News From The Web

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.

CEO of The Christie resigns after Ibiza investigation

Manchester Evening News - 13th October 2014 12:05 pm

The suspended chief executive of The Christie hospital has resigned.

Caroline Shaw has been under investigation for 11 months into allegations that NHS cash was used to cover a trip to Ibiza.

She has always denied the claims and has never faced a disciplinary hearing.

While suspended she has received £170,000 in pay and will leave with another six months salary of just under £100,000.

In addition part of her £100,000 legal fees will also be paid.

Read more in the Manchester Evening News.

Four-hour NHS strike in England comes to an end

BBC Health - 11:51 am

A four-hour NHS strike, involving nurses, midwives and ambulance staff in England, has come to an end.

Workers from six trade unions took part from 07:00 to 11:00 BST in a dispute over pay.

Services have been disrupted, although emergency care was kept running - as was agreed by unions and NHS bosses ahead of the walkout.

It is not yet clear just how much disruption was caused by the strike in England.

In advance of the walkout, unions and managers had met to ensure essential services were maintained.

Read more at BBC Health.

GP wins damages for defamatory Daily Mail article

GP - 9th October 2014 10:43 am

A Spanish-born GP working in England has been awarded libel damages of £45,000 after the High Court ruled on Monday that a Daily Mail article criticising him was untrue and defamatory.

The article claimed that Dr Antonio Serrano, a GP then practising in East Sussex, misdiagnosed a bus driver patient as alcohol dependent without any investigation or tests, and referred him to the DVLA, thereby causing him to lose his bus and driving licenses.

The article – titled ‘a whole year of hell, thanks to a foreign doctor’ – said the patient had been ‘robbed’ of his livelihood, and claimed a ‘language barrier’ between him and Dr Serrano had contributed to misdiagnosis.

But judge Mr Justice Dingemans ruled on Monday that Dr Serrano had acted correctly and awarded him £45,000 in damages for the article, which he judged had influenced Dr Serrano to resign from his practice.

Read more at GP.

Radiographers to strike over NHS pay freeze

The Guardian - 8th October 2014 2:22 pm

Radiographers are to go on strike for the first time in over 30 years in the bitter row with the government over health workers’ pay.

Members of the Society of Radiographers across the UK will walk out for four hours on 20 October in protest at the government’s controversial decision not to pay a recommended 1% wage rise to all NHS employees.

Radiographers will also work to rule for the rest of that week. Emergency care will continue to be provided, but pre-booked appointments may be hit.

Other health workers, including nurses, ambulance drivers and paramedics, are taking strike action next Monday.

Richard Evans, the Society’s chief executive officer, said: “There is the possibility of more action by radiographers in the future. The anger that they and other health professionals feel is very strong.

Read more in The Guardian.