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Thursday 29 August

Competition Commission demands shake-up of private health care A report by the Competition Commission suggests that the UK’s leading private hospitals operate monopolies which are forcing patients to pay up to £200m over the odds for private health care. Over 100 hospitals clustered around major cities in the UK, most notably London, hold monopolies to the “detriment” of consumers, the Competition Commission stated. The regulator has demanded the sale of as many as 20 hospitals by the companies BMI, Spire, and HCA.

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Wednesday 28 August

ospital patients should have their kidneys checked to spot a potentially lethal condition affecting one in six of those admitted as emergencies, according to new guidelines. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says around 100,000 cases of the condition, known as acute kidney injury, could be stopped by carrying out simple blood and urine checks.

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Saturday 24-Monday 27 August

Hospitals accused of ‘hiding’ food dissatisfaction NHS hospitals in England are hiding patient dissatisfaction with the food they serve, according to campaigners.

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Friday 23 August

Hospitals in the north east are struggling to cope A review conducted by the Royal College of Nursing has found that hospitals in the north east of England have lost hundreds of beds in the last three years and that it is getting increasingly difficult to maintain levels of care. The results of the research are covered by the BBC News website and the regional press. RCN regional director Glenn Turp is quoted saying: “Our findings show that, while some trusts are valiantly trying to avoid cutting nursing jobs in the face of ever more challenging financial targets from central government, others are struggling to cope.”

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Thursday 22 August

The Daily Mirror reports that the NHS has paid out £22m in compensation claims for poor nursing care at the same time as reducing nursing staff numbers. More than 1,100 claims have been won against hospitals in the past five years. The article refers to Dr Peter Carter warning that the NHS would be unable to stop even more patients suffering “inadequate care” without “safe staffing levels”. It quotes Dr Carter as saying: “The number of patients is rising yet numbers of nursing staff are dropping. These figures show unacceptable costs – serious personal costs for patients and serious financial costs for the NHS. “Patient safety has to be the priority of everyone in the health service. However, this can only be delivered through safe staffing levels. Nurses are looking after patients with critical health problems and trying to balance this with just as crucial specialised, supportive care such as feeding patients and reassuring them. Nurses have ever-increasing tasks but extremely limited time to complete them. We need to invest in our nursing workforce now to make sure we address these problems and prevent any inadequate care in the future.”

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