News From The Web

Managers’ ‘golden goodbyes’ to be clawed back

Daily Mail - 28th October 2014 12:07 pm

Redundancy payouts given to NHS managers are to be clawed back if workers get a new job in the health service.

The Treasury vowed to end the revolving door of highly-paid administrators handed golden goodbyes worth thousands of pounds before walking straight into another role.

Under new rules announced by the Treasury, the law will be changed so that anyone earning more than £100,000 who returns to the same part of public sector within 12 months of taking redundancy will have to return all or part of their pay-off.

It is expected the measure - which is included in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill currently going through Parliament - will mainly affect NHS and local government administrators.

The Treasury said that of the 19,000 NHS administrators made redundant between 2010 and 2013, almost 20% rejoined the NHS while 16% of local government chief executives who left by mutual agreement between 2007 and 2009 had been employed by another council within a year.

In March it emerged that almost 4,000 NHS staff given redundancy pay-offs as part of the coalition’s health shake-up had been rehired.

Read more in the Daily Mail.

Doctor ‘unlawfully killed’ in Syria jail inquest says

BBC Health - 27th October 2014 1:52 pm

A British doctor who died in a Syrian prison was unlawfully killed, a London inquest jury has ruled.

Dr Abbas Khan, 32, a father-of-two from south London, died on 16 December 2013 while in custody in Damascus.

His family claims he was murdered. The Syrian government maintains he was found hanging in a jail cell.

The jury at the Royal Courts of Justice heard there was no evidence Dr Khan had gone to Syria to fight. It said the cause of his death was “unascertained”.

In its ruling, the jury said Dr Khan died in an “unknown prison or place of detention” in Damascus.

The jury forewoman announced: “Dr Khan was deliberately and intentionally killed without any legal justification.”

Read more at BBC Health.

GPs to be paid £55 for each dementia diagnosis

- 25th October 2014 11:34 am

Family doctors in England are to be paid £55 for each patient they diagnose with dementia, NHS bosses say.

NHS England said the aim of the six-month £5m scheme was to increase the number of sufferers who receive treatment for the condition, which causes a decline in brain function.

It is estimated up to 90,000 patients are living with undiagnosed dementia.

But the Patients Association called it “a step too far” that would mean a “bounty on the head” of some patients.

Fewer than half of the 800,000 people in the UK who are estimated to have dementia have been formally diagnosed.

Read more at BBC Health.

Junior struck off for taking sick leave to work on TV

Daily Mail - 23rd October 2014 8:43 am

When junior doctor Ed Holloway took time off sick, colleagues were happy to cover for him.

But after he returned to work with a suntan – even though the weather at home had been miserable – they became suspicious.

However, it was when one of them recognised his voice on the TV commentary for a show-jumping event in the US that they realised they had fallen for an audacious con.

Far from being at home recovering from his illness, the urologist had been moonlighting by making TV appearances at top eventing competitions.

Mr Holloway was sacked and has now been struck off after a disciplinary panel ruled his repeated dishonesty was ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with working as a doctor.

Read more in the Daily Mail.

One-week cancer test plans demands more GPs

GP - 21st October 2014 11:36 am

Thousands of extra GPs and a big investment in technology will be needed if a Labour party pledge to introduce a one-week target for cancer diagnostic tests is to be met, the RCGP has said.

Labour leader Ed Miliband announced last week that the guarantee of early cancer diagnostic tests would be paid for by an annual levy of £150m on tobacco firms, but RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker warned that politicians must not promise NHS services that cannot be delivered.

“General practice is already struggling to meet current demand – with GPs seeing 40m more patients than five years ago – and such a promise will only serve to create a false expectation that cannot be met,” she said.

Read more at GP Online.

Ebola crisis: fresh UK deployment to Sierra Leone

- 11:17 am

About 100 soldiers from the Royal Army Medical Corps are travelling to Sierra Leone as part of the UK’s efforts to tackle the Ebola outbreak.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening will join the medics to see how Britain’s £125m aid package is helping to combat the deadly virus.

Her visit to West Africa comes as the UN said a third member of its staff in Sierra Leone had died from the disease.

In the UK, Gatwick has begun screening air passengers from at-risk countries.

Read more at BBC Health.

Saatchi’s ‘untested drugs for dying’ bill gets support

BBC Health - 20th October 2014 10:18 am

A new law that would allow terminally-ill patients in England and Wales to be given untested medicines has received government backing.

The Medical Innovation Bill proposed by Lord Saatchi would allow some people dying of cancer to be voluntarily treated with unlicensed drugs.

The bill has been amended to require doctors to get the agreement of another specialist to prescribing the drugs.

That safeguard has led the Department of Health to give its support.

Read more at BBC Health.

Leaked report into cataract surgery revealed

The Guardian - 17th October 2014 9:48 am

Eye operations carried out by a private company on behalf of an NHS hospital appeared “rushed” and surgeons were allowed to press on even after patients reported serious complications, a confidential report reveals.

The report, which NHS health bosses still refuse to publish, says some patients who underwent what should have been routine cataract operations suffered burns and loss of iris pigment. Others were left with microscopic metallic fragments in the eye and some had to have further surgery because cataract fragments remained.

Of the 62 patients treated by private provider Vanguard Healthcare Solutions for Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset, only 25 had “normal” recoveries. Some patients said they felt the procedures were hurried, complained of pain during the procedures and claimed they were shouted at by medical staff. The complications reported were ten times the number that might have been expected.

Read more in The Guardian.

East Surrey Hospital apology over urologist’s care

BBC Health - 16th October 2014 1:45 pm

A health trust has apologised to cancer patients treated by a consultant who was later sacked, saying his treatment “resulted in your harm”.

Letters have been sent to 27 prostate and bladder cancer patients, or their families, seen by Paul Miller at East Surrey Hospital between 2006 and last December.

Five of the patients have since died.

However, the trust said “it wouldn’t be correct to say they died as a consequence of the mismanagement”.

Mr Miller was suspended before being sacked after an internal investigation. He is now the subject of a formal investigation by the GMC.

Read more at BBC Health.

New trust to run renamed Stafford Hospital

BBC Health - 15th October 2014 9:25 am

A new trust is being set up to run the scandal-hit Stafford Hospital and a second hospital in Stoke.

University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust will become University Hospitals of North Midlands and will operate both hospital sites.

Stafford Hospital, which will be called County Hospital, was at the centre of a £6m public inquiry into care failings.

Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, which ran Stafford, will be dissolved next month.

The NHS in Staffordshire has been given £300m to implement the changes.

City General will be re-named as Royal Stoke University Hospital.

The new trust will come into being on 1 November.

Read more at BBC Health.