False Economy, a cuts campaign website supported by the TUC and a number of unions has revealed that more than 50,000 NHS staff posts are set to be cut by local health trusts across the UK. False Economy’s figures have been collated for the most part from NHS trusts themselves under the Freedom of Information Act but also include figures published by the RCN Frontline First campaign. They also used press reports and foundation trusts’ annual plans published by the national regulator Monitor. The RCN said the figures merely confirmed its own fears, adding that 27,000 posts NHS posts were earmarked in November. Dr Peter Carter is quoted in The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph online and BBC News Online saying “We understand that the Government wants to protect front line services. However … our own research has established that the gap between the rhetoric of protecting the front line and what is actually happening locally in hospitals is increasing all the time”.
Channel 4 fact check figures on NHS cuts
The Channel 4’s fact check site cites the RCN Frontline First figures. Howard Catton, Head of Policy said: “I would not dispute the DH topline figures on workforce but if you dig below the headline we know that since 1998 the number of Health Visitors, District Nurses and School Nurses has fallen”. He added in 1998, there were around 12,500 Health Visitors for example, while today there are just over 10,000 and there are plans to cut student nurse places by between 10 and15 per cent over the next two to three years.
Hospitals are struggling to fill nursing shifts at short notice, according to agency NHS Professionals. A total of 30 per cent of such shifts went unfilled last year - up 2.5 per cent on 2009. Josie Irwin, Head of Employment of Relations said: “The findings are extremely worrying for patient care and staff”. The Metro.
Nurses from abroad can’t find work in the UK
An article in The Guardian on private nursing schools in India and the Phillipines who are reportedly training thousands of nurses who now have no jobs to go to due to NHS retrenchment. The article notes Professor James Buchan analysis of the 2010 labour market for the Royal College of Nursing. According to the report, funding for training places is increased when there are shortages, and cut when the supply is good and the country is in economic difficulties.
The Independent reports that a grassroots revolt against NHS reforms is growing among GPs. Doctors, alarmed at measures to increase competition and encourage privatisation, are said to be demanding that the British Medical Association adopt a tougher line with the Government. Motions submitted to an emergency meeting of the BMA to be held in London on 15 March are calling for the association to switch from its policy of "critical engagement" to one of outright opposition.
Fall in pregnancy rates among under 18s
Pregnancies in girls under 18 in England and Wales are at their lowest level for almost 30 years but have risen dramatically among women in their 30s and 40s. Data from the Office for National Statistics revealed a 5.9% decline in rates among under-18s between 2008 and 2009, to 38.3 per 1,000 teenagers aged 15 to 17.
A report issued by NICE has warned that GPs must do more to identify immune disorders, which now affect one in 20 young people in Britain. The advice also warns against using alternative tests for child allergies due to a lack of evidence that they are effective.
A survey of almost 12,000 NHS patients has found that staff were criticised for being rude, arrogant and lazy - too often refusing to treat their patients with dignity or compassion. A third claim to be content with the standard of care that they had received on a NHS ward or at a surgery. The result of the survey comes from Patient Opinion, a website set up for patients to detail their experiences of the NHS.
Both Houses are in recess until Monday 28th February
NICE published draft guidance on 1) alcohol dependence; 2) Avastin not recommended for breast cancer treatment; 3) alternative allergy test offers; & 4) new treatment for kidney cancer @ 00.01 am
TUC published report, on behalf of cuts campaign website False Economy, revealing that more than 50,000 NHS staff posts are to be cut @ 00.01 am
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow visits Personal Health Budget Pilot in Hull @ 2.45 pm
Demos hosts 3rd evidence session of Commission on Assisted Dying in London @ 10.30 am
Health Minister Lord Howe & DG of R&D/Chief Scientific Adviser for DoH Dame Sally Davies launch new agreement to streamline research collaboration between Life Sciences Industry, Universities & NHS