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Chancellor outline cuts

Chancellor George Osborne outlined plans yesterday to cut £6.2bn to reduce the budget deficit. Many departments are facing cuts, however the NHS budget will be protected. There will be cuts to quangos, spending on consultancy and big IT projects and a civil service recruitment freeze. Child Trust Funds will be axed by January but funding for schools and Sure Start will be protected.  The Financial Times reports at least 30,000 jobs and possible more than 50,000 will go this year as the cuts take effect. The Times reports that Vince Cable’s Business Department will bear brunt of the £6 billion in cuts.

Basildon death inquiry

A NHS trust was yesterday warned it is facing a £100,000 fine after a disabled patient died when his head got trapped in the bars of his hospital bed. Kyle Flack suffocated two days after being admitted to Basildon Hospital in 2006. An inquest last July ruled supervision was inadequate. Basildon Hospital Trust made news last year when it was revealed its death rate was a third higher than the national average. It admitted systemic Health & Safety failings contributed to Kyle's death.

MMR doctor stuck off the register

Dr Andrew Wakefield who suggested a link between MMR vaccine and autism has been struck off the medical register. He said he would appeal against the decision to bar him from practising in Britain after the General Medical Council found him guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Teens told to stockpile the morning after pill

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended that teenagers and young women should be allowed to stockpile the morning after pill in case of emergencies. NICE also said free condoms should be available to young people in schools and youth clubs.

Nurses misinterpreting the Date Protection Act

In an opinion piece, Dr Martin Scurr criticises nurses in The Daily Mail for misinterpreting the data protection Act. He gives an example of a recent experience where he sent a patient to a private clinic to be seen and when he went to the clinic and enquired about his patient’s progress the nurse said that they could not discuss the patient’s care on the grounds of data protection. He speaks about his concerns that nurses’ fear getting into trouble and are covering their backs without understanding how the law works and why it is in place.

Parliamentary Update

The State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech, setting out the Coalition Government’s legislative agenda, takes place at 11:30am this morning.  Bills expected to be announced include: Health Bill, Education Bill, Welfare Reform Bill, Parliamentary Reform and legislation to scrap ID cards.  The Parliamentary Team will send round details of all the Bills announced.

Other Business:

The Department for Health publishes abortion statistics.

NHS Alliance hosts its spring meeting