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TUC march

 A number of papers this weekend reported on the TUC march against public service cuts. More than 100,000 people, including hundreds of RCN members took part in the march to voice their protest against cuts that are currently taking place across all areas of public services. Dr Peter carter was interviewed on Sky News, on why nurses were marching and their concerns.  Vince Cable, Business secretary has said the government is listening to the trade unions but will not change its deficit-cutting strategy because of Saturday’s march. The Financial Times reported that Ed Milliband, Labour leader, took a political risk by joining the rally.

High PFI bill

The last government left taxpayers with a £60billion bill for the scores of new hospitals it built during its 13 years in power, according to figures disclosed by Jesse Norman, a Conservative MP. The figures show the Private finance Initiative bill will cost every working family in Britain £3,600.

Lord Nigel Crisp letter to The Times

Lord Nigel Crisp writes in a letter to The Times that the biggest demands on the NHS come from people with long-term conditions whose care can best be managed by new types of community-based services with only occasional recourse to hospitals. Lord Crisp says that ‘the government is caught in a trap of its own making on the NHS’
The Times (subscription only)


Campaigner presses MPs to improve access to multiple sclerosis drugs

Multiple sclerosis patients may be driven to suicide by a lack of access to treatment, a campaigner will tell MPs today. Debbie Purdy says that guidance on assisted suicide issued in 2009 is being "undermined" because the quality of life of MS sufferers is being damaged by inconsistent access to medication.

Stafford hospital executive complains about compensation

A senior executive at Stafford Hospital has complained about paying out £15,000 to the family of a man killed by errors there. His comments have emerged in a new report obtained by the Sunday Mirror which exposes failures at the hospital, where up to 1,200 patients died suspiciously between 2005 and 2008.

Flu jab warning after 5m missed out

Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, has claimed that over than five million people potentially at risk of health complications from flu went unvaccinated in England over the winter. Local practices and their NHS primary care trusts should compile registers of patients vulnerable to flu and have robust "call and reminder" systems, Dame Sally Davies said in a letter to medical officials.

Doctors prescribe a high numbers of diet pills

Record numbers of overweight men and women are restoring to diet pills, according to figures. Doctors are writing almost 1.5 million prescriptions a year for the drugs - 11 times more than a decade ago.

NHS care over mental health patients is questioned

The Observer reports NHS care of vulnerable mental health patients has been questioned following the suicide of a young mother who was undergoing psychiatric treatment.  The death of Crystal Higgs, 21, has raised concerns about poor supervision of patients with a history of trying to take their own lives.

MPs launch new bid to cut abortion rates

The number of abortions carried out would fall under laws to be proposed in Parliament next week. A cross-party alliance of MPs will make an attempt to tighten the rules on terminations.

Cuts proposal over General Lifestyle Survey

Health experts have hit out after learning that a funding cut could mean the end of a key annual health survey. The General Lifestyle Survey is carried out every year by the Office for National Statistics on behalf of a number of government departments. It provides information on a wide variety of topics, including smoking and drinking habits across the UK. But it has been proposed that NHS funding for the survey should be cut, which means it would end.

Breast cancer prevention drugs should be prescribed

Women at high risk of developing breast cancer should be given preventative drugs, according to an international panel of cancer experts. Writing in the Lancet Oncology, they said drugs such as tamoxifen could reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.


Private care home charges

The Daily Express reports pensioners are being forced to spend an extra £10,000 a year on care home charges to subsidise the fees paid by council-funded residents. In some places privately-funded residents are being charged at least £775 a week while the council is able to get the same level of care in the same room for £594.

Parliamentary Update

House of Commons

Continuation of Budget debate (Day 3)

House of Lords

Public Bodies Bill (Lords): Report stage (Day 2)

Other business
Alzheimer's Society published report suggesting that NHS should offer checks for dementia when people reach 75
Labour Health spokesperson Liz Kendall speech at Reform Value for money in the NHS event in London