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Tuesday 3 July

Patients are being let down by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) because of "failings at every level", according to a review by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE). The independent review gives details of the NMC's backlog of complaints against nurses and midwives. Dr Peter Carter was quoted in The Daily Telegraph, The Times and BBC News Online saying: “We know that many of our members have been losing confidence in the regulator for some time. We have always stated that the public, patients and the nursing profession need to have an effective, fit-for-purpose regulator which can effectively uphold professional standards “. A Daily Mail article examines the role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and criticises its administration system.

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Wednesday 27 June

lowing on from yesterday’s news that South London Healthcare NHS Trust is being put in ‘special measures’ over £150m deficit, the media today are reporting that least at another 21 trusts identified by the government are facing financial difficulties. The Department of Health considered the hospitals to be “clinically and financially unsustainable” and in need of radical restructuring. The RCN responded by saying: “The Trust has been facing financial challenges for quite some time under the burden of PFI contracts. Despite this, staff have continued to do their best for patients, providing high levels of care. Nevertheless, the current issues must be addressed as a matter of urgency as the Trust simply cannot continue to run at such a large deficit.” The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph reported that South London NHS Trust spent more than £1 million on a consultant offering moneysaving advice. A previous comment by Dr Peter Carter is published in The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph. He said: “The trust needs to justify why it paid an interim finance director this much when nurses and other NHS staff are seeing frontline services cut, workloads increased and pay frozen”. The Daily Telegraph comment piece criticises the failures of the Private Finance Initiative. The Mirror leader piece says the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley must not let a hospital go bankrupt or cut staff. The Independent published a feature piece on the financial crisis hospitals are facing. There is also an opinion piece by Christina Patterson agreeing with Stephen Dorrell’s suggestion that we need to shift away from an over-dependence on hospitals into improved services in the community. She suggests that we need more community matrons, GPs, support workers and clinics that do their very best to keep you healthy and fit at home.

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Tuesday 26 June

NHS trust to be put in ‘special measures’ over £150m debt: There is widespread coverage today on South London Healthcare NHS Trust being put under the control of a special administrator. Queen Mary's in Sidcup, Queen Elizabeth in Woolwich and the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley have become the first to be declared financially unsustainable after the NHS trust that runs them accumulated a deficit of £150m. Managers at South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospitals, were told by the Health Secretary that they would be put into its "unsustainable provider’s regime". This will mean the appointment of a special administrator with NHS expertise, along with the suspension of the trust's non-executive directors. The Times references the RCN’s Frontline First figures that the trust plans to cut staff by 23 per cent by 2015, while the GMB union said that the three hospitals might be merged into two.

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Saturday 23 - Monday 25 June

Today’s Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph reports on an inquiry by the Care Quality Commission that has found that hundreds of vulnerable adults are being put at risk of abuse at residential homes and care institutions. The report shows just 48 per cent of hospitals and care homes comply with 'essential' standards on the care and welfare of people with learning difficulties; and safeguarding them from abuse. The Care Quality Commission ordered 150 inspections following a Panorama investigation which found residents at a private care home Winterbourne View, were being mistreated.

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Wednesday 20 June

Doctors’ industrial action: There is widespread coverage on the industrial action taking place tomorrow by doctors in protest over pensions. The Daily Telegraph reports that The Royal College of Nursing have issued guidance to nurses on what to do tomorrow when the doctors take industrial action. Dr Peter Carter said: “nurses “empathise” with doctors’ frustrations. “We do not want to see any shunting of workload onto another professional group or onto nurses”. There are some reports that patients are facing a “day of confusion” with up to one million cancelled appointments as doctors refuse to treat non-urgent patients. The level of confusion is reflected in reports that a number of NHS trusts will not be docking the pay of doctors that are taking industrial action because of difficulty in calculating how much to deduct. There are also comment pieces in The Times and The Daily Express.

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