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Public sector must be brought under control

Comment piece by Leo McKinstry from The Daily Express discussing why the public sector must be brought under control. He talks about the opposition from unions on public sector cuts and how it will take the government real political courage to implement the programme of public sector austerity. The article cites the RCN figure 10,000 posts could go in the NHS.

Elderly could still face 'death tax' to pay for care

The elderly could face a bill for tens of thousands of pounds to pay for their care in old age after the government disclosed that a “death tax” was still a possibility. During the election campaign Andrew Lansley, the new Health Secretary, attacked Labour plans to force people to provide for care whether they needed it or not. It has now been disclosed that a commission set up by Mr Lansley to examine how care for the elderly would be paid for in the future could still look at the option of a compulsory levy. The Daily Mirror leader page comments criticises Andrew Lansley u-turn on the death tax.

GPs could give themselves pay rises

The Daily Mirror reports doctors could give themselves pay rises under the government plans to put them in charge of their own budget. They are set to be freed from Department of Health control under the shake-up and will be handed £80billion of NHS cash. But MPs warn it could increase corruption and force hospitals to close.

Hospitals expected to continue to charge for parking

Hospital parking charges are to remain the government is expected to announce within the next few weeks
The previous government said the charges for in-patients their friends and relatives would be abolished within three years.

HIV infection rates for over-50s growing quickly

People over 50 are as much at risk from unsafe sex as the young, the Health Protection Agency has warned. New figures show that the numbers becoming infected with HIV in that age group have more than doubled in seven years.

GPs warned on threat to patient choice

Patients could end up with less choice under the government's sweeping healthcare reforms than they have at present. The chairman of the British Medical Association's family doctors, Laurence Buckman, has written to GPs urging them wherever possible to ensure that NHS providers, rather than private or voluntary sector ones, are "the providers of choice".

Lansley refuses to rule out GP pay rise

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has declined to rule out a pay rise for GPs as he discussed plans to hand them most of the NHS Budget, arguing that doctors were best placed to know what kinds of treatments and services patients needed, and said he envisaged them showing leadership. Asked about the GP contract in 2004, which resulted in doctors' pay rising substantially, Mr Lansley declined to discuss how the British Medical Association would be prevented from "running rings'' around the government on pay. Daily Telegraph (p.2)

Will NHS survive the squeeze

Guardian Society column discusses how radical restructuring could prompt an exodus of the most talented staff from the health service.


Parliamentary Update

House of Commons

Prime Ministers Questions 12 noon taken by Deputy PM Nick Clegg

House of Lords

PQs: Pensions regulator (contribution notices) (sum specified following transfer) regulations 2010 & occupational pension schemes (levies) (amendment) regulations 2010.

Other business

Statistics published: Monthly NHS Hospital & Community Health Service Workforce Stats in England – April.

Minister of State for Social Care Paul Burstow speech to Local Government Association Summit for Adult Social Care Lead Members in London

Health Minister Earl Howe speech to All Party Pharmacy Group summer reception in the Commons