal cancer

Filed under: Whistleblowing, , ,

Three-quarters of NHS hospitals inspected need to do more on safety, says CQC

Three-quarters of NHS hospitals in England are not safe enough, inspectors have found.

Some 13% of hospitals are “inadequate” for safety while 61% “require improvement”, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The report offers the fullest picture yet of the state of care across England under a new “tougher” inspection regime headed by chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards.

It includes inspections of half of hospitals in the country but the study also found problems with safety at GP practices and nursing homes. A quarter of GP practices or GP out-of-hours services required improvement relating to safety, alongside a third of adult social care services. One in 10 social care facilities visited were ranked the lowest possible rating of “inadequate” for safety.

In hospitals, inspectors found examples of “disregard for patient safety”, including inadequate record-keeping, staff not being trained properly, incomplete safety checks and medicines not being kept properly. There was also “poor management of patients at risk of health complications” and examples of “disregard” for infection control.

The report said: “A major reason for failings in safety is insufficient numbers of staff and use of temporary staff. “This is particularly prevalent in medical care departments, where key safety risks are not always recognised, patient assessments can be poorly carried out and deteriorating patients are not always recognised.” Inspectors also reported “intense concern” about all places of care that were regarded as inadequate.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3273507/Three-quarters-NHS-hospitals-inspected-need-safety-says-CQC.html

Some 13% of hospitals are 'inadequate' for safety, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission

Some 13% of hospitals are ‘inadequate’ for safety, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

NHS ‘backtracking’ on ward nurse numbers introduced after Mid Staffs

Critics fear safety will be sacrificed to cut costs after NHS bosses tell hospitals that 1:8 nurse-to-patient ratio is a guide, not a requirement

The NHS has been accused of backtracking on improvements in patient safety made after the Mid Staffs scandal by reducing the number of nurses on wards because of its growing financial crisis. NHS bosses have told hospitals they no longer have to ensure that one nurse is caring for no more than eight patients at a time, in order to help tackle a £2bn black hole that has left 80% of hospitals facing deficits of up to £100m each.

The letter states: “We would stress that a 1:8 ratio is a guide not a requirement. It should not be unthinkingly adhered to. Achieving the right number and balance of clinical and support staff to deliver quality care based on patient needs in an efficient way that makes the best possible use of available resources is the key issue for provider [hospital] boards.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/13/nhs-backtracking-on-ward-nurse-numbers-introduced-after-mid-staffs

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Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS agency staff cap ‘to save £1bn’

Ministers have set out details of how they aim to save the NHS £1bn on agency staff costs over the next three years.

In June, the government in England said agency spending was to be capped and it has now unveiled details of how that will work. From April, NHS trusts will not be able to pay more than 55% more to agencies than it costs to pay a member of staff for a shift. It comes amid mounting pressure on NHS finances.

Figures released last week showed trusts had overspent by £930m in the last three months – with agency spending highlighted as one of the biggest factors. Ministers believe the move will save £1bn by April 2018 – the equivalent of shaving 10% from the £3.3bn annual agency bill.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34520631

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Filed under: NHS, ,

How private healthcare patients are denied operations that are free on the NHS

  • Michelle Booth, 47, from Basingstoke slipped on oil and needed help
  • Should have been a straightforward claim on her private medical insurance
  • She has been waiting for 19 month after a series of absurd events 
  • Former healthcare assistant could have had treatment for free on the NHS

The instant she slipped on a patch of oil at the petrol station last year, Michelle Booth knew she’d need medical help. She’d already had surgery on the same knee a year earlier to repair damage caused by arthritis. But after her fall, the pain came roaring back.

Using health insurance through her husband Mark’s work, the 47-year-old mother and former healthcare assistant went to see a private knee specialist, who told her the fall had caused further damage and she needed surgery.

However, what should have been a straightforward claim on her private medical insurance turned into an absurd series of events which have left her, 19 months on, still waiting for treatment she could have had free on the NHS.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3269893/How-private-healthcare-patients-denied-operations-free-NHS.html

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Mental health time bomb warning as NHS ‘turns children away’

Mental health services are turning away one in five children who are referred to them for treatment, including youngsters who have been abused and neglected, a charity has found.

Mental health services are turning away one in five children who are referred to them for treatment, including youngsters who have been abused and neglected, a charity has found. The NSPCC warned of a “time bomb” of serious mental health conditions after it emerged that more than a fifth of children referred to NHS services for treatment for mental health issues were rejected.

Figures from 35 mental health trusts in England revealed that of 186,453 cases referred to them by family doctors and other professionals, 39,652 did not receive help. In six trusts where children who had problems associated with abuse or neglect were referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), 305 of the 1,843 cases were rejected – one in six.

The NSPCC said the lack of support for such children could lead to serious long-term mental health problems as young people are not getting the help they need early on.

Peter Wanless, the charity’s chief executive, said: “If children don’t receive the right kind of help and support following a disclosure, the damage can last a lifetime and include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or suicidal thoughts in adulthood.” Abused and neglected children were often denied treatment because their cases did not meet the “high clinical threshold” required at a CAMHS, the NSPCC said.

Click on the link to read more

http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/mental-health-time-bomb-warning-as-nhs-turns-children-away-11364010192309#.VhtpU5MxLqI.facebook

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Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive

Filed under: Mental Health, , , ,

Junior doctors – ‘no one understands the level of responsibility we have’

From listening to suicidal patients to looking after the sickest children in the UK, junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS

I am a 45-year-old mother of four – my youngest has cystic fibrosis. I graduated from medical school in 2010 – since then I’ve had two children in my 40s – and am currently an anaesthetics trainee with at least six years of training left. I live in Bristol and commute daily to Abergavenny in Wales, which is 75 minutes each way. Every day sees me getting up at 5.45am to get the children ready. I start work at 7.45am by seeing patients due to have an operation that day. I work supervised by a consultant, putting patients under anaesthetic and managing their airway and vitals while they are asleep. I also provide on-call services, seeing the sickest patients in the hospital. I admit them to the intensive care unit, provide pain relief, attend cardiac arrests and much more.

No one understands the level of responsibility junior doctors have; we are the backbone of doctors, providing care 24/7. Once I was managing five critically unwell patients in resus overnight as an acute medicine doctor. I needed to make quick life or death decisions, stay calm and focused in the middle of the night.

We sacrifice family time and our own welfare to care for others. In addition, we must work in our own time on mandatory exams, courses, publications, audits and much more. Though I work in Wales, which has rejected the junior doctors’ contract, my 43-year-old junior doctor husband works in England. The proposed pay cut means that one or both of us may be forced to find different work to pay the bills. Our family debt exceeds £80,000. The future looks very bleak indeed and I’m worried.

Every time I leave my children and go six days without seeing my husband or older daughters, or when I miss school events and find providing care for my child with cystic fibrosis a challenge, I consider leaving the medical profession. I care for patients sometimes at the expense of my family and that saddens me. This is why we cannot be pushed any further, it is not worth the cost. To say we lack vocation, altruism and professionalism is a deep and painful insult.

Sethina Watson, CT2 ACCS anaesthetics trainee, Wales

Click on the link to read more stories of these young dedicated health professionals 

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/oct/05/junior-doctors-responsibility-nhs?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Filed under: NHS, , , ,

Ministers ‘are hiding details of £2bn NHS cash crisis’

Tories accused of burying bad news with delayed figures on health service finances expected to show huge deficit

Government ministers have buried NHS statistics that show the service hurtling towards an unprecedented £2bn deficit to avoid overshadowing the Tory party conference, say top NHS officials. One senior figure at the health service regulator Monitor said his organisation had been “leaned on” by Whitehall to delay its report, which shows that NHS finances are worsening.

Neither Monitor’s quarterly report on how the NHS is faring, nor equivalent data from the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA), have been published, as they usually are around the time of the organisations’ board meetings last month. Hospital trusts passed their information to the two regulators two months ago.

NHS insiders said it was “very, very odd” and significant that, in a departure from its usual practice, Monitor discussed the financial and treatment waiting time performance of the 152 foundation trusts it regulates in the private – rather than the public – session of its board meeting last Wednesday.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/03/ministers-hiding-details-nhs-cash-crisis

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Injured RAF sergeant moved from A&E waiting room over fears uniform might cause upset

An RAF airman was moved out of a hospital waiting room because staff feared his uniform may “upset” other patients, it has been reported.

According to the Sun, aircraft engineer Mark Prendeville, was taken to A&E at Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, after chemicals from a fire extinguisher got in to his eyes during a training exercise.

The 38-year-old, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was taken to an empty corner of the waiting room before being moved behind a corner by hospital staff, the newspaper said.

His family was allegedly told by hospital workers that “they didn’t want to upset people” as they “have lots of different cultures coming in”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-09-26/injured-raf-sergeant-moved-from-a-e-waiting-room-over-fears-uniform-might-call-upset/

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Mark Prendeville served in Iraq and Afghanistan

Filed under: A&E, NHS, , ,

Hospitals Have ‘No Plan’ For Seven-Day Services – Sky News investigation

Four out of five hospital trusts tell Sky they are still unsure over the costs and extra staffing needed to boost weekend care.

Most hospitals still have no idea how they are going to introduce comprehensive weekend care for patients despite months of political pressure, according to a Sky News investigation.

Freedom of Information requests show four out of five hospital trusts in England have not calculated the number of consultants they need, nor the likely cost of extending weekday services. The few trusts that have done the maths expect costs to run to several million pounds, piling more money worries on those already in deep deficit.

NHS England set out a plan two years ago to “drive seven day services across the NHS” and the Prime Minister said last May that it was a key priority for the Government. But our findings suggest that sense of urgency has yet to reach hospitals.

Dr Paul Flynn, chair of the British Medical Association’s consultants’ committee, told Sky News that hospitals are still confused over what services they have to provide and daunted by the likely costs.

Click on the link to read more and watch the video’s

http://news.sky.com/story/1559923/hospitals-have-no-plan-for-seven-day-services

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Revealed: Shocking NHS postcode lottery for elderly care

An NHS ‘atlas’ reveals the full extent of the postcode lottery in healthcare, with wide variations in the chance of being diagnosed with cancer early, or receiving emergency care which could have been avoided

Elderly people in some parts of the country are nine times more likely than in others to be admitted to hospital as emergency cases – for lack of the right care in their local communities. Charities said the new official figures are a “troubling” insight into a growing crisis in care of the elderly, with hundreds of thousands of pensioners being admitted to hospitals via casualty in cases which could have been avoided with the right help earlier.

The statistics also reveal a three-fold difference in the chance of cancer sufferers being diagnosed early enough to have a good chance of successful treatment, depending where they live. The figures, published by Public Health England, are among more than 100 measures assessed today in an “NHS atlas” exposing enormous variations in NHS care. They also show major disparities in dementia care, the chance of receiving stroke treatment quickly, or receiving treatment at all for a host of common health complaints such as cataracts.

Over 75s living in Canterbury were the most likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency for a stay of less than 24 hours, with 11,000 cases per 100,000 population.

Click on the link to read more and view the NHS Atlas

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/elder/11872521/Revealed-Shocking-NHS-postcode-lottery-for-elderly-care.html

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Filed under: Dementia, Elderly, NHS, ,

Life Expectancy in the UK: England’s richest people ‘live eight years longer than the country’s poorest’

The south-east would top a life expectancy table of industrialised nations, with men living to 83.1 years – the north-West would come in the bottom five

England remains a profoundly unequal country with more than eight years separating the male life expectancy of the richest people in the south and east from the poorest in the north, a new study has found.

While great progress has been made in improving male and female life expectancy since 1990, the comprehensive Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors (GBD) study found that the health gap between rich and poor has barely altered in 25 years. The figures, published in The Lancet, show that if the healthiest region of England, the south-east, were a country it would top a league of 22 industrialised nations for its health outcomes. But if the north-west were a country, it would be in the bottom five.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/the-northsouth-health-divide-englands-richest-people-live-eight-years-longer-than-poorest-10500905.html

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Firefighters to carry out health checks to ease strain on NHS

NHS will “piggyback” on fire safety visits, asking firefighters who check smoke alarms to also carry out basic health checks

Firefighters will be trained to carry out basic health checks and remind elderly people to get flu jabs during home visits to check smoke alarms, under plans to ease the strain on the NHS. The fire service already carries out 670,000 fire safety checks in homes each year and Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said it now planned to “piggyback” on these visits in order to relieve pressure on the health service.

Fire crews would be expected to identify trip hazards, check that homes are heated properly and remind people about immunisations, under plans agreed with the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA). They could also be trained to look out for other health issues such as eyesight problems in order to encourage people to seek medical help, under the new partnership.

The deal comes after accident and emergency departments faced sustained pressure last winter, with waiting time targets missed for 33 consecutive weeks from last September to May.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11862375/Firefighters-to-carry-out-health-checks-to-ease-strain-on-NHS.html

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Filed under: Care Homes, Hospital, NHS, , ,

Jeremy Hunt’s ‘24/7’ plan for the NHS proves it – he should be sacked By Jullien Gaer

Overworked, stressed health professionals are cured with a secretary of state who knows nothing of service they work in and its ideals

The current impasse between Jeremy Hunt and the medical profession over what the secretary of state likes to call 24/7 working in NHS hospitals is expected to come to a head this weekend. This says far more about political imperatives in Whitehall than it does about realities on hospital wards.

Allow me to illustrate my argument referring to a patient recently admitted to our care. After lengthy discussions with the patient’s family, when all hope of recovery was extinguished, the medical team at the hospital where I am a cardiac surgeon switched off the artificial heart that had been supporting their mother, sister and daughter.

As is so often the case, the family was embarrassingly grateful for the care that we had given them, despite the unhappy outcome. Our patients don’t expect guaranteed results, nor do they expect infallibility. They expect honesty and sincerity; and, unlike too many politicians, they are quick to acknowledge professionals doing their utmost in the face of formidable odds.

This particular patient (let us call her Mrs W) presented with a condition that is both common and, if untreated, uniformly fatal. An attempt to deal with the problem without recourse to open surgery (and the significant attendant risk of paraplegia) resulted in a complication that necessitated emergency surgery.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/12/jeremy-hunt-nhs-sacked-health-service?CMP=share_btn_tw

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‘The notion that I or my colleagues have succumbed to a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday culture would be laughable, were it not frankly slanderous.’ Jullien Gaer

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

National health review into care for newborns after death of baby in 2001

Fourteen years on from the tragic death of her newborn daughter Elizabeth, grieving Anne Dixon is still seeking answers

A national healthcare regulator is undertaking a review into the care of newborn babies who need extra support after a Fleet woman tragically lost her baby.

Anne Dixon’s daughter Elizabeth was born at Frimley Park Hospital in 2000 and was brain damaged after her high blood pressure was not treated for 15 days. She was left disabled and needed a tracheostomy, or tube, to breathe, but suffocated and died at home in Church Crookham days before her first birthday, when her tube was not maintained during a home visit by an agency nurse who transpired to be newly-qualified.

Now, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is undertaking a national review into care for infants who need more support and how they are cared for both in hospital and by community services. It is the first time the body has used its powers to investigate a particular aspect of care across the NHS.Announcing the review, the CQC said it would examine 20 services across England, exploring how well fetal medicine, obstetrics, neonatal and community services work together to care for newborn babies with declining health problems, particularly those with high blood pressure and tracheostomies. The regulator said it did not expect the review, which will begin in September, to give a national picture of the quality of care, but hopes it will lead to development of clinical guidelines where needed.

But Mrs Dixon said she felt it did not stretch far enough and that an inquest into Elizabeth’s death, held in 2008/9, failed to get to the truth. She also said her concerns were ignored constantly and she felt she had been dubbed an “over-anxious mother”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.gethampshire.co.uk/news/local-news/national-health-review-care-newborns-9937075

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Lizzie Dixon

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

‘Postcode lottery’ in care causing ‘devastating’ health problems for 200,000 diabetic patients a year – ITV Report

Around 200,000 people a year suffer devastating health complications because of diabetes, a charity has warned – including amputations, heart attacks and strokes.

Diabetes UK said its study exposed a “postcode lottery” in care for people with the condition – and said there was an urgent need for the NHS to make improving services a priority.

Diabetes care costs the health service in the region of £8 billion a year – around 10 per cent of the entire NHS budget.

The charity’s chief executive Barbara Young said the figures were an “absolute tragedy”.

These complications have a devastating impact on people’s lives and are fuelling the high death rate in people with the condition, as well as meaning huge and often unnecessary costs to the NHS.

With the numbers of people with diabetes rising at an alarming rate, it is vital that the government and the NHS act urgently to end the postcode lottery of diabetes care and ensure that all people living with diabetes get the support and care they need to live long healthy lives.

In particular, the NHS must get better at giving people with diabetes the education they need to take control of their condition, and ensuring that everyone with the condition is getting their essential health checks, as they can help to identify problems before they develop into serious complications.

– BARBARA YOUNG, DIABETES UK

According to the National Diabetes Audit, carried out by the charity, 3.9 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with the condition – and this may rise to as many as five million in the next 10 years.

Most of those have type 2, which is often brought on by being overweight. The data also revealed that little more than a third – 36 per cent – of people with diabetes are controlling it well by keeping with the recommended levels of blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Thousands of new doctors opt for a better life abroad

Disillusioned medics are quitting the NHS and heading for countries such as Australia

Doctors who are newly qualified form a growing proportion of the thousands of British medics seeking jobs abroad each year, triggering concerns that the NHS is heading for a staffing crisis.

Specialist recruitment agencies and GPs’ leaders say doctors, many of whom have just finished their training, are becoming disillusioned with the state of their profession and seeking fresh starts in countries such as Australia, where they can earn double what they are paid in Britain. Figures given to the Observer by the General Medical Council show that an average of 2,852 certificates enabling British doctors to work abroad were issued annually between 2008 and 2014 – a total of 19,522.

So far this year the council has issued a further 2,008 certificates of good standing, the document that enables doctors to register with an overseas regulatory body or employer, taking the total who have applied to work overseas in the last eight years to almost 22,000. “Medicine is a global profession and the UK has long relied on doctors coming to work in the UK from other countries and some UK-trained doctors have taken the opportunity to experience working overseas,” said Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/23/new-doctors-leave-nhs-for-better-life-abroad

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A GP listening to a patient’s chest in 1948. Today GP vacancies remain unfilled and older doctors are retiring early.

Filed under: GP's, NHS, , , ,

Locum doctor paid £11,000 for a weekend shift: ‘Outrageous’ sum spent on NHS consultant to be on call… who wasn’t even required to work

  • Hired on rate equivalent to £452 an hour to do a bank holiday weekend 
  • County Durham trust paid £10,852 for services of locum consultant
  • Doctor was on call to respond to emergencies but none took place
  • It will raise more concerns about NHS waste and temporary workers

A locum doctor was paid £11,000 by an NHS trust for a single weekend shift – the highest sum on record. Despite being hired on a rate equivalent to £452 an hour to do a bank holiday weekend, the doctor was not even required to work.

County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust paid £10,852 for the services of the locum consultant from the agency Locum Vision, according to Freedom of Information disclosures. The doctor, who covered three 9am to 5pm shifts last Easter, was on call to respond to emergencies but none took place. The huge pay packet will raise more concerns about NHS waste and reliance on temporary workers. Trusts have spent £3.3billion in the past financial year on agency staff, contributing to a huge deficit.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3200451/Locum-paid-11-000-weekend-shift-Record-sum-NHS-doctor-call-wasn-t-required-work.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Hospital: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (above) flew in a doctor more than 4,000 miles from India to cover a weekend, while an agency nurse in Dumfries and Galloway was also paid £1,400 to work a single shift

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

Over 350 complaints made about care at Black County hospital

The complaints to Walsall Manor chief executive Richard Kirby were made during the 2014/15 financial year.

The main causes were clinical care, assessment and treatment, waiting time and discharge arrangement. The annual report from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has shown there were 380 written complaints direct to the chief executive. Health chiefs say they aim to respond within 30 days and have already made some changes. These include more staff working in the outpatient booking office, extra clinics and working in partnership with social services.

The annual report said: “In 2014/15 we responded to 60.4 per cent of complainants within 30 working days. Since November 2014, the average number of complaints responded to within 30 working days has improved significantly to 86.2 per cent. “We will be working to improve the response rate still further over the next 12 months. “We have fully embraced the parliamentary and health service ombudsman’s vision for ‘good; complaint handling which was published in November 2014 following widespread consultation with patients and social care users. “Our complaints handling process is quality assured to ensure the complainant has the opportunity to be engaged in the complaint process from the beginning, and is fully informed of any lessons learned and changes made as a result of an investigation.”

Article by The Express and Star

 

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Foreigners charge NHS for care in their OWN country: Health tourism loophole lets thousands of Eastern Europeans get free treatment with cards designed for Brits

  • NHS handing out five million European Health Insurance Cards per year
  • They allow Britons to charge emergency treatment abroad back to NHS
  • But cards are being given to any EU citizens who says they are living in UK
  • Eastern Europeans using them in home country to make NHS cover costs
  • Undercover Hungarian journalist Ani Horvath obtained card after visiting UK for one day

Foreigners are billing the NHS for expensive healthcare they receive in their own countries, a Daily Mail investigation can reveal. Under an extraordinary legal loophole, migrants are able to charge the full cost of medical treatment in their home countries to the UK, even if they have never paid a penny of tax in Britain.

They do this by obtaining European Health Insurance Cards from the NHS. The cards were intended for British people to use in cases of emergency while on holiday and entitle them to charge the NHS for the cost of any medical treatment they might urgently need while overseas within Europe. But the NHS is handing out more than five million of these EHIC cards for free every year – and keeping no record of how many are being given to foreigners.

The cards are given out freely to any EU citizens who says they are living in the UK, even if they haven’t actually worked or paid any tax here. As a result, Eastern Europeans can obtain the cards, then return to their home countries and use them to have medical treatment they would usually have to pay for funded by the NHS. And because the cards last for five years, they are worth a fortune to migrants with ongoing conditions, or who have multiple pregnancies and births.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3191557/Foreigners-charge-NHS-care-country-Loophole-lets-thousands-migrants-free-treatment-card-GP.html

Daily Mail investigation into foreigners being able to use the European Health Insurance Card easily in their own countries.  Hungarian woman, Annamaria Horvath attempts to use her British issued, EHIC card in various clinics around Budapest.

Daily Mail investigation into foreigners being able to use the European Health Insurance Card easily in their own countries.
Hungarian woman, Annamaria Horvath attempts to use her British issued, EHIC card in various clinics around Budapest.

Filed under: NHS, , ,

NHS delays leave injured soldiers waiting MONTHS for new limbs: One veteran was left wheelchair-bound for eight months while waiting for prosthetics to be refitted

  • Wounded veterans are having to wait months for prosthetic legs that fit
  • NHS delays have left Clive Smith, 29, wheelchair-bound for eight months
  • He was provided with useless prosthetics after losing both legs in 2010
  •  Mr Smith, who competed in the Invictus Games, said he feels ‘abandoned’

NHS delays are leaving badly wounded Afghanistan veterans wheelchair-bound because many are having to wait months for prosthetic legs that actually fit properly, it has emerged. The girlfriend of one injured soldier accused doctors of ‘sheer incompetence’ after providing her partner with prosthetic limbs that are effectively useless. Clive Smith, who competed in the Invictus Games for injured veterans, has been confined to a wheelchair for eight months while he waits for his new limbs to be refitted.

The 29-year-old, who lost both his legs in 2010 while on a mine-clearing patrol in Helmand province, with 33 Engineer Regiment, says he feels ‘abandoned by the NHS’.  ‘It’s been tough. I’ve been a full-time prosthetics user for four years and now I’m wheelchair bound,’ he said. ‘We were told we would get the same level of care for my prosthetics on the NHS, but it just hasn’t been.’

Click on link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3187629/NHS-delays-leave-injured-soldiers-waiting-MONTHS-new-limbs.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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‘Abandoned: Clive Smith, has been confined to a wheelchair for eight months while he waits for prosthetic legs that actually fit properly

Filed under: Disabilities, NHS, , , , ,

Why Jeremy Hunt’s promise to protect whistleblowers is nothing but hot air By David Drew and Minh Alexander

“On high death rates, failing hospitals and whistleblowing, we are calling time on the cover-up culture, and ushering in a new era of transparency”[1]

So promised Jeremy Hunt in February this year. However, Hunt’s latest moves have shown that his rhetoric is not to be matched by real protection for whistleblowers.

Instead, he’s plumped for local ‘Freedom to Speak Up Guardians’, and a ‘National Guardian’. [2] [3] [4] This is very bad news for whistleblowers and for transparency. There is no evidence base for the Guardian model [5], and in our opinion it has been designed to fail.

The plan now adopted by Hunt was first presented in February’s Freedom to Speak Up Review into NHS whistleblowing. It was published by Sir Robert Francis QC the man previously hired to report into the failings of care at Mid Staffordshire and to devise a plan to ensure they never happened again. One of the key findings of the landmark 2013 Francis report into Mid Staffs was that staff were too scared to report poor care. Francis pressed for criminal sanctions against whistleblower suppression. [6] But disappointingly in his new whistleblowing review, Francis rejected criminal sanctions.

Click on the link to read more

http://linkis.com/opendemocracy.net/ou/pEQj2

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Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, , , ,

British hospitals near bottom of league tables for botched ops

Research shows that hospitals in the UK have one of the worst records in the industrialised world for leaving surgical instruments in patients after surgery

British hospitals are among the worst in the Western world for leaving surgical instruments in the body after surgery, international research has found. A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that the UK has the sixth worst record for foreign bodies after surgery, with 5.5 cases per 100,000 people discharged from hospital. The rate is three times that of Poland, with 1.9 cases per 100,000 patients, and twice that of Slovenia, at 2.9 cases per 100,000. Such incidents are classed by the NHS as “never events”  because they are should be avoided by systems of checks.

Leaving foreign bodies in patients increases the risk of deadly infections and other complications, and can result in fatal blood poisoning and organ failure. In the year 2014/15, there were 102 such cases in England, latest data shows

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11769158/British-hospitals-near-bottom-of-league-tables-for-botched-ops.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Medicines watchdog calls for whistleblowers

The authority which enforces the pharmaceutical industry’s code of practice urges insiders to bring them evidence of wrongdoing following Telegraph investigation

The medicines watchdog has urged whistleblowers to come forward with concerns about payments to health officials in the wake of a Daily Telegraph investigation.

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, which enforces the pharmaceutical industry’s code of practice, called on industry figures to pass on complaints to help it “deal with these issues and problems”. The body’s director, Heather Simmonds, suggested the problem involved more officials than those exposed by this newspaper. She said it had already dealt with several cases where individuals present at “advisory board” meetings between drugs companies and NHS officials had raised concerns with the regulator about the events.

Her appeal came after this newspaper last week exposed how senior health staff who help decide which drugs are used by GPs and hospitals are being paid to work as consultants for pharmaceutical companies who want the National Health Service to “switch” to medicines they produce.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11776756/Medicines-watchdog-calls-for-whistleblowers.html

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Many of the meetings take place in five-star hotels around the world, with some attendees telling this newspaper that they were taken to “flashy” restaurants and paid large sums while considering whether to “switch” drugs.

 

 

Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, , , ,

‘Stopping my lifesaving drug will be my end,’ says woman with rare illness

Sarah Long, oldest survivor of Morquio syndrome, pleads for NHS to provide expensive drug to treat condition

Every day Sarah Long becomes weaker. She cannot sleep for more than an hour at a time, loses concentration and struggles to speak. “I don’t have much longer,” she says with a remarkable lack of self-pity. At 44, she is by far the oldest person to have Morquio syndrome, an extremely rare degenerative impairment, caused by missing enzymes, that has stopped her from growing since the age of six.

Most people with the syndrome die in their teens from a heart attack or because their lungs fail. Only 88 people in England – and 160 worldwide – are known to have the syndrome and barely a handful have made it into their 30s. Long has earned her surname. But, then, since she lost her mother when she was a teenager, she has been nothing if not strong-willed. She puts her longevity down to “bloodymindedness, a strong heart, determination – that was something my mum taught me”.

Not only did she go on to defy every medical prediction and reach her 40s, she took a degree in sociology, then a master’s, and is now in the middle of studying for a PhD. It was the same determination that in 2012 made her choose to test a free trial of a drug called Vimizim. She had spent eight months laid low with pneumonia, a period in which she says she “didn’t function”, and felt going on the trial was worth the gamble.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/25/morquio-syndrome-nhs-drug-funding-sarah-long

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Filed under: Disabilities, NHS, , ,

Making change possible: a Transformation Fund for the NHS

The Health Foundation and The King’s Fund both support the concept of a Transformation Fund for the NHS in England. The two organisations came together to undertake a programme of work detailing the key aspects of such a fund.

Making change possible: a Transformation Fund for the NHS draws on analysis conducted by the two organisations, in particular six case studies of funding transformation, in the health sector and beyond, along with examples of local NHS initiatives. We also captured the experience of NHS leaders and some of those organisations across the NHS that have been at the forefront of efforts to implement changes in the delivery of care.

Appendices to the report give more details of the work underpinning it.

  • Appendix 1 provides full information about the case studies.
  • Appendix 2 explains the methodology used to calculate the size of the Fund and gives details of the local NHS examples of change that we examined.
  • Appendix 3 looks at the potential for realising value from surplus NHS estate.

Click on the link to read more and download research reports

http://www.health.org.uk/publication/making-change-possible-transformation-fund-nhs

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Filed under: NHS, , , , ,

Costs and benefits of NHS modernisation: Written Statement made by The Secretary of State for Health Mr Jeremy Hunt on 21 Jul 2015.

The health and care reforms came into operation on 1st April 2013. They reshaped the NHS to give patients a stronger voice and give doctors, nurses and elected councillors more power to decide how best to use local resources to significantly improve services and patients’ health. The National Audit Office subsequently reported that the transition to the reformed health system was successfully implemented and the savings in administration costs would far outweigh the implementation costs. The Department of Health originally forecast the total cost of transition to be £1.5 billion. On publication of the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2014-15, I can today announce that the actual costs to 31 March 2015 are £1.38 billion, and total costs are forecast to be under £1.43 billion.

Click on the link to read The costs to 31 March 2015 comprises:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/July%202015/21%20July/13-Health-Costs-and-benefits.pdf

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Jeremy Hunt announces new measures to improve safety across NHS

Freedom to Speak Up, Morecambe Bay Investigation and the clinical incidents investigations review recommendations accepted.

The government has published (16 July 2015) Learning not Blaming* its full response to the Freedom to Speak Up consultation, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) report on investigating clinical incidents in the NHS and the Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust Investigation.

Jeremy Hunt told Parliament today that when things go wrong “they will no longer be swept under the carpet” and that the NHS must “listen, learn and improve”.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jeremy-hunt-announces-new-measures-to-improve-safety-across-nhs

Click here to download full report

Learning not blaming The Department of Health *

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Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, , , ,

Large numbers of older patients experience lack of dignity in hospital

Older hospital patients in England face a “widespread and systematic” pattern of inadequate care, according to a detailed statistical analysis of inpatient experience data in NHS hospitals in England.

The analysis* by Drs Polly Vizard and Tania Burchardt of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics uses data from the Adult Inpatient Survey for 2012-13 to give a detailed picture of older people’s reported experiences during hospital stays. The results showed that experiences of poor or inconsistent standards of dignity and help with eating were too high in the “vast majority” of NHS trusts. Over a fifth of older people (23%) reported experiencing poor or inconsistent standards of dignity and respect and more than one in three patients who needed help with eating did not receive enough assistance.

Poor or inconsistent care was more likely to be experienced by women, those aged over 80 and those with a long-standing illness or disability such as deafness of blindness. The likelihood of poor or inconsistent care was particularly high for patients whose hospital stay had been long or if they had stayed on three or more wards.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.onmedica.com/newsArticle.aspx?id=dd0ea49d-0d5f-480d-b17b-7f6cbf282737

Click on the link to download the full analysis*

Older peoples experiences of dignity and nutrition during hospital stays

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Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

The Case for Patient Safety: Financially, Professionally and Ethically By Andy Cowper for HSJ

Read the full report from HSJ, in association with Allocate Software, on why patient safety should be the core business of healthcare

Why do we need another report?

Financially, ethically and professionally, patient safety should be the core business of healthcare. Yet despite big improvements reducing healthcare-associated infections and venous thromboembolism, why does patient safety still feel like something we are yet to crack? Where are the main areas to focus? And what are the first steps to improve?

“It is curious that people should think a report self-executive, should not see that, when the report is finished, the work begins” Florence Nightingale, letter to Mary Elizabeth Herbert (1863)

Click on the link to download the full report   

Patient Safety Case full report

 

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Filed under: NHS, , , ,

Why do I need MyNotes Medical? Warning: Lack of notes can kill

We want to ask you:

What if better communication between patient and NHS could prevent needless illness or death?

Warning: Lack of notes can kill!

Every year, thousands of NHS patients suffer needlessly. Doctors are over­worked, mistakes are made and billions of pounds are wasted. The question is, why?

If you have ever been a patient, or your loved one has, you may know for yourself the confusion and stress that often occurs:

  • You don’t understand what the doctor or consultant is saying
  • Your story is not taken seriously
  • You find it difficult to recall your diagnosis or treatment, since you have no notes to refer to
  • Perhaps, as a result you are sent away with the wrong diagnosis, or you have to make several appointments.

This is critical:

You don’t understand everything that the medical professionals are asking or saying to you; no one seems to have access to your loved one’s medical history and you are worried that you may generalise, delete or distort something critical when telling people what they need to know. All of this wastes precious time in which you or your loved one could be receiving proper treatment.

The problem is down to a breakdown in communication between patient and consultant. And, the problem has been publicly recognised and acknowledged.

Trouble is, all too often the solution has been developed by medical professionals for the ‘benefit’ of patients but NOT by patients themselves and NOT from a patient’s perspective.

Would you feel better if you could

Take Video’s,  Record conversations, Take Photo’s that are automatically synchronised with your PC in date order to review, share and keep you in control?

Yes! That’s why you and your loved ones need MyNotes Medical. Written by Patients for Patients.

You are just one click away  http://goo.gl/3rf9c7

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, Self Help, , , ,

Medical blunders cost NHS billions

An analysis by The Telegraph shows 20 hospital trusts have paid out £1.1 billion for medical blunders in just five years. While below we tell the tragic story of a mother left severely brain damaged after giving birth to her daughter

More than £1.1bn has been paid out for blunders at just 20 NHS trusts in the past five years, a Telegraph investigation can disclose.

A league table reveals the trusts with the largest medical negligence bills in England – topped by a hospital trust which was embroiled in a scandal over the deaths of babies and mothers. In total, NHS trusts have paid out more than £4.5 billion in the past five years for medical mistakes. About a quarter was paid to law firms to cover legal costs and most of the rest in compensation to patients harmed by medical blunders.

The legal bill for medical blunders has quadrupled in the past decade, The Telegraph investigation shows.  Action against Medical Accidents, the patient safety charity, said last night the growing scale of payouts was of huge concern and a massive burden on the NHS. “Clinical negligence is a huge and growing strain on the finances of the NHS, but the human cost is far greater,” said Peter Walsh, the charity’s chief executive, “Millions could be saved if there were more honesty and earlier admissions of liability.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11733719/Medical-blunders-cost-NHS-billions.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

“Extraordinary” lapses in checks on locum NHS doctors exposed

A man from Georgia treated more than 3,000 patients, after falsely claiming he was registered to practice as a medic – then stealing the identity of a fellow doctor, when he was found out

A “fake doctor” was able to treat more than 3,000 patients thanks to “extraordinary” lapses in checks on locum medics working in the NHS, an investigation reveals. The man from a former Soviet republic first practised here for more than two years despite the fact he was not qualified to do so.

When the Georgian, who had some medical training, but was not allowed to work unsupervised, was struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC), he stole the identity of a real medic, and obtained work at another NHS trust.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11733249/Extraordinary-lapses-in-checks-on-locum-NHS-doctors-exposed.html

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Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

REVEALED: At least a third of hospitals ‘could go BUST’ in NHS debt timebomb

An in-depth survey of 196 finance directors covering NHS hospitals, community care, mental health and ambulance services has uncovered a financial ticking time-bomb.

If savings aren’t made and the Government doesn’t plug the funding gap by 2020, experts say “a debate” will be needed about what services the NHS can continue to offer. The frightening figures come from a survey of NHS finance bosses across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Out of those questioned, 77 per cent of hospital bosses predict they will be in debt by the end of this financial year. They represent 36 per cent of the nation’s hospitals. However, the true figure of those spiralling into debt could be considerably higher as not all finance directors took part in the survey.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/589553/NHS-debt-hospitals-bust-health-service-summer-Budget-2015

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Filed under: Hospital, , , , ,

NHS bullying is a threat to patients: Health ministers warning of ‘toxic’ culture after survey finds quarter of doctors, nurses and other staff have fallen victim

  • A quarter of all NHS employees have been victimised by their colleagues
  • Staff introduced to each other by their pay scales instead of their names
  • Hierarchical Attitudes impede ability to improve care and patients safety
  • NHS told to be more like Asda where staff have sense of pride over work 

A ‘toxic’ culture of bullying amongst NHS staff is putting the safety of patients at risk, a health minister has warned. Lord Prior revealed that a quarter of employees have been victimised by their own colleagues, a rate unheard of in other organisations. He said the health service needed to learn lessons from the supermarket chain Asda where staff feel valued and turn-up to work with a sense of pride.

By contrast, he spoke of how many doctors, nurses and back-office healthcare staff had become ‘switched-off’ and disillusioned. He also warned of the culture of hierarchy in the NHS with nurses routinely introducing themselves to other workers by their pay-scales, or ‘bands’, rather than their names. The health minister suggested that bosses should be ‘pushing the panic button’ over the high rates of bullying and taking urgent action to improve staff morale. He warned that the this attitude was impeding the NHS’s drive to improve care and safety, in the face of tighter financial constraints and the increasing elderly population.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3152886/NHS-bullying-threat-patients-Health-ministers-warning-toxic-culture-survey-finds-quarter-doctors-nurses-staff-fallen-victim.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , , ,

Royal Glamorgan Hospital given a damning ‘one out of five’ food hygiene rating

A South Wales hospital has been given a damning food hygiene rating of just “1” – the second lowest on the official six-point scale.

Environmental health officers from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council who toured the Royal Glamorgan Hospital near Llantrisant  on June 17 ruled the hospital needed a “major improvement”. Health board bosses insist they have since carried out necessary changes but admitted the low rating on the 0-5 scale had left them “very disappointed”.

In a statement issued at the time, the Cwm Taf University Health Board – which administers the facility and which received the results last Thursday – said: “We are very disappointed with this rating and apologise for what was an unacceptable inspection outcome.” The “1” rating meant the 570-bed hospital in Ynysmaerdy was told it had to make a “major” improvement – something it says it has now done.

The inspection had found that improvements were required in relation to food hygiene – and, in particular, safety procedures. There was no evidence of structural problems or pest control issues, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has noted.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/royal-glamorgan-hospital-given-damning-9570556#ICID=FB-Wales-main

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

NHS needs more funding this year or patient care could suffer, say health experts

The NHS needs another funding boost this year or patient care could suffer, health experts have said, in the latest bleak assessment of the health service finances.

Researchers at the King’s Fund found that an unprecedented nine out of 10 hospitals in England are predicting an end-of-year deficit, with estimates suggesting that NHS providers could go £2bn into the red.

The stark warning from the respected think tank, which comes ahead of next week’s Budget, also undermines some of the Government’s flagship NHS pledges, stating that an £8bn funding increase for the NHS in England by 2020 – announced before the election – is a bare minimum and cannot pay for David Cameron’s promise of seven-day working across the health service.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-needs-more-funding-this-year-or-patient-care-could-suffer-say-health-experts-10361673.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

New ‘duty of candour’ rules instruct medics to admit mistakes

 

New guidelines are being unveiled for doctors, nurses and midwives across the UK on being honest and open with patients when things go wrong.

Known as a “duty of candour”, the guidelines make clear that patients should expect a face-to-face apology. In April, the NHS introduced a rule that told NHS and private healthcare organisations to admit their mistakes candidly, and as soon as possible. Now the same rule is to be applied to individual medics.

Say Sorry

Detailed guidance makes clear staff should tell the patient as soon as possible when something has gone wrong, and what it might mean for their health. The guidance also makes clear that patients or their families should receive a face-to-face apology. For the avoidance of doubt, it even spells out words that such an apology might include, such as “I am sorry”. The guidance was drawn up by the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council and applies to more than 950,000 doctors, nurses and midwives working in the UK.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33286601

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , , , , ,

Clampdown on lawyers overcharging NHS in clinical negligence cases

Government plans to save NHS £80m a year by capping legal fees that in some cases run as high as 10 times the amount paid in compensation to clients.

In one case, a source at the Department of Health said a lawyer pocketed £175,000 while the patient received just £11,800 in damages. In another, the legal bill was more than £80,000 while the patient only received £1,000, although the legal bill was later reduced to less than £5,000 by the courts after a successful challenge by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA).

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/27/nhs-clinical-negligence-cases-clampdown-lawyers

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , ,

Superhospital, episode 1: The Telegraph review the NHS in action

The first episode of the documentary series was a derivative but tear-jerking look at hospital life

It’s amazing how many hospital documentaries there are, giving you a ringside seat to every catheter insertion and scan result. They’re meant to fill you with respect for the NHS and make you cry, but surely we’ve all spent too much time in real, broken, depressing hospitals to fall for that one.

Click on the link to read the review

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/tv-and-radio-reviews/11699565/Superhospital-episode-1-review.html

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The staff of the Royal Derby Hospital in Derby appear in the ITV observational documentary series Superhospital

Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, ,

Ambulance service in crisis in England unions warn

Ambulance workers and unions are warning the service in England is in crisis and wouldn’t be able to support a major incident.

One paramedic has told BBC Breakfast they don’t have enough staff and are struggling to cope with the increasing number of emergency calls.

Jayne McCubbin of the BBC was given special access.

Click on the link to watch the video

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33251702

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Hospital doctor secretly recorded making patient threat

A disabled man who secretly recorded verbal abuse by a hospital doctor has received an apology from an NHS trust.

David Massey, 54, recorded the doctor, whom he had previously made a complaint about, saying: “What can I do to you? I can probably beat you up, I suppose.” After police were called, one officer suggested leaving him “on the Cat and Fiddle” A537 road in Cheshire. Cheshire Police said they “regret” the incident. Mr Massey said he thought the incident, in March 2014, was “disgraceful”The patient, who has diabetes and chronic back pain, went to an out-of-hours clinic at Macclesfield General Hospital.

The patient, who has diabetes and chronic back pain, went to an out-of-hours clinic at Macclesfield General Hospital. He says he was in severe pain and needed another pain-relieving patch. After a long discussion, the doctor refused to give him any medication but Mr Massey declined to leave and started secretly recording the conversation on his phone.

Speaking about how he could get Mr Massey to leave the room, the doctor can be heard saying: “I can probably beat you up I suppose.” Mr Massey then replies: “You’re going to beat me up?”, to which the doctor responds: “Yeah”.

Please click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33191817

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David Massey

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS, , ,

Midwives furious after Jeremy Hunt highlights ‘shocking’ number of babies who die at birth – when there’s shortage of 3,000 midwives

Nursing chiefs say there is a shortage of 3,000 midwives and extra staff are needed

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has infuriated midwives by highlighting the “shocking” number of babies who die at birth in the UK. He made the remark on Twitter after it was revealed the NHS had paid £1billion to settle maternity negligence cases. The Health Secretary tweeted: “Shocking that 1300 babies killed or harmed during childbirth last year: we must go further & faster to make the NHS the safest system globally”. But the remark angered nursing chiefs who pointed to a shortage of 3,000 midwives and called for extra staff to be hired to improve patient safety.

Hundreds deluged Twitter, Facebook and internet forums about Mr Hunt’s controversial remarks.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/midwives-furious-after-jeremy-hunt-5920743

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Filed under: NHS, ,

“‘About me’ puts a person at the heart of patient-centred care” by Liz Charalambous for NursingTimes.Net

A brilliant article from a nurse taking the time to really care

I took handover at the start of my shift recently. I received detailed information about care plans, the patient’s vital signs, urine output, blood glucose, early warning scores, Braden scale, MUST (Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool), falls and visual infusion phlebitis score were.

I was then presented with a form to sign for me to take responsibility and accountability for the patient. But there was no mention of the patient’s likes and dislikes, no details of a possible safeguarding issue, and no elaboration on her worries about the possibility of having her dog taken away as she may be unable to manage at home, and face residential home placement.

We are inundated with paperwork – of that there is no question. But the single most important piece of paperwork in my view as far as person-centred care is concerned, is the “about me” form. It is an ingenious document, cleverly crafted to ensure that the team are aware of a person’s preferences, likes and dislikes and their personal history while in hospital.

Click on the link to read more

About me puts a person at the heart of patient centred-care

Liz Charalambous is staff nurse, healthcare of the older person acute medicine, at Nottingham University Hospital’s Trust

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Filed under: Elderly, NHS, , ,

NHS trusts ‘failing to deal with serious complaints’

 The Health Ombudsman has accused NHS trusts of failing to deal with serious complaints properly.

Too many, often bereaved relatives, are left with no other choice but to take their issues to the ombudsman because trusts fail to deal with them locally, it said. Today a report containing investigations dealt with in October and Novermber last year showcases the wide range of cases the Ombudsman service investigates about the NHS in England and other government departments.

One case a family who had no choice but to place a vulnerable man with dementia in private care over Christmas, after he was unsafely discharged from A&E on Christmas Day. One hospital trust gave no assurance that errors that led to a patient with dementia being left on a trolley in A&E for more than 33 hours followed by an assessment unit for 42 hours would not happen again.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-06-17/nhs-trusts-failing-to-deal-with-serious-complaints/?

Read the Ombudsman report

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/news-centre/press-releases/2015/ombudsmans-report-highlights-poor-complaint-handling-and-service-failures-across-the-nhs-in-england-and-uk-government-departments

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

Nurses miss patient having heart attack as vending machine blocks alarm

Medics on standby fail to respond when patient has heart attack on operating table as no one can see flashing lights on cardiac arrest alarm

Nurses did not realise a patient was having a heart attack because a vending machine had been put in front of a cardiac arrest alarm, a whistleblower has revealed. The obstruction meant that medics on standby in a coffee room failed to respond when the patient had a heart attack on the operating table – because no one could see the flashing lights on the alarm. An inside at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital described it as a “serious breach of patient safety”.

The whistleblower said: “While the staff were preparing a patient for heart surgery in one of the theatres, this patient suffered a cardiac arrest so normal procedures were followed, the arrest alarm was activated and, while the doctor and nurses were working on the patient, the scrub nurse was sent to see why there was no response to the arrest alarm.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11675033/Nurses-miss-patient-having-heart-attack-as-vending-machine-blocks-alarm.html

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A vending machine covering up a cadiac arrest alarm at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Broadgreen

Filed under: Whistleblowing, , ,

Campaigners to march on Department of Health over calls for safe NHS staffing levels

Patient safety campaigners will march on the Department of Health this week to call for safe staffing levels on NHS wards.

Charlie Cooper for The Independent

The demonstration follows a decision to end key research at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) into safe staffing ratios that the NHS could use. Campaigners, led by Julie Bailey, who helped expose the Mid Staffordshire care scandal, will deliver a letter to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Thursday, calling on him to reverse the decision.

Nursing leaders and patient safety experts have expressed concern that the research, which will be taken on by NHS England, will now be “based on cost” and not evidence of what is safest. The protest is a blow to Mr Hunt, who has gained a reputation as a staunch advocate of patient safety issues. Cure the NHS, the campaign group founded by Ms Bailey, said in a statement: “Jeremy Hunt has been at the forefront of promoting patient safety. But this recent announcement appears to be a backward step and goes against all he has promoted.”

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The move follows a decision to end research into safe staffing ratios.

Filed under: NHS,

Heartbroken Sam, 6, could lose the drug that gave him his childhood back

LITTLE Sam Brown loves nothing more than playing with his younger brother and dreams of becoming a fireman.

Yet six-year-old Sam has a rare illness that means he will never physically grow up and it threatens to rob him of his future.

A pioneering drug has been helping to keep him mobile for the past three-and-a-half years and offers the only hope of prolonging his life. Yet his parents must wait until the end of this month to learn if the NHS will take over the £395,000-a-year funding of his treatment, which until now has been provided free of charge by a drug company as part of a trial.

His mother Katy, 38, said: “This drug has given him the freedom to be a child again. “It feels like a ticking time bomb. If he doesn’t have that drug, the clock will start ticking and the degenerative impact can start to happen. “Once the damage is done no amount of this drug at a later date is going to turn back the clock. “There is no other viable option. We could raise a few hundred thousand pounds as a one-off but to do it year in year out for the rest of his life is not feasible. Not allowing him access to a proven treatment discriminates against people with rare illnesses. I will never stop fighting for him until he gets what he deserves.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/584296/Sam-Brown-treatment-NHS-illness-Vimizim

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Little Sam has become much better after receiving the special treatment

Filed under: NHS, , ,

Only one in three unhappy NHS patients actually complain, says new survey

Only one in three people who are unhappy with their NHS care or with other publics services actually complain, according to a survey conducted by the ombudsman.

The research found that while 90per cent believe that people who think they have had a poor service should complain, in practice, far fewer actually do. Reasons for not complaining included fears that it would be more hassle than it was worth, not knowing who to turn to, and concerns that the complaint would not be taken seriously. However, the most common reason not to complain was that people doubt it will make a difference.

The findings, from a survey of 4,623 people conducted by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), are echoed by a second report, from patient advocacy group Healthwatch England, which found that only 21 per cent of NHS patients who have a poor care experience write a letter of complaint.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/only-one-in-three-unhappy-nhs-patients-actually-complain-says-new-survey-10317167.html

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

Baby’s death could have been avoided but NHS 111 staff ‘were working from a script because they are not skilled professionals’

  • William Mead died after developing an abscess in his left lung at 12 months
  • Mother phoned NHS out-of-hours 111 service the night before he died
  • Staff missed chance to save the infant as they read from script
  • Had he been admitted to hospital he could have been saved
  • Coroner records verdict that his death was due to natural causes

A baby died after NHS 111 staff working from a script missed the chance to save the seriously ill infant, an inquest heard. William Mead died the day after a helpline operator, with no medical training, advised his mother to give him plenty of fluids, Calpol and Ibuprofen. The 12-month-old had developed an abscess in his left lung caused by the bacterial infection streptococcus A. But had the out-of-hours service advised that the child be admitted immediately to hospital he could still be alive today, the hearing was told.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3120129/Baby-s-death-avoided-NHS-111-staff-working-script-not-skilled-professionals.html

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William Mead was just 12 months old when he died after NHS 111 staff working from a script missed a chance to save him

Filed under: NHS Blunders, , ,

NHS will not offer ‘innovative’ drug to treat prostate cancer

Cancer charities are disappointed with health officials who have deemed a new and ‘innovative’ drug to treat advanced prostate cancer is not cost-effective for the NHS.

Enzalutamide is currently available on the Cancer Drugs Fund in England, which enables patients to access drugs that would not otherwise have been routinely available from the NHS. But the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has published draft guidance in which it says the drug has not been proven to work well enough for the price the NHS must pay for it.

The drug, also called Xtandi, is licensed to treat people with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body who have not yet had chemotherapy, and in whom treatments to lower the amount of male sex hormones – which normally stop the cancer from growing and spreading – no longer work.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-06-11/nhs-will-not-offer-innovative-drug-to-treat-prostate-cancer/

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Filed under: Cancer, , , , ,

NHS recruiter says the Government needs to recruit more foreign doctors to meet its targets

The Government must allow the NHS to recruit more doctors from abroad if it is to meet its targets to boost GP numbers, a leading recruiter has said.

The Conservative manifesto called for the health service to take on 5,000 more GPs to help surgeries extend opening hours. The reform is part of a long-term strategy to move care out of hospitals and into local surgeries, thought to be a more efficient way of delivering treatment.

But ManpowerGroup Solutions UK, one of the biggest recruiters of GPs for the NHS, said there were not enough “homegrown” GPs to accomplish the policy. “David Cameron has pledged to recruit 5,000 new GPs to extend surgery opening hours. That will improve care for millions, but it’s hard to see where those doctors will come from,” said James Hick, managing director of the group.

“As a major recruiter of GPs, we see that there are not enough homegrown new clinicians. There’s no simple fix – even if we were to double the number of medical school graduates from British universities, it still wouldn’t solve the problem. “We’re already reliant on doctors and nurses from abroad. Twenty six percent are non-British and that number could rise by 50% over the next five years.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nhs-recruiter-says-the-government-needs-to-recruit-more-foreign-doctors-to-meet-its-targets-10306941.html

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Hiring an extra 5,000 GPs would be very difficult without overseas recruitment, major recruiter says

 

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

NHS staff should play a bigger role in health service changes

The most important people to consult on new models of care are those who will be asked to deliver these reforms on the frontline

The election dice have been rolled and the hard work for policymakers in all departments has begun. None more so than in health. We already knew that the NHS would be set to change again over the coming years in response to the significant challenges facing it on funding, service delivery and workforce culture.

In fact, that change started happening before the election: as healthcare professionals were getting their heads around the implications of the “new models” outlined in the Five Year Forward View, devo Manc introduced ambitious outlines for more joined-up thinking and acting, bringing together the Greater Manchester strategic health and social care partnership board, NHS England, 12 clinical commissioning groups and 10 councils, not to mention the regulators and other government bodies.

With these changes, we run the risk of forgetting what’s most important: that the very people bringing about these changes need to be listened to. What would be unhelpful is top-down diktats. This is reflected in reports pointing to rising staff dissatisfaction, increasing amounts of industrial action and the falling morale of doctors, nurses and support staff.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/jun/10/nhs-staff-bigger-role-health-service-changes

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Unless we formally involve staff in changes to the NHS, we run the risk of finding ourselves at the bottom of the snake, once again.’ Photograph: image100/Corbis

Filed under: NHS, , ,

Integrated care must start with a new single national framework – The Kings Fund

Former NHS England boss David Nicholson famously described Andrew Lansley’s NHS shake-up as ‘so big you could probably see it from space’.

Five years on the consequences are much more down to earth, with an organisational landscape so complex that, rather like the peace of God, it passeth all understanding. The imperative to integrate care around the needs of an ageing population with a mixture of conditions and needs that defy service boundaries has never been greater. Yet, responsibilities for commissioning different pieces of the jigsaw has never been more fragmented and are now scattered across nearly 400 separate organisations. http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/

Read the full article

Integrated care must start with a new single national framework

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Filed under: NHS, ,

‘Severe shortage’ of GPs could see traditional family doctor become a thing of past

Rising patient numbers and amounts of paperwork are forcing more GPs out of full time work, putting surgeries at risk of following the same rocky financial path as Britain’s struggling hospitals. Hospitals have come under fire for “wasting” £3.3bn annually on locum doctors and now local GP surgeries are forking out £70-£90 an hour for agency staff.

Medical insiders explained the pressures to squeeze in millions more patients, as well as being able to complete growing amounts of administration, meant many were put off from running their own practices. Many GPs also want to work more flexibly to fit work in around their children. It means the tradition of having a family doctor from cradle to grave could soon be a thing of the past.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/583174/Shortage-of-GPs-could-see-life-long-family-doctor-become-a-thing-of-the-past

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GPs are so stressed they are quitting to become locums and avoid paperwork

Filed under: GP's, NHS, , ,

Nursing agency’s £43m NHS payday

Mail investigation finds firm billed cash-strapped hospitals as much as £1,800 a shift to plug gap in staffing shortages

A nursing agency once owned by an offshore company in the Cayman Islands charged the NHS £43million last year to supply staff.

Thornbury Nursing Services raked in up to £6.5million from individual hospital trusts, billing them for as much as £1,800 a shift. Last week Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the NHS it must cut its soaring bill for agency staff, warning: ‘Expensive staffing agencies are quite simply ripping off the NHS.’  But research from 126 NHS trusts – two thirds of those in the UK – revealed some hospitals are spending more than £20million a year on agency nurses to plug staffing gaps.

Meanwhile, last year four agencies charged the NHS £88million for nurses alone. The figures are revealed by Freedom of Information requests sent to hospital trusts bythe Mail. London North West Healthcare NHS Trust spent £25million solely on agency nurse cover lastyear, while Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust spent £20million.  Barts Health NHS Trust in London spent £80million on agency nurses and doctors – and while it refused to disclose the breakdown, it admitted using agencies for more than 220,000 nursing shifts. Seven trusts said they’d had to pay an agency more than £1,000 for a single shift, with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust paying Thornbury Nursing Service £1,800.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3114685/Nursing-agency-s-43m-NHS-payday-Mail-investigation-finds-firm-billed-cash-strapped-hospitals-1-800-shift-plug-gap-staffing-shortages.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: NHS, , , ,

NHS patient safety fears as health watchdog scraps staffing guidelines

Nice says it has stopped devising ratios of nurses to patients, recommended in report into Mid Staffs scandal, with NHS England taking over the work

The NHS has been accused of backtracking on improvements to patient safety brought in after the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal in an effort to tackle its escalating financial problems. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) watchdog has unexpectedly scrapped work to set out how many nurses are needed in different parts of hospitals to ensure safe patient care. The move drew sharp criticism from nurses’ leaders, patient safety campaigners and Sir Robert Francis, the QC whose official report into Mid Staffs recommended Nice draw up guidelines on NHS-wide safe staffing levels, because understaffing had contributed significantly to the scandal.

Nice – which is an independent body – said it had stopped devising a raft of patient to staff ratios intended to help guarantee patient safety in A&E units and mental health settings at the request of NHS England, which will now take over the work. However the fear is that NHS England will either introduce lower standards – in terms of the number of nurses required – that are cheaper for hospitals to meet, or that the guidelines on the safe number of nurses will be abandoned altogether.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/04/nhs-patient-safety-fears-nice-scrap-staffing-level-guidelines-mid-staffs-scandal

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Sir Robert Francis QC, whose report into the Mid Staffs scandal recommended staffing guidelines, has criticised the scrapping of the work. Photograph: Martin Godwin/Martin Godwin

Filed under: NHS, , ,

A&E swamped as thousands can’t get in to see GPs: Patients placing huge pressure on units after being refused same-day appointments at surgeries

  • Many have non-urgent issues but can’t be seen quickly by family doctors
  • Experts want more GPs, nurses & primary care staff at A&E departments 
  • People refusing to use alternative services such as 111 or walk-in clinics 
  • Patients see A&E as recognisable ‘brand’ so will continue to go there

Thousands of people are flooding A&E because they have been refused a same-day appointment with their GP, a report has found. Patients are placing huge pressure on casualty wards as they arrive in ever larger numbers. Many have non-urgent health problems that could easily be dealt with at a localsurgery but they are unable to be seen promptly by family doctors.  Now experts have called for more GPs, nurses and other primary care staff to be stationed at A&E departments to deal with patients who do not really need emergency care.

The report, published today by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the Patients Association, found that many Britons are also refusing to use alternative services such as the NHS 111 helpline, walk-in clinics or out-of-hours GP services. The document says A&E is seen as a recognisable ‘brand’ by patients so they will continue to go there even if other services are available.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3108414/A-E-swamped-thousands-t-GPs-Patients-placing-huge-pressure-units-refused-day-appointments-surgeries.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: A&E, GP's, Hospital, , ,

Nurse sought for NHS to handle ‘irate surgeons and aggressive patients’

A newspaper advert for a job at an NHS hospital in Glasgow has been pulled after the controversial description caused fury among staff.

The post for a theatre nursing support worker at Gartnavel General Hospital warned applicants about “complaints from irate surgeons due to the pressures and constraints of the environment”. Interested parties also risked dealing with “verbal and physical aggressive behaviour from patients” under the influence of drugs, alcohol or anaesthetic.

However despite the advert’s wording it has been reported 61 people still applied for the vacancy with a starting salary of £15,358 to work 37.5 hours including nightshifts and weekends.

Click on the link to read more

http://news.stv.tv/west-central/1322036-gartnavel-hospital-job-advert-causes-fury-among-nhs-glasgow-staff/

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Gartnavel Hospital: The advert still attracted 61 applicants.

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

NHS ‘Must Deliver’ On Patient Care And Waste

 The Health Secretary warns the NHS it must focus on efficiencies as he promises a crackdown on “rip-off” agency fees.

NHS bosses have been urged by Jeremy Hunt to focus on finding efficiencies and patient care rather than complain about a lack of funds. The Health Secretary hit out at the NHS saying the Government has provided the extra funding requested by its chief executive and now wants the health service to “deliver its side of the bargain” by eliminating waste.

“Simon Stevens (NHS England Chief Executive) said the NHS needed an extra £8bn by 2020 and the Government has invested that. “Now the NHS must deliver its side of the bargain for patients by eliminating waste, helped by the controls on spending we’re putting in place,” said Mr Hunt, who also promised a crackdown on “rip off” staffing agency fees. “Expensive staffing agencies are quite simply ripping off the NHS.

“It’s outrageous that taxpayers are being taken for a ride by companies charging up to £3,500 a shift for a doctor.

Click on the link to read and watch the report

http://news.sky.com/story/1494576/nhs-must-deliver-on-patient-care-and-waste

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Hospital CEO: ‘We have failed’

A hospital trust chief executive has admitted his hospital did not act quickly enough after concerns were raised over patient deaths.

Matthew Kershaw, CEO of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, apologised to the families of the patients involved and said the standard of care they received was “nowhere near good enough”. The apology came as the father of Stephen Palmer, who died in 2013, spoke of his fury at what happened to his son.

The Argus exclusively revealed yesterday how serious flaws in the care of five patients in the acute medical unit (AMU) at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton contributed to their deaths.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/12980754.Hospital_CEO___We_have_failed_/?ref=twtrec

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Matthew Kershaw, CEO of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

Irvine Simmonds: Family of pensioner who died after falling 12 times in NHS care to sue trust

The heartbroken family of a pensioner who died after TWELVE falls in NHS care are to take legal action .

Irvine Simmonds, 88, died following the accidents after he was admitted to hospital for a hip replacement – after he had already taken a fall at home. Daughter Janet, 61, and son-in-law Joe Oliver, 60, were “devastated” by Irvine’s death from a bleed on the brain and pneumonia caused by the falls, two months after he was admitted in September last year, and have confirmed they will lodge a claim. Mr Oliver said: “We’re appalled and feel incredibly let down by what can only be described as an astounding failure in the hospital’s duty of care. “My wife and I are devastated by our loss, and our only hope is that following this verdict, sufficient action will be taken so as to ensure no other family has to go through this.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/irvine-simmonds-family-pensioner-who-5767248

 

Filed under: NHS Blunders, ,

End-of-life care letting people down – Health Ombudsman

Thousands of dying patients are being let down by poor end-of-life care provision, the organisation that makes final decisions about NHS complaints in England has said.

The health ombudsman’s report detailed “tragic” cases where people’s suffering could have been avoided or lessened. In one instance, a patient had suffered 14 painful attempts to have a drip reinserted during his final hours. The government said improving end-of-life care was a priority. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has investigated 265 complaints about end-of-life care in the past four years, upholding just over half of them.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32797768

Have you been affected by the issues raised in this story?

You can email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk. If you would be happy to speak further to a BBC journalist, please include a contact telephone number when emailing your details.

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Filed under: Elderly, NHS, , ,

NHS slumps to worst performance in decade as 20,000 operations cancelled at last minute

Tens of thousands of patients have had their operations shelved at the last minute as the NHS slumped to its worst performance in a decade, it was revealed today. More than 20,000 operations were cancelled by NHS hospitals in England during the last quarter. Figures released by NHS England show 20,464 operations were cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons from January to the end of March. During the same period in 2013/14, there were 17,868 cancelled operations. It is the highest number since the last quarter of 2004/5, when patients saw 21,500 operations cancelled.

Hospitals are experiencing growing bed shortages, with too many patients being admitted because of a lack of care in the community, and ending up stuck in hospital because there is no help available in their home.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-slumps-worst-performance-decade-5704158

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Mum fights NHS to save Little Harvey

Yet another shocking story on how life-saving drugs are not being offered in the NHS. I also posted on 11th May about Bethany Henry, 9 who is left screaming in agony every night from tumours growing on her liver and needs £30,000 for drugs http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bethany-henry-family-sell-home-5676505  Joanna

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A ‘heartbroken’ mum, who will have to watch her little boy slowly deteriorate because of a rare disease, is fighting for a new life-changing drug to be allowed on the NHS.

Harvey Brown is like any other six-year-old boy – when asked what are his favourite things to do, he replies enthusiastically: “play football and eat all the chocolate cake!” But because he has an ultra-rare degenerative disease called Morquio, which affects just 77 children in the UK, Harvey already has to use a wheelchair most of the time just to get around. The inherited illness is caused by an enzyme deficiency, which means Harvey’s skeleton will not develop properly. His organs will continue to grow but his weak bones won’t and he is likely to develop heart disease and breathing difficulties, while losing his vision and hearing. There is no cure for Morquio, and, untreated, patients rarely live beyond their twenties.

A drug which could help Harvey live a longer, happier life is not being offered on the NHS yet, so Vikki and little Harvey took their fight right to the Government’s doorstep in a protest outside Whitehall recently, to demand the “life-changing” drug be made available before it’s too late.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.southwarknews.co.uk/news/mum-fights-nhs-to-save-little-harvey/

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Harvey’s ultra-rare condition will only get worse as he gets older

Filed under: NHS, , ,

Hunt reveals priorities for his NHS ‘mission’ By Will Hazell, Dave West. LGC

Prime minister David Cameron confirmed Mr Hunt would stay in his role, which he has held since autumn 2012, as he reshuffled his Cabinet in the Conservative Party’s new majority government. Responding to the news that he had been reappointed as health secretary, Mr Hunt said he was “humbled…not least because of the enormous responsibility for hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses and other NHS staff who are working incredibly hard right now and under enormous pressure”.

Mr Hunt said the NHS had “started a journey” to make the NHS the “safest, most caring and highest quality healthcare system in the world” but added “there is still further to go”.  “My biggest priority now is to transform care outside hospitals – just as we have dramatically improved the quality of care inside hospitals in the last few years.”  He said to ensure older and vulnerable people were treated with “the highest standards of care” there needed to be a “step change” in services delivered by GP surgeries, community care and social care.

“That is my mission, and I know it is the mission of the whole NHS too,” he added.

Click on the link to read more  Hunt reveals priorities for his NHS

 

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, ,

Private healthcare companies accused of using tax relief to undercut the NHS

Private healthcare companies have been accused of getting unfair tax relief when competing with the NHS to provide treatments such as chemotherapy for patients at home. NHS Trusts are increasingly trying to treat patients in their own homes, rather than making them travel to hospitals. The service is often provided by private companies working under contract to the NHS, rather than directly by NHS nurses and carers. The government argues that private firms may be able to do this cheaper than the NHS. But it has now emerged that the competition appears skewed because, while private firms can recover the 20 per cent VAT they incur on purchasing drugs, the NHS cannot. That means the private provider’s service can appear many thousands of pounds cheaper than NHS provision when bidding for contracts.

The accusations will give fresh fuel to critics who claim there is an inherent bias in government policy towards favouring privatisation of large swathes of the health service. The difference VAT makes can be substantial, as a document on Bupa’s website entitled “Economic Attractiveness: home chemotherapy” illustrates. This shows Bupa saves £244 for each infusion of Herceptin due to its “nil” VAT status. As the Bupa document says, after other overheads, “for a cohort of 50 patients an annual saving of £187,000 can be made”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/private-healthcare-companies-accused-of-using-tax-relief-to-undercut-the-nhs-10251549.html

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Nurses criticised at GP practices placed into ‘special measures’ By Nicola Merrifield, Nursing Times

A group of GP practices have been placed into special measures after inspectors raised concerns, including a lack of staff learning following safety incidents, failure by nurses to understand mental capacity legislation and outdated training on vaccinations.

As part of its inspections of general practice, the Care Quality Commission released reports on a further 61 GP services in England last week. The reports reveal that four – Constable Country Rural Medical Practice in Ipswich, New Inn Surgery in Guildford, Dr Alan Samuel Muir Grasse in north London and Polkyth Surgery in Cornwall – have been rated as “inadequate” and put into special measures, which means they must improve or risk losing their registration.

Click on the link below to read more

Nurses criticised at GP practices placed into ‘special measures’

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Filed under: GP's, NHS, , , ,

The NHS: What we weren’t told during the election

The NHS was one of the major topics of the election campaign. Politicians were falling over themselves to talk about it and promise more.

More money, more nurses and more doctors. And if that wasn’t enough, the Conservatives were pledging more opening: they plan to ensure the NHS becomes a seven-day service. But despite all this talk, there was also a lot that wasn’t mentioned too. The state of social care was perhaps one of the most obvious issues. Councils and those working with elderly people have long been arguing that the cuts to local government have meant that essential services, like help in the home, that keep people living independently, are being squeezed.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32690757

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Filed under: NHS,

East Surrey Hospital nurse struck off for ‘bullying’ a bipolar patient

A NURSE has been struck off for “bullying” a “vulnerable” bipolar patient at East Surrey Hospital.

Mary Majella Kenny, who was a nurse on the acute medical unit at the Redhill hospital, has been removed from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register after being found guilty of common assault by beating. The decision was taken by the NMC’s Conduct and Competence Committee during a two-day hearing, split between days in January and March this year. According to a report of the hearing, Claire Paget, who represented the council at the first hearing, told the panel that on January 3, 2013, a patient, known as Patient X, was taken to use a commode by members of staff when she started to shout and flail her arms around. During the incident, a health care assistant was struck on the arm.

 Ms Paget then informed the panel that Ms Kenny arrived and “took over”. Ms Paget said two other nurses had described how Ms Kenny grabbed the patient by the upper arms and forced her to sit down on the commode. The report stated: “She [Ms Kenny] was described as shouting aggressively and saying words to the effect of, ‘If you hit me I will hit you back twice as hard’.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.surreymirror.co.uk/East-Surrey-Hospital-nurse-struck-bullying/story-26449553-detail/story.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Bethany Henry: Family sell home after NHS bosses refuse to pay for medication to help ‘too rare’ sick daughter

Bethany Henry, 9,  is left screaming in agony every night from tumours growing on her liver and needs £30,000 for drugs
A family has been forced to sell their home to pay for treatment to help their daughter fight an aggressive tumour that leaves her screaming in agony every night.

Luke and Stephanie Henry revealed how they have taken the drastic step because medication that would help nine-year-old daughter Bethany is not currently funded by the NHS. The youngster suffers from a condition called tuberous sclerosis which causes tumours on her brain, kidneys and liver and leaves her suffering up to 50 epileptic fits a day. A drug, called everolimus, is licensed to reduce the tumours and stop more from growing but Bethany’s doctor is unable to give it to her as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will not fund it because her condition is considered too rare.

In a cruel twist, the family is also unable to bid for “exceptional funding” for the drug because the condition is not rare enough as there are more than 30 patients in urgent need of it.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bethany-henry-family-sell-home-5676505

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Family haunted by memory of mum being left to die on hospital trolley

THE family of cancer victim Lily Smith say they will never forgive the NHS after she spent 12 hours of the last day of her life on a hospital trolley.

The 83-year-old great grandmother’s final wish was to be allowed to die in peace at her Newstead home after she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer last December. But an ambulance was called when she suddenly took a turn for the worse after contracting pneumonia. Lily then spent nine hours in a corridor at the Royal Stoke University Hospital’s A&E before spending a further three hours on a trolley at the Medical Assessment Unit.

She passed away just three hours after finally being placed on the Clinical Decision Unit on March 25. Now her devastated relatives have questioned why more was not done to make their dying mother’s last hours more comfortable. One of her four surviving children, Ian Smith, said he will always regret dialling 999 when his mother started to have difficulties breathing.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Family-haunted-memory-mum-left-die-hospital/story-26459356-detail/story.html

Family collect of Lily Smith who died at The Royal Stoke Hospital

Lily Smith

 

Filed under: A&E, Elderly, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

NHS ‘like sick patient in early-stage terminal decline’, former boss says

The NHS is like a very sick patient who is in “early-stage terminal decline” because lack of money has left it unable to cope with the growing demand for care, the service’s former boss and leading doctors have warned.

Sir David Nicholson, who ran the NHS in England until last year, is among the signatories of a *letter to the Guardian that says the health service needs higher levels of investment than any of the three main political parties have pledged in the run-up to the election. Their dramatic intervention comes just hours before the end of an election campaign in which the future of the NHS, in particular how much money it should get to help it close the forecast £30bn gap in its finances, has been one of the key issues.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/06/nhs-like-sick-patient-in-early-stage-terminal-decline-former-boss-says

*Click on the link to read the letter to the Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/may/06/our-nhs-early-stage-terminal-decline

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Sir David Nicholson was formerly head of NHS England

Filed under: NHS, ,

Robbie Powell died 25 years ago aged 10. Difficult to believe that this 4 part ‘Wales This Week’ documentary was aired 11 years ago and yet the NHS cover up continues 25 years after Robbie’s needles death

There was sufficient evidence to prosecute the killer/dishonest GPs in 2003 but Crown Prosecution Service said NO! The three reasons below were given for not prosecuting the GPs and their secretary:

1. Passage of time! [Not relevant in cases of child sex abuse and other crimes]

2. Police/CPS FAILURES! [More like Police/CPS corruption to protect the establishment employed police doctors]

3. Police IMMUNITY! [The Police does not have the gift of immunity and even if they had it is only given when the perpetrators assist in the prosecution of others and not as a favour for police employed doctors]

When will the 25 year cover up of Robbie’s death be investigated and the perpetrators of these heinous crimes IMPRISONED?

Will the Director of Public Prosecutions do the right thing this time? Will Powell

Part 1 of 4

Click on the link below to watch the 3 other parts of  “Wales This Week” documentary  https://strength-in-numbers.co.uk/r/

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

What are the parties promising on health and social care?

As we approach the 2015 general election, the NHS is one of the most important issues facing Britain. The Kings Fund link below looks at some of the biggest questions in health and social care and sets out the policies and pledges made by the main parties in England.

  • Will the NHS get the money it needs?
  • Will it be easier to get a GP appointment?
  • Will health and social care become more joined up?
  • How will mental health care be improved?
  • Will the NHS face more reorganisation?
  • What are the parties going to do about public health?

In compiling the website The Kings Fund have taken information from the parties’ manifestos and drawn on recent policy announcements, as captured on the Election tracker.

Please click on the link 

http://election.kingsfund.org.uk/pledges/

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

EXCLUSIVE: £1m-an-hour NHS diabetes bill skyrockets as four million Britons affected

THE diabetes crisis gripping Britain is now so severe that it is costing the NHS £10billion a year.

“Truly alarming” figures released today show that one in six people in a hospital bed has the condition. Experts say millions of Britons are not getting the help they need to manage the illness which is eating up a tenth of the NHS budget and causing complications including blindness, amputations and strokes which are blamed for 20,000 premature deaths a year. Public health chiefs say the failure to tackle the epidemic has left the NHS facing bankruptcy. The figures, showing the condition costs the NHS more than £1million an hour, were released by Diabetes UK, along with a call for action from politicians days before the election.

The charity’s chief executive Barbara Young said: “None of the political parties have made enough of a commitment to improving the often poor quality of diabetes healthcare, which is really disappointing given one in 17 people in the UK has it. “One in every six hospital beds is occupied by someone with diabetes and the fact the NHS spends 10 per cent of its budget on diabetes means it is an issue that affects everyone.
“We need urgent action – this should be a top priority for whoever forms the next Government as if left unchecked diabetes poses a real threat to the future sustainability of our health service”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/574749/Diabetes-bill-rockets-to-10-billion-a-year-four-million-Britons-suffer

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Health staff told ‘don’t speak to press’ after regional daily exposé

Health bosses have warned potential whistleblowers not to speak to the local press after a regional daily revealed hundreds of patients’ lives were being put at risk by staff shortages.

The Sentinel, Stoke, reported last month that there had been more than 400 “alarming incidents” raised by district nurses to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust in the past two years. The failings, listed in a confidential dossier which was leaked to the paper, included cases of overworked staff bursting into tears at the end of their shifts, speeding to get to their next job and cutting their visits short. The register, which was passed on by an anonymous source, also added patients were at risk of developing deadly pressure sores because the nurses were too busy to complete their rounds.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2015/news/health-staff-warned-not-to-leak-to-daily-after-damning-dossier-splash/?

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Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, ,

Have you been treated on the NHS? Was your experience good or bad? The Mirror is working on a big feature about the NHS, to be published this weekend and they want to hear from you

Our public health system costs more than £100billion ayear, and is one of the world’s largest employers. Around 1.5million of us are affected by it every day, but recent years have seen huge changes in one of our proudest institutions.

We’re working on a big feature about the NHS, to be published this weekend, and need to find out what YOU think.

Have you been treated on the NHS or worked for the health service in the past five years? Was your experience good or bad? We want to know what you think is wrong with it, what is right with it, and what could be improved.

No complaint or praise is too small – email yourmirror@mirror.co.uk  or tweet us at @YourMirror

Or Let us know through the form on the link below

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/you-been-treated-nhs-your-5603585

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

The moment Miliband met his match in an ordinary member of the public whose mother suffered agonising hospital death under LABOUR

A woman whose mother died in a hospital under Labour has told Ed Miliband that she find it ‘physically repulsive’ when he claims to lead the party of the NHS.

During a live radio phone-in, the woman challenged the Labour leader over the ‘totally avoidable’ and ‘horrific’ death. The woman, who was identified as Claire from Manchester, said that there was a ‘total denial’ from the party about what went wrong in her mother’s case. She said that her local Labour candidate had put the phone down on her when she rang him to speak about the treatment her mother received. The exchange is one of the first unscripted moments of the election campaign, which has been tightly-controlled and stage-managed with the party leaders meeting very few regular voters. As the Labour leader took part in a half-hour phone in on LBC radio, he was tackled by the woman on the party’s record on the NHS while in power.

She asked him: ‘My mother died in an NHS hospital under Labour’s watch, how can Labour claim to be a party of the NHS?’ Mr Miliband responded: ‘First of all Claire I’m incredibly sorry to hear what happened to your mum and when anything goes wrong in our NHS I think it needs to be properly investigated and properly dealt with. ‘I know that won’t bring your mum back, but I’m incredibly sorry for what happened. ‘I think the NHS is a fantastic institution, I think overall we’ve made progress in our NHS, but obviously that can never excuse any case that goes wrong.’  But the woman added: ‘I think it was systemic, I don’t think it was one or any case. There was inaccuracy, denial, lack of transparency, that’s my personal experience watching her die in agony. ‘That’s irrespective of all the other scandals that have come out, like the Staffs Hospital. ‘I actually find it physically repulsive when I get documentation coming through my front door about Labour being the party of the NHS.

Click on the link to read and listen to part of the radio broadcast on LBC

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3054385/I-physically-repulsive-claim-party-NHS-Furious-woman-mother-suffered-agonising-death-Labour-rips-Miliband.html

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Thousands of lives at risk as hospitals ignore simple tests for blood poisoning

  •  Experts have warned hospitals not using standard treatment for sepsis  
  • Blood poisoning affects more than 100,000 Britons a year and kills 37,000
  • 10% of patients at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary ward given correct treatment 
  •  Sepsis Six involves blood tests to check for infection and monitoring urine

Patients’ lives are at risk from blood poisoning because hospitals are not implementing a standard treatment that can double their chances of survival, experts have warned. Sepsis, previously known as septicaemia, affects more than 100,000 Britons a year and kills 37,000 – more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined. Now a snapshot NHS study reveals that on one surgical ward at a leading teaching hospital, 90 per cent of patients failed to get the correct treatment, involving a simple set of lifesaving measures known as Sepsis Six.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3055237/Thousands-lives-risk-hospitals-ignore-simple-tests-blood-poisoning.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Mother-of-two Anna Tilley survived after spending four days in intensive care with blood poisoning, pictured with her son Harry 

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

To run the NHS better, we must remember the people at its heart

The National Health Service continues to be the top issue for voters in the build up to the UK general election. With a black hole in its funding to fill debate over privatisation, centralisation of power, and how it should be run, the NHS is also becoming the key battle ground for politicians hoping to be elected.

In the debate over which party will be responsible for the UK’s public services, and especially the NHS, there seems to be a growing stranglehold of two unhelpful business ideas: “financialisation” and “managerialism”. Both of these approaches dehumanise and objectify staff. It’s a worrying and unhelpful way to talk about the people in the UK’s largest work organisation.

Click on the link to read more

http://theconversation.com/to-run-the-nhs-better-we-must-remember-the-people-at-its-heart-40709?

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

How is the NHS performing? NHS providers in England overspent their budgets in 2014/15 by more than £800 million

As the NHS begins a new financial year and we move from one parliament to another, it is clear from the performance on key headline targets and standards and from our latest survey of finance directors that the NHS will face huge challenges this year.

It now seems certain that hospitals and other NHS providers in England overspent their budgets in 2014/15 by more than £800 million. This is despite nearly £900 million being provided by the Treasury or switched from capital budgets to plug the growing black hole in NHS finances. According to the regular survey undertaken for the report, almost 60 per cent of trust finance directors said that they were dependent on additional financial support or had drawn down their reserves in 2014/15.

The financial outlook for 2015/16 is even gloomier, with two-thirds of hospitals concerned about staying within budget over the next year. Although commissioners are more optimistic, 40 per cent of finance leads from clinical commissioning groups are also concerned about whether they will be able to balance the books in 2015/16.

Click on the link to view report

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/articles/how-nhs-performing-april-2015

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

How to save the NHS – by the people who work for it. By Homa Khaleeli, paramedic for the NHS

Paramedic: ‘Binge drinkers should get a bill of £60 to £80 when they are discharged from hospital’

I have been a paramedic for the NHS for 13 years. We are under a lot of pressure; an ambulance crew in my service is often sent out on 10-14 calls a day. Some calls can take an hour, to an hour and a half – and we work 12-hour shifts. The majority of the time we have to work overtime, anything from 20 minutes to several hours.

We rarely get breaks; you may try to snatch lunch, get a coffee and a rest in the 14 minutes between passing a patient on to the hospital and leaving. Some of my colleagues are on new rotas – working nights getting hardly any rest, and then being put on early shifts. In my opinion, two sets of people are being killed here – ambulance personnel, slowly and surely before we retire; and patients dying because we are on unnecessary call-outs when they need us. Paramedics and ambulance personnel are leaving their jobs in droves. Private ambulances are now attending emergency calls.

NHS 111 is partly to blame – especially the privately owned parts. All they care about is not being sued so they send ambulances out for everything. If someone has had a cough for three days, so has chest pains from that, they will call us out. Some even tell patients they might be having a heart attack! It’s disgusting.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/20/how-to-save-nhs-election-labour-conservative-billions

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Homa Khaleeli, paramedic for the NHS

Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Greed of the NHS fat cats: How bosses got £35MILLION in pay rises last year, enjoying champagne parties, exotic holidays and shopping trips to Harrods as hospitals battled to make ends meet

Hospital bosses are today accused of ‘shamelessly milking the NHS’ by taking £35million in pay rises during the worst funding crisis in a generation.

Some executives earned more than £1million last year and even at hospitals with the worst standards of care directors enjoyed pay packages worth up to £5,000 a day. The figures can be revealed after the Daily Mail carried out the most comprehensive audit ever of trust accounts and the exploitation of the NHS pension scheme by senior executives.  The extraordinary results are ‘on the scale of the MPs’ expenses scandal’, says one influential Government adviser. The Mail will this week lay bare the staggering ways in which bosses are milking the NHS for £210million a year despite its worsening financial crisis. We will reveal how:

  • Nearly 1,000 NHS bosses earn £100,000 or more a year when their pension contributions are taken into account.
  • Despite the funding crisis, the number of bosses with pay packages worth more than the Prime Minister rose by 30 per cent last year to nearly 600.
  • Nearly 50 hospital bosses pocketed more than £400,000 last year.
  • Some sat on the very committees that handed them huge pay rises.
  • Some health chiefs are using a common tax avoidance tactic by channelling their huge salaries through their own companies.
  • Others are being rewarded for abject failure with new jobs in the NHS and getting bumper paydays after silencing whistleblowers.
  • Chief nurses are taking home up to £700,000 a year – while their £26,000-a-year staff face cuts and frozen pay.
  • One temporary executive was paid £25,000 for two months work but spent much of this time in a villa in Spain and a spa resort in California.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3046054/Greed-NHS-fat-cats-Hospital-chiefs-got-35m-pay-rises-year-bosses-raked-400-000-Tory-Labour-demand-inquiry-Mail-revelations.html

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Terminally ill woman accuses NHS of robbing her daughters of their mum by refusing to pay for medicine

A terminally ill woman has accused the NHS of robbing her two daughters of their mum by refusing to pay for life-saving treatment. Jemma, 31, suffers from a rare stomach cancer known as Wild Type Gastrointestinal and is currently taking three life-prolonging drugs. However, NHS England stopped dishing out the final drug in the sequence last month. Jemma said: “The final drug is the most effective and it is heart-breaking they have removed it from the treatment list. “The cancer that I have is extremely rare and the research into it is limited so it angers me that they are removing a drug that has been proven to work. “I am lucky that I have managed to spend 14 months on the first drug, Imatinib, in the series but I know that it will soon have no effect on my body.  “The second drug, Sutan, is not very effective and I know that when I have to be put on it I will have minimal time left. “You can buy Regorafenib [the third drug needed] privately but that costs £3,700 a month and I don’t have that kind of money.

“Family members have offered to sell their houses and belongings to pay for my treatment but I can’t accept that. “I cannot ask my family to put their lives on hold when I might only get another year of life.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/terminally-ill-woman-accuses-nhs-5551577

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Urgent: Jemma Peacock needs life-saving drugs for her rare form of cancer but the NHS have withdrew them

Filed under: Cancer, NHS, , , ,

NHS executives ‘earn £35 million in pay rises’ despite funding crisis

Some hospital bosses took home more than £1 million pounds last year, while others were accused of exploiting loopholes to maximise their pay packets

NHS executives earned more than £35 million in pay rises during the worst funding crisis for the health service in a generation, it has emerged. Some hospital bosses took home more than £1 million last year, while others were accused of exploiting loopholes to maximise their pay packets. Analysis of trust accounts by the Daily Mail revealed that the number of executives paid more than the Prime Minister rose by 30 per cent last year to nearly 600.

Nearly 50 hospital bosses pocketed more than £400,000 last year despite standards of care slipping, the figures showed.

Some were found to have played the system by ‘retiring’ for a day, then returning to their posts full-time, allowing them to claim a huge pension lump sum early. Others were reported to have avoided tax on their earnings by channelling their salaries through private companies.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11548862/NHS-executives-earn-35-million-in-pay-rises-despite-funding-crisis.html

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Filed under: NHS, , , ,

NHS in war on staff drug use

DOZENS of stressed out NHS workers have been suspended, disciplined or sacked for alcohol and drugs abuse in Scotland.

Around 80 medical staff were temporarily banned from their duties because of substance abuse, with a further 54 facing additional disciplinary action. Up to 20 lost their jobs because of drink and drugs issues while some 50 were offered treatment to overcome their addiction. But it is thought the figures, obtained under Freedom of Information legislation and excluding Tayside and Grampian health boards, represent only the tip of the iceberg.

UK wide, around 100 cases involving substance abuse end up in front of the regulatory body, the General Medical Council (GMC), every year. A support organisation for dentists and doctors struggling with drugs and alcohol admitted it was a huge issue which was simply not being discussed.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/571443/NHS-war-staff-drug-use

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Can the NHS attract more GPs? By Siobhan Chan, GP online

With recent figures showing that more than one in five GPs in the UK has been trained abroad, it is clear that overseas-trained GPs are sorely needed in the NHS. The Induction and Refresher (I&R) Scheme, launched by Health Education England, NHS England, the BMA and the RCGP this month, aims to make it easier for overseas GPs to practise in the UK, to encourage UK-trained GPs back from abroad, and to bring back GPs from career breaks. It offers a £2,300-a-month bursary for GPs going through an induction and assessment programme. But doctors applying to work in the UK say that while the I&R scheme is an improvement on previous ‘haphazard’ local initiatives, it still needs major changes.

As part of the scheme, GPs have to take a multiple choice clinical knowledge test (MCQ), and are assigned a supervised placement for two weeks to six months based on their performance, before they can be put on the performers list. But with some GPs reporting long waits, repeated checks and bureaucracy, and warning that overseas colleagues have been deterred from practising in the UK, will the I&R scheme boost GP numbers?

Click on the link to read more

http://www.gponline.com/nhs-attract-gps/article/1343021

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Vacancies: Can the I&R scheme boost GP recruitment?

Filed under: GP's, NHS, ,

NHS stress: a third of GPs plan to retire in next five years

A third of GP’s in the UK plan to retire in the next five years because of high stress levels, unmanageable workloads and too little time with patients, in a move that would exacerbate the existing difficulty of getting an appointment.

A poll of 15,560 GPs by the British Medical Association (BMA) has found that 34% intend to stop working by 2020, with many others going part-time, moving abroad or even abandoning medicine altogether. The findings thrust the issue of GP numbers into the election spotlight as the BMA accused the political parties of making “absurd” promises to tackle what it called a “crisis” and of ignoring the reasons why NHS general practice is facing a worsening shortage of medics.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the BMA’s GPs committee, said: “It is clear that incredible pressures on GP services are at the heart of this problem, with escalating demand having far outstripped capacity. “GPs are overworked and intensely frustrated that they do not have enough time to spend with their patients, especially the increasing numbers of older people with multiple and complex problems who need specialised care.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/15/nhs-stress-third-gps-plan-retire-five-years

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

A Doctor’s Manifesto for the NHS – An Open Letter by Dr Zoe Norris GP – Posted in The Huffington Post

Dear Mr Hunt, Mr Burnham, Mr Lamb, Ms Bours, Dr Creasy, Ms Robison, and Ms Jones,

I have watched with interest over the last few days as your policies and promises regarding the NHS have been publicised. On reflection, I think perhaps you need a few pointers. I am a doctor; I am a GP working in the service that sees 90% of patients the NHS deals with every day. I hope you won’t take offence at this letter, but your health policies, well, they are dreadful. I’m sure there are teachers up and down the country who feel your education policies are the same. Service personnel who feel similarly about your defence policies and so on. All I know is I am doing the job you are all purporting to improve, save, fund – whatever. And you are all wrong. My disclaimer is this – I am genuinely an undecided voter. Largely because I can’t believe a word of what most of you say about the NHS, but if a party did admit that the NHS is a bottomless pit of money, and that they would truly engage with doctors, nurses, and the many other NHS staff to try and improve it and its use, instead of constantly encouraging the privatisation and consumerism of our most basic public service, you would have my vote in a heartbeat.

Allow me to briefly critique your current manifestos. I haven’t separated them by party because let’s be honest, they’re much the same.

Click on the link below to read more

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-zoe-norris/nhs-general-election-2015_b_7047060.html

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Dr Zoe Norris

Filed under: GP's, NHS, , , ,

Coroner condemns hospital over death of newborn twin who died an hour after birth from brain damage after a doctor’s errors

Doctors at a scandal-hit hospital covered up a series of horrendous mistakes that led to the death of a twin baby boy, a coroner has ruled.

Thor Dalhaug died an hour after birth following a difficult delivery during which he suffered fatal brain damage due to a doctor’s errors, ruled Stuart Fisher, senior coroner for Central Lincolnshire. In a damning report, he said an unsupervised junior surgeon tried to deliver the baby using forceps in an ‘unorthodox and unacceptable’ way. The coroner also concluded that senior managers at Lincoln County Hospital had tried to remove the fact that forceps had been used from an account of the birth.

The report will come as a blow to the hospital, which has just been taken out of ‘special measures’. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust was put on a turnaround regime almost two years ago because of concerns over high death rates.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3035331/Coroner-condemns-Lincoln-County-Hospital-death-newborn-twin-died-hour-birth-brain-damage-doctor-s-errors.html

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Doctors at the Lincoln County Hospital covered up a series of horrendous mistakes that led to the death of a twin baby boy (pictured above with his mother Michelle), a coroner has ruled

Filed under: Hospital, NHS Blunders, , ,

Mother suing Watford General claiming medical negligence led to son, 10, heart attack and brain damage

A mother is suing Watford General Hospital claiming medical negligence led to her ten-year-old son suffering a heart attack and being left with severe brain damage.

Elijah Aldea, now aged 11, remains in a quadriplegic state after he was without a heartbeat for 45 minutes at Watford General following the cardiac arrest in April last year. Elijah, a former pupil of Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, was born with a cleft lip and palate and two holes in his heart and had been a long-standing patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London. Days before his heart attack he had an operation at GOSH. Follow up tests showed he was anaemic and he was admitted to Watford General. Mum Gabrielle Ali, 30, thought he would just be given iron tablets, but under the instruction of GOSH, doctors decided Elijah needed a blood transfusion and to be given anti-clotting drug heparin.

Gabrielle, a biochemist employed by the NHS trust in charge of Watford General for eight years, begged doctors not to give the heparin after she had talked to Elijah’s registrar of five years, but eventually agreed when staff at Great Ormond Street threatened to report her for child neglect.  She said she even considered sneaking her son out of the hospital, but there was no way of getting past the nurses’ station unseen. As the drug was administered, Elijah’s heart stopped. Gabrielle said: “I know my son, these doctors didn’t.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/12881267.Mother_suing_Watford_General_claiming_medical_negligence_led_to_son__10__heart_attack_and_brain_damage/

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Gabrielle Ali and son Elijah Aldea about two years ago.

 

 

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

‘Desperate’ Tory plot to organise own letter from doctors exposed in bombshell leaked email

Jeremy Hunt has been left red-faced after the leaked email was posted on social media by top health commentator Roy Lilley

Jeremy Hunt has been left red-faced tonight as a bombshell leaked email exposes a “desperate” Tory plot to organise their own letter from doctors. It comes just days after more than 100 leading doctors signed a letter accusing the Tory-led coalition of endangering the NHS in England. They described how the health service is “withering away”, and warned that patients would be faced with higher costs but lower standards due to the growing involvement of private firms in the NHS.

Tonight the leaked email was published on social media by top health commentator Roy Lilley who tweeted: “Tories canvassing for a ‘support the NHS’ letter from doctors – the games continue!”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-crisis-tory-plot-letter-5488071#rlabs=6

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Post tweeked from Roy Lilley

My post on the 8th April re the letter signed from 100 doctors

https://strength-in-numbers.co.uk/2015/04/08/s-9/

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Hospital in Ashya King case reveals ‘outpouring of hatred’ directed at staff

Would you take your very ill child out of hospital against the doctor’s advice?

Please fill in our one question survey by clicking on the link

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Ashya

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Medics tell BBC documentary of overwhelming volume of vitriolic messages received – and defend their approach to the five-year-old’s treatment

Staff at the hospital where five-year-old Ashya King was treated for brain cancer before he was taken abroad by his parents have spoken about the “outpouring of hatred” they received – but said they would act in the same way if the situation arose again. Medical staff at Southampton general hospital told a BBC documentary how the torrent of abuse effectively shut down the hospital’s switchboard after it “became a story of a hospital [that] was chasing down a family”. One doctor said he received hate mail from someone telling him they wished his own children would get cancer and die.

The hospital came under the glare of the world’s media last August after Ashya’s parents took him abroad for treatment, against the advice of the NHS specialists who had been caring for him in Southampton.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/10/hospital-in-ashya-king-case-reveals-outpouring-of-hatred-directed-at-staff

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Ashya – The Untold Story will be broadcast on BBC1 at 7.30pm on Friday 10 April

Filed under: Cancer, Hospital, NHS, Self Help, Uncategorized, , ,

NHS crisis: Bosses under fire after nurse paid £2,200 to cover ONE shift

AN NHS trust has been blasted for wasting public money after it emerged that it paid a temporary nurse £2,200 to cover ONE shift.

The shocking figure, which works out at a whopping £183.33-an-hour, was handed to the nurse by the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust for just one 12-hour shift. Incredibly, the unbelievable sum, which was revealed following a Freedom of Information Act request, is more than DOUBLE the rate of a neurologist. It also emerged there were 47 agency nurses working at the Shropshire trust in December last year. The trust, which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, Shropshire, has now been criticised for its spending.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/569228/NHS-under-fire-nurse-paid-2-200-for-one-shift-cover

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One nurse (not pictured) was paid £2,200 for one 12-hour shift

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

Nine in 10 GPs say no to seven day opening

Almost all GPs do not want their own practice to open seven days a week, a poll of 15,000 doctors has found.

Plans for 7 day access to GPs are the key Conservative manifesto health pledge, along with improved hospital services at weekends. But the British Medical Association (BMA) survey found that 94 per cent of family doctors do not want their own surgery to offer seven day opening. The reluctance came despite the fact half of those polled thought practices should offer more extended hours to their patients. Under the Tory pledge, all patients would be able to access a GP seven days a week for routine appointments, seven days a week, by 2020.

Under the plan, groups of GP surgeries will be encouraged to band together in order to share the workload at evenings and weekends, so that not every practice has to open. One in five doctors polled said they were willing provide some extended hours by working in networks. However, the flat rejection of the idea of their own surgery opening seven days suggests major battles ahead.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11523739/Nine-in-10-GPs-say-no-to-seven-day-opening.html

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Filed under: GP's, NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Senior doctors assess government’s record on NHS – letter in full

More than 100 senior professionals write in a personal capacity outlining their view of how the NHS in England has fared under the coalition

After five years of a government which pledged to protect the NHS, this election campaign makes it timely to assess its stewardship, since 2010, of England’s most precious institution. Our verdict, as doctors working in and for the NHS, is that history will judge that this administration’s record is characterised by broken promises, reductions in necessary funding, and destructive legislation, which leaves health services weaker, more fragmented, and less able to perform their vital role than at any time in the NHS’s history.

In short, the coalition has failed to keep its NHS  pledges.

Click on the link to read in full and the doctors who have put their name to the letter.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/07/senior-doctors-assess-governments-record-on-nhs-letter-in-full

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Pledge to protect the NHS … a Conservative party election poster from 2010

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , , , , ,

Survival guide all NHS patients must read: A leading doctor’s insider tips on getting the treatment you need – By Dr Phil Hammond For The Daily Mail

When I first walked on to an NHS ward, in 1984, patients were often discouraged from taking an active part in their own care. Some weren’t even told if they had a serious diagnosis, such as cancer or dementia. We assumed that you weren’t able to contribute, didn’t want to know, or that telling you might make you more anxious and unable to cope. And doctors didn’t waste emotion or energy on those difficult conversations about death and disability. But not knowing your diagnosis meant you couldn’t possibly participate in crucial decisions about your care, involve your loved ones or plan properly for the future. So patients had to fend for themselves.

Thankfully, times have changed. Evidence now suggests that the more involved you are – and are allowed to be – as a patient, the more likely you are to get the right care for you. Humans often take the path of least resistance and, when you’re ill, it’s usually easiest to lie back and let the professionals get on with it. But if you have a long-term illness, there comes a time when you need to get more involved and speak up, so your care can be built around your needs and priorities.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3027921/Survival-guide-NHS-patients-read-leading-doctor-s-insider-tips-getting-treatment-need.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Carrying a printed copy of your medical records with all the key information can make a huge difference

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Who Cares: the play that puts the NHS under the knife

This play should be very interesting to watch! 

How do you make a play about something as vast as the NHS and its 1.6 million workers? As playwright Michael Wynne explains, you need to speak to nurses, executives and whistleblowers – and drink a lot of tea

In the summer of 2012, a close relative of Michael Wynne’s was rushed into intensive care. Shortly afterwards, the playwright found himself watching the surreally brilliant moment in Danny Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony, in which swing-dancing medics and pyjama-wearing children celebrated the achievements of the NHS. He shakes his head at the memory. “I just burst out crying when I saw that. Partly, it was what was going on with my family, but it was also this huge emotional connection. Then I wondered: what is it about the NHS?”

Wynne’s relative recovered (“he had amazing care”), but the seed was planted. What would it be like to write a play examining the NHS’s inner workings, not a doctors-and-nurses drama, but something that delved into the big questions: how it functions, who pays for it, how has it changed, can it survive? Few issues loom so large, particularly in election season, or fire such debate. Some believe the NHS is unsustainable, while others won’t hear a bad word said against it. Free-marketeers argue that private healthcare will improve outcomes, while others believe former health secretary Andrew Lansley should be strung up for instigating the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, a costly restructuring whose benefits are still unclear. “Everyone has a view,” says Wynne. “It’s one of the last black-and-white political subjects.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/apr/05/who-cares-michael-wynne-nhs-royal-court-london

The-2012-London-Olympic-G-008

 

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, , ,

Proton beam centres to be opened

The UK is to get its first three proton beam therapy centres in what is being hailed as a cancer treatment milestone.

Cardiff-based Proton Partners International Ltd is to open the treatment centres in Cardiff, London and Northumberland by 2017 and the first – Cardiff – will be operational next year. The announcement comes not long after the parents of brain cancer survivor Ashya King told how the five year old made a ”miracle” recovery after receiving proton beam therapy which was initially not available to him on the NHS.

Brett and Naghmeh King sparked an international manhunt after taking their son out of hospital in Southampton without doctors’ consent. The Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) in Prague, where Ashya received the treatment last year, said it was ”thrilled” to hear news that a recent scan showed no sign of a tumour. The new UK centres will be available for NHS patients from England, Scotland and Wales, medically-insured private patients and self-paying patients.

Please click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3025350/Proton-beam-centres-opened.html

Ashya King treatment

The case of Ashya King made headlines

 

Filed under: Cancer, Hospital, NHS, , ,

Photographer wins £2.4m damages payout from the NHS after hospital negligence wrecked her career and left her incontinent and ruined her sex life

A mother-of-three whose sex life was ruined after a negligent delay in spinal surgery has won £2.4million in damages from the NHS.

Heather Tait was in tears yesterday when the award was announced at London’s High Court. The 34-year-old photographer had told an earlier hearing in Birmingham that her ‘passionate’ sex life with her husband Russel had been ruined by the complications she continues to suffer from. Judge Martin McKenna, who made the award, said Mrs Tait had told doctors that she ‘now feels that to a degree there is no point in having intercourse’. She also felt her closeness with her husband had been ‘jeopardised’ by her lack of enjoyment in sex.

Judge Martin McKenna, who made the award, said Mrs Tait had told doctors that she ‘now feels that to a degree there is no point in having intercourse’. She also felt her closeness with her husband had been ‘jeopardised’ by her lack of enjoyment in sex.

Click on link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3019805/Mother-three-wins-2-4m-damages-payout-NHS-hospital-negligence-wrecked-career-left-incontinent.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Heather Tait (left) was suffering from acute back pain when medics sent her home without carrying out an MRI scan

 

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , , ,

Care system gets ‘biggest shake-up in 60 years’

 Major changes to the care system in England are being introduced on Wednesday in what is being dubbed the biggest shake-up for 60 years.

The Care Act 2014 includes rights for those receiving care and those who provide it to their loved ones. It includes standards for access to services from care homes to help in the home for tasks such as washing and dressing. Meanwhile, NHS and care budgets are being merged in Scotland.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) Act has been described as the most substantial reform north of the border for a generation.  It effectively forces councils and the NHS to work together to provide more streamlined services. That aim is also a major topic of debate in England in the election campaign with the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Greens all having plans for greater integration. But the changes coming into force in England on Wednesday apply only to the care system for older people and younger adults with disabilities.

The BBC has launched an online guide to the care system for the over-65s. The “care calculator” covers residential care and the support provided in people’s own homes, for tasks such as washing and dressing. Users can submit their postcode and find out how much each service costs where they live in the UK.

Click on the link to read more and also about the BBC Cost of Care project

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32136209

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Are you receiving care or providing care for a loved one? What do you think of these changes? You can email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your experience.

Please include a telephone number if you are willing to be contacted by a BBC journalist.

Filed under: Care Homes, Elderly, NHS, , , ,

Woman loses leg after NHS staff accidentally inject it with disinfectant – By Ollie McAteer for Metro.co.uk

The woman, who has only been named as Gina, was mentioned in a report by MPs into the work of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Gina lost her leg through a catastrophic error at Doncaster Royal Infrimary in 2013. Hospital bosses said that the shocking incident is now being used as an example of good practice to show how lessons had been learned. Her case has been used by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as part of a YouTube clip called ‘The Human Factor: Learning from Gina’s Story’ which has been shown to NHS staff and organisations to show how lessons can be learned from local investigations.

Sewa Singh, Medical Director at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, said: ‘We are pleased that the enquiry recognised that Gina’s story is an example of good practice for the NHS. ‘Patient safety is at the forefront of everything we do at DBH and if there are any mistakes we make sure that we carry out a thorough investigation, share the findings with patients and their families and ensure Trust wide learning. ‘We worked closely with Gina and her husband to make an educational video called Gina’s Story that drives home the importance of patient safety and our safety culture and we can’t thank them enough for helping us with this.

‘The inspiring educational video was shared widely both within the organisation, and to other hospitals as we wanted to ensure that no-one else goes through the same experience.’ Please watch this tragic video where one moment loss of concentration cost Gina the loss of her leg.

The Department of Health believes that more than 12,000 hospital deaths could be avoided every year.

More than 10,000 serious incident are reported to NHS England each year.

nhs

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , , ,

Could the statutory duty of candour backfire? By Will Powell

I was very interested to read an article recently published by the British Medical Association [“BMA”] with the heading: “Statutory duty of candour could backfire”.  It never ceases to amaze me that any individual doctor let alone an organisation associated with the medical profession could claim publicly that being open and honest about medical mistakes could in any way be detrimental to patient safety. This is the very culture, in my view, that made the need for the introduction of a ‘legal’ duty of candour absolutely necessary – honesty should be the foundation for all doctor patient relationships!

Although rarely accepted and denied by the government the absence of a duty of candour was first exposed in the High Court in Cardiff in 1996. It was highlighted by the case of our son Robbie Powell who died in April 1990. Doctors responsible for Robbie’s death had been untruthful about the circumstances of Robbie’s negligent death, falsified the child’s medical records and post death caused psychological damage to my wife and me by exacerbating our grief as a consequence of their dishonesty. The UK Courts ruled that because doctors had no post death ‘legal’ duty to be honest to parents, in such circumstances, the case was struck-out.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mistreatment.com/news/article/could-the-statutory-duty-of-candour-backfire-269/#.VRZt2fmsXuK

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Will Powell

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, Uncategorized, , , ,

NHS ombudsman accused of being ‘defensive’ by MPs

The NHS ombudsman has been “defensive” and caused “pain” by its reluctance to admit mistakes when investigating patients’ complaints, a report by the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) has found.

The report adds that “serious questions” have been raised about the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) which has caused “considerable anguish” when it has failed to uncover the truth, it said. MPs now want a new independent body to investigate clinical failures before they reach the ombudsman to “transform the safety culture of the NHS”. Current systems are “complicated, take far too long and are preoccupied with blame or avoiding financial liability”, the committee warned.

Some of the PHSO’s shortcomings are systemic and can only be addressed through legislation, which is needed early in the next Parliament. Our proposals for a new investigatory body will help transform the safety culture of the NHS and help to raise standards right across the NHS.

– BERNARD JENKIN, CHAIRMAN OF THE PASC

The PASC said patients and NHS staff deserved to have clinical incidents “investigated immediately” at a local level to establish facts and evidence, “without the need to find blame, and regardless of whether a complaint has been raised”. There also needs to be a “clear, effective central system” for disseminating lessons learned from local incidents across the national NHS, it added. A spokeswoman for the PHSO said: “We will carefully study this report which raises important issues about the investigation of clinical incidents for the health system, as well as about our service.”

Click on the link to read the report here… Investigating clinical incidents in the NHS

NHS

ITV News

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , , ,

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