The BBC reports that the NHS is bracing itself for a "brutal" round of cuts - and staff fear they are in the firing line. Several major hospitals have already said posts will go and more announcements are expected soon. The BBC has learned a £2bn pot is being set aside in England to pay for one-off costs, such as redundancies and redeployments, to help fund the cuts. Managers were reportedly told by the Department of Health before the election to hold the money back.
Police chief wants mental health nurses as much as officers
Chief Constable Peter Fahy told the Police Federation conference that police forces would be better off employing mental health nurses than officers to curb the number of killings by care in the community patients. Peter Fahy warned that officers are not trained properly to deal with mentally ill offenders.
Private hospitals ready for business
Private hospitals are expecting a rise in business if, as expected, the Conservatives go head with their promise to scrap Labour waiting time targets. Andrew Lansley, health secretary, has pledged to scrap Labour’s NHS targets, including the maximum 18- week wait for treatment, replacing targets with outcome measures of care. Jill Watts, chair of the NHS Partners Network, which represents private, suppliers of NHS care said: “Without the pressure to keep within limits, waiting times will go up”.
Hospital fined over mix-up over drugs
Great Western Hospital in Swindon was fined £100,000 after a new mother died because of a mix-up between “identical-looking” drugs. Mayra Cabrera, 30, died at the hospital where she was a nurse, in 2004 after being given an epidural anaesthetic instead of a saline drip. The trust earlier pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules.
Parliament returns following General Election at 2.30 pm - first business is the election of the Speaker, with Father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell (Con; Louth & Horncastle) presiding. Current Speaker John Bercow makes short speech & former Conservative Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind will then make the case for Mr Bercow to stay. The Member presiding then puts the Question to the House and if there is objection, a division will be held. If a division is held, the vote will take place on Wednesday May 19.