News From The Web

Doctor charged with manslaughter over child death

Daily Mail - 18th December 2014 11:14 am

A doctor and two nurses were yesterday charged with gross negligence manslaughter over the death of a six-year-old boy in hospital.

Jack Adcock, who had Down’s syndrome and other pre-existing health problems, died of pneumonia almost five years ago after initially being admitted with sickness and diarrhoea.

Prosecutors said they had taken the decision to charge the three people over the death of Jack, from Glen Parva, Leicestershire, only after careful consideration of the evidence.

Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, Sister Theresa Taylor and Staff Nurse Isabel Amaro are due to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on January 23 over the allegations regarding the boy’s death at at Leicester Royal Infirmary in February 2011.

Read more in the Daily Mail.

Labour attacks Christmas “NHS news blackout”

The Guardian - 11:03 am

Labour has criticised NHS bosses’ decision not to publish key performance data over the festive period, describing the move as a news blackout.

NHS England has decided to not publish its usual weekly datasets covering issues such as patient waiting times in A&E after this Friday, 19 December, until 9 January.

“It is highly unsatisfactory to have this news blackout over the crucial Christmas period. People can’t be kept in the dark,” said Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary.

He is urging Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, to honour his drive for greater transparency in the NHS by insisting the data, usually published every Friday, to come out normally.

NHS England’s decision follows last week’s performance data, which showed that record numbers of patients had not been treated in A&E inside the four-hour maximum waiting time and spent between four and 12 hours on a trolley waiting to be admitted.

Read more in The Guardian.

Colchester: cancer errors ‘incompetence not bullying’

BBC Health - 17th December 2014 9:14 pm

Inaccuracies in a hospital’s cancer waiting times figures were caused by managerial incompetence rather than bullying of staff, investigators found.

An inquiry into Colchester Hospital in Essex found evidence of “sub-optimal care” but nothing to suggest systematic data manipulation.

A separate review found evidence of “serious managerial failures”.

The hospital’s chief executive apologised to patients who received “poor care” or delayed treatment.

“I am very pleased there appears to be no evidence of systematic data manipulation at the trust,” said Dr Lucy Moore.

“It is important that we now rebuild confidence in the cancer services provided here in Colchester.”

Read more at BBC Health.

NHS England puts half a million into CAMHS pilots

Pulse - 12th December 2014 9:56 am

NHS England has put £500,000 into funding eight pilot schemes for the development of child mental health services.

The schemes are being run in eight areas - each getting up to £75,000 - and will reassess how Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are commissioned and “try to affect change through new ideas”, NHS England said.

The pilots are being run in conjunction with the Government’s new ‘Task Force’ on mental health in children and young people, with the funding coming from money for mental health services pledged by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in October.

The pilots - which were selected from 94 bids - will be in Devon, Derbyshire, Newcastle, Tameside and Glossop, Norfolk, Southampton and Wolverhampton.

Read more in Pulse.

GPs demand CQC compensation over adverse data

GP - 8th December 2014 12:10 pm

Two out of five GPs say the CQC should compensate practices it has publicly labelled ‘high risk’ if they are later rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

A leading primary care solicitor told GP that practices had ‘potentially been defamed’ and may be able to claim damages.

The CQC published data from its intelligent monitoring tool last month. The watchdog placed every practice in England in one of six risk bands and published this information online. A total of 1,200 practices were placed in bands 1 or 2, the highest-risk categories, triggering hundreds of negative headlines in national and local media.

But the watchdog has yet to inspect the vast majority of practices and may take more than a year to publish official ratings for some. The risk scores are based on publicly available data from the QOF and other sources, but GPs say the information offers a partial, often unfair picture.

The GPC has called for an apology and a ‘fundamental review’ of the CQC’s risk tool.

Leading GPs believe a proportion of practices labelled high risk by the CQC will be rated outstanding or good after a full inspection, warning that the risk tool relies on data that is often out of date or context.

Read more in GP.

GP surgery in trouble over treatment avoidance

The Guardian - 2nd December 2014 3:27 pm

A GP surgery in the West Country has been accused of a trying to deny basic treatments to patients by proposing that anyone suffering from back pain, mental ill-health or with lacerations, cuts, grazes and wounds go elsewhere for treatment.

The practice in Newton Abbot, Devon, was forced to back down by national NHS bosses after it emailed its 10,000 patients recommending that they should not seek a consultation with one of its GPs for a wide range of common ailments.

Leaflets from the Kingskerswell and Ipplepen medical practice also detail “local alternatives to booking a GP appointment”. They list eight types of medical problems for which patients should seek treatment elsewhere and advise them where to go – for example to a pharmacy or local minor injuries unit.

Adults with “mental wellbeing concerns”, including panic attacks, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress, were advised to instead ring a local NHS service specialising in anxiety and depression.

The GP practice’s email explained to patients that it was highlighting the alternatives to a consultation with a GP because “GP surgeries are under great pressure with the population ageing and an increasing incidence of complex and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and dementia”.

Read more.

MP Dorrell starts work for firm chasing NHS deal

The Mirror - 11:12 am

There are calls for Stephen Dorrell to quit as either an MP or an adviser to a private firm targeting a lucrative NHS contract.

The Tory is in a conflict of interest row after taking up a post with KPMG which is considering bidding for a £1billion deal to manage the medical records of all patients.

Mr Dorrell quit as chairman of the powerful House of Commons Health Select Committee in June.

He told his local party he would step down at May’s general election because his new job was “incompatible” with his role as a £67,060-a-year MP.

But he starts his new job this week and will be in both posts for six months.

The move sparked fury, with National Health Action party co-leader Dr Clive Peedell insisting Mr Dorrell can only do one role.

The cancer specialist said: “Stephen Dorrell admits his new job is ­incompatible with being an MP. If that’s the case, he should resign immediately or give up the new role.

“This also makes it clear why Mr Dorrell suddenly resigned as chair of the Health Select Committee. Clearly a better offer came his way.”

Read more.

Home care system nearing crisis point, report says

The Guardian - 10:57 am

The home care system is teetering on the verge of crisis with the most vulnerable people seeing a different carer every week, an inquiry has found.

The review – led by Paul Burstow, former care and support minister – criticises lack of organisation that threatens to fail those needing care in their own homes.

The Key to Care report describes how some service users were treated by 50 different members of staff in a year, and says the service – designed to free up beds by keeping people out of hospital – is “not working”.

The report warns: “If home care is not in crisis yet, it soon will be. More people need care and there is less money to pay for it and not enough people willing to do the work.

“It is not organised nearly as well as it could be and it appears designed to keep caring professional relationships from forming between workers and those they care for.

Read more here.

Cambridge paedophile doctor ‘had 170,000 images’

BBC Health - 28th November 2014 6:13 pm

A paedophile doctor who abused boys with cancer had more than 170,000 spy pen images of patients, a court heard.

Myles Bradbury, 41, of Herringswell, Suffolk, admitted abusing 18 children in his care at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, between 2009 and 2013.

Cambridge Crown Court heard the pen carried 170,425 images of “boys partially clothed…none indecent”.

Bradbury’s sentencing hearing was told the images were gathered at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Some of his victims had haemophilia, leukaemia and other serious illnesses.

John Farmer QC, prosecuting, said Bradbury’s “abuse of his position of trust was extreme”.

Read more at BBC Health.

Care for people with learning disabilities “failing”

- 26th November 2014 4:09 pm

People with learning disabilities in England are being kept in hospitals far from home for too long, a review says.

The report, written by Sir Stephen Bubb, recommends introducing a charter of rights and more community facilities for people with learning disabilities.

It also says some “inappropriate” in-patient facilities should be closed.

The report comes after abuse was exposed at Winterbourne View care home in Bristol in 2011.

Read more at BBC Health.