News From The Web

NHS staff vote to accept re-negotiated pay deal

- 5th March 2015 4:58 pm

NHS staff in England have voted to accept a government pay offer, Unison has announced.

Some 67% of the union’s members agreed to the deal despite the dispute over pay prompting the first NHS strike in 34 years.

Unison leaders said although the offer did not go far enough it would make a difference - particularly to more than 250,000 of the lowest-paid in the NHS.

NHS Employers said the move is likely to signal the end of industrial action.

Ministers in England had initially awarded NHS staff a 1% increase, but only for those without automatic progression-in-the-job rises.

Automatic pay rises are given to about half of all staff. They are designed to reward professional development.

But an independent pay review board had said the 1% increase should be across the board.

The new offer would mean some people - particularly the lowest-paid members of the NHS - get more than a 1% pay rise - up to 5.6% next year. This would include some caterers, porters and administration staff.

But other workers on higher pay, including a number of experienced nurses and senior managers, would not stand to get the 1% pay rise. And for 2015-16 there would be a freeze on incremental rises in pay for higher-paid staff.

Read more at BBC Health.

“Lethal mix of failures” at Morecambe Bay Trust

- 4th March 2015 11:47 am

A “lethal mix” of failures at a Cumbrian hospital led to the unnecessary deaths of 11 babies and one mother, an investigation has ruled.

The inquiry into the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust found 20 major failures from 2004 to 2013 at Furness General Hospital.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt: “Lessons will now be learned so that other families so that other families do not have to go through the same nightmare”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in the House of Commons that the tragedy was “a second Mid Staffs”, albeit on a smaller scale.

In an echo of the inquiries in the Stafford Hospital scandal, the independent report said the problems found represented a “simultaneous failure of a great many systems at almost every level, from labour ward to the headquarters of national bodies”.

Hunt appointed Dr Mike Durkin, National Director of Patient Safety at NHS England, to draw up new guidelines about reporting serious incidents as well as establish an independent national team that can go on rapid fact finding missions on a “no blames basis” as soon as issues arise.

And he’s asked Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director of NHS England, to review the professional codes of conduct for doctors and nurses to ensure mistakes are reported, not covered up.

Read more at BBC Health.

GPs not consulted on Manchester health devolution

- 3rd March 2015 3:51 pm

GP leaders in Manchester have slammed the lack of involvement of general practice in plans to hand £6bn NHS funding to a new devolved local authority body.

The plans are backed by 12 CCGs, 10 local councils, NHS England and other NHS bodies.

But chairwoman of greater Manchester LMCs Dr Tracey Vell said she was ‘disappointed’ the agreement had been signed.

‘The objectives involve general practice but general practice as a provider has not been given a stake so far in the process,’ she said.

CCGs, she added, cannot represent GPs as providers.

Read more at GP Online.

Army medics to fill nursing vacancies at Colchester

Daily Mail - 27th February 2015 4:42 pm

Army medics are being drafted in to help fill nursing gaps at a hospital plunged into special measures amid concerns over cancer waiting times.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust which runs the town’s general hospital and Essex County Hospital, has more than 215 nursing vacancies at the moment.

The trust was placed in special measures in 2013 amid allegations that staff were being forced to change cancer waiting times.

And last month Colchester General Hospital was rated inadequate by the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

The trust has introduced a series of initiatives in a bid to address the staffing shortfall.

Additional bank staff from other agencies will also continue to fill shifts.

But now, bosses are hoping to draw on a long-standing agreement with troops stationed in the Essex town.

Combat medical technicians from 16 Medical Regiment, based at Colchester Garrison, will work at the hospital when they are not on duty.

It is understood they will predominantly be deployed in A&E and other urgent care areas.

An agreement has been reached, the hospital said, but the number of army medics taking part has yet to be finalised.

Read more in the Daily Mail.

Savile “abused 63 people at Stoke Mandeville”

BBC Health - 26th February 2015 11:31 am

Jimmy Savile abused 63 people connected to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, but one formal complaint was ignored, an independent report has found.

It found Savile’s reputation as a “sex pest” was an “open secret” among some staff - but allegations probably did not reach managers.

The formal complaint - made in 1977 by a victim’s father - should have been reported to police, it added.

A separate report said “elements of the Savile story” could happen again.

The Stoke Mandeville report said the victims, abused from 1968-92, were aged eight to 40.

It also found:

- Savile had “virtually unrestricted access” to clinical areas and patients during the 1970s and 80s;

- several sex abuse claims were made against him from 1972-85, to different staff members, but only one was a “formal complaint”;

- that complaint by a father “should have led to Savile’s suspension from the hospital and a formal police report being made”;

- there was probably no “hospital-wide intelligence” on Savile;

- information known to junior staff and middle managers was “probably filtered out” before reaching senior managers.

Read more.

Hospital cancels 1,000 ops during ‘black alert’

BBC Health - 25th February 2015 8:31 pm

More than 1,000 operations are thought to have been cancelled at a hospital in Devon that has been on “black alert” since January.

Plymouth Hospitals Trust said routine operations including hernia repair and knee and hip replacements had been cancelled at Derriford Hospital.

The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has increased its alert from red to black.

“Black alerts” are also in place at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and Yeovil Hospital in Somerset.

The alert means a hospital’s services are overwhelmed by demand.

Kevin Baber, chief operating officer for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “In January we cancelled about 700 operations either on the day of surgery or in advance.

“I would expect February to be the same, so it will be over 1,000 and we’re very sorry about that.”

Read more at BBC Health.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS trust in special measures

BBC Health - 19th February 2015 6:03 pm

A mental health trust has become the first in England to be put in special measures.

NHS regulator Monitor will send a team to take over the management of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

The decision comes after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reported the trust was “not a safe, effective or responsive service”.

Special measures means a director will be attached to the trust to ensure the improvement plan is carried out.

External experts will work with the existing senior management team at the trust to resolve its problems.

Read more at BBC Health.

All A&E consultants quit at Alexandra Hospital

BBC Health - 14th February 2015 12:10 pm

The entire consultant team running Accident and Emergency services at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch has resigned.

A further consultant has resigned from nearby Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Their reasons for leaving are reported as “continuing uncertainty about the future of Redditch Hospital”.

All five have been offered jobs at Warwick Hospital.

Neil Stote, from the Save the Alex campaign group, said the news was “devastating” and that local people would have grave concerns.

“It shows that something is not right, the failure to retain staff is shocking, something’s not right,” he said.

“The best outcome for the whole county would be for a [new] trust with a proven track record to take over. To have five consultants leave in one day is a damning verdict of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust”.

A spokeswoman from Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust said an urgent transition plan will be put in place and emergency care will continue as normal.

Read more at BBC Health.

Paediatrician jailed over assaults at Stoke Mandeville

BBC Health - 12th February 2015 4:57 pm

A former consultant paediatrician has been jailed for 18 years for indecently assaulting girls at the UK hospital where Jimmy Savile abused patients.

Michael Salmon, 80, was convicted of nine indecent assaults and two rapes carried out against six girls at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

Reading Crown Court heard the attacks took place between 1973 and 1988.

Judge Joanna Cutz described his conduct as a gross breach of trust by a “cold and manipulative” man.

Police said more women had contacted them with allegations against Salmon since the start of the trial.

Salmon, of Salisbury, in Wiltshire, was struck off the medical register in 1991.

Read more at BBC Health.

Paramedic sentenced over Walsall Manor death

BBC - 10:59 am

A paramedic has been sentenced for failing in his duty after the death of a man who collapsed outside a hospital.

Carl Cope, 47, died from a heart attack after suffering chest pains near the A&E department at Walsall’s Manor Hospital in June 2012.

Matthew Geary, 36, from Manor Avenue, Great Wyrley, Staffordshire, admitted failing to discharge a duty.

He was given an eight-month jail term, suspended for two years.

Mr Cope was pictured on CCTV leaving the emergency department and going to a shop to buy a drink. On his return through the car park he was seen to collapse onto the floor while Geary - who had brought Mr Cope to the hospital with chest pains - watched from his ambulance.

The footage showed that Mr Cope was unattended for 30 seconds, after which Geary went to see him without taking any medical equipment. With his hands in his pockets, he talked to him for about two minutes and returned to his ambulance.

Geary asked a security guard to help Mr Cope, the court heard, which he later admitted was a dereliction of duty.

Read more at BBC Health.