Nurses and Midwives to renew pledge to care

The Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery review out today states 20 key recommendations for the nursing and midwifery profession. They include a drive to improve the status of the profession to help restore public trust and a need for employers to prioritise the values of compassion and help nurses act as role models for healthy living. The commission also states that ward sisters and charge nurses should have their roles boosted and pay reviewed to underline the importance of the role. The RCN welcomed the review saying it “Marks a milestone for nursing … what is important now is turning this ambitious vision into reality”.

Nurses’ fitness to practice

An audit carried out for the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence has found incompetent nurses are continuing to treat patients because investigations into their fitness to practice are being closed early and without proper authority.

NHS cash crisis forces cutbacks

More than a third of NHS primary healthcare trusts, are running deficits that have led to a cutback in surgical operations and seen calls to close casualty departments, according to a joint study by The Guardian and the thinktank Civitas. The analysis, which used figures from the public board meetings of 100 trusts, shows the health service overspend this year is more than £130m.

Lord Warner points to ‘incompetence’ in NHS:

Lord Warner, former Labour health minister warns that the management of the NHS has been characterised by “monumental incompetence” driven by ”too much money given too quickly”, which has left some trusts facing severe budget shortfalls. He said that in the 21st century the NHS had received more money than it knew what to do with.

Asda to sell IVF drugs at a discount

A supermarket chain is to sell fertility drugs without profit, claiming it will save patients hundreds of pounds per treatment. Asda said the decision was part of a move to establish itself as the most competitive pharmacy in the UK. Asda Pharmacy will charge £1,171.41 for drugs to accompany one IVF cycle, saving up to £820 compared with other high street pharmacies. Currently 71% of primary care trusts offer one or two free IVF treatment cycles, with thousands of women going on to pay for at least one more cycle.

Arthritis patients denied drug

Thousands of patients will suffer because the NHS rationing body is to turn down a drug that eases the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, campaigners have warned. NICE does not recommend the use of abatacept, also known as Orencia, in rheumatoid arthritis patients who have not responded to other treatments.

Parliamentary Update

Westminster Hall Debate
Isle of Wight NHS Primary Care Trust [Andrew Turner]

House of Commons
Prime Ministers Questions at 12noon – Harriet Harman will take the place of the PM

Other Business
Care Services Minister Phil Hope to publish Fulfilling & Rewarding Lives – Strategy for Adults with Autism
Public Health Minister Gillian Merron to launch NHS Midlife Check - www.nhs.uk/midlifecheck

DoH to publish GP guide on Cervical Cancer Symptoms
The Health Protection Agency publishes statistics on MRSA.
The Information Centre for Health and Social Care publishes statistics on GP earnings and expenses.
The Welsh Assembly Government publishes statistics on ambulance services, NHS GP referrals and cancer waiting times.
Annual House of Lords & House of Commons Parliamentary Palace of Varieties Show in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at Intercontinental Hotel, London
Diabetes UK hosts its annual professional care conference in Liverpool.