Virgin set to bid for £260m children's services contract (HSJ: 25 January 2018)
Stephen Hawking and leading doctors to take Jeremy Hunt to court (The Independent: 29 January 2018)
Professor Stephen Hawking has won permission to take Jeremy Hunt and NHS England to court over controversial proposals to restructure the health service, The Independent can reveal.
Mr Hunt has tabled a plan which could allow commercial companies to run health and social services across a whole region in what critics have described as allowing back-door privatisation. Leading healthcare professionals and Professor Hawking have argued an act of parliament is required, allowing MPs and Lords to scrutinise the proposals, before the policy is implemented and any changes to regulations are made....read more
Virgin Care has indicated it will bid for an NHS contract to provide children’s community and mental health services in Devon worth at least £259m over seven years, HSJ has learned.
The company is the incumbent provider of most of the services being tendered after winning a contract in 2012.
A company spokesman said: “We’re looking forward to… continue to integrate and improve services in Devon from April 2019.”
Virgin’s contract was due to expire in the spring but last October it was given £35m to continue to run the service for another 12 months while Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group prepared for re-procurement.
The re-procurement process will begin next month, subject to the proposal being approved at a governing body meeting today....read more
NHS hospitals facing serious shortages of vital equipment (The Guardian: 25 January 2018)
Hospitals are suffering serious shortages of vital medical equipment such as ventilators, pumps to administer drugs, and oxygen cylinders during the NHS’s ongoing winter crisis, the Guardian can reveal.
The surge in numbers of people needing care has also led to some hospitals running out of beds for patients to sleep in, mattresses to lie on and trolleys to use while they wait for admission.
NHS England has said the service is under the most strain it has faced since the 1990s. Patients have faced long waits for beds on trolleys in overcrowded hospitals, more than 100,000 patients have been stuck in ambulances waiting to get into an A&E unit, and senior doctors have written to Theresa May warning that patients have been “dying prematurely” in hospital corridors....read more
NHS doctors warn medical care is deteriorating as nearly 75% report staffing shortages on wards (The Independent: 23 January 2018)
NHS doctors are warning that care being delivered across the health service has deteriorated in the past 12 months, according to a survey by the British Medical Association.
This may be driven in part by chronic staff shortages, which the BMA warns is forcing doctors to "juggle patients".
Seven out of ten hospital doctors (71 per cent) warned there are gaps on shift rotas in their department, but only 65 per cent reported gaps when asked the same question in May 2017....read more
Ambulance crisis 'led to 20 deaths in east England over Christmas' (The Guardian: 18 January 2018)
Twenty people died while waiting too long for ambulances in the east of England after the ambulance service there failed to seek outside help during the busy period over Christmas, a Labour MP has said, citing a whistleblower.
Clive Lewis, the MP for Norwich South, used a point of order in the Commons to highlight what he said was an “exceptionally serious issue” with the East of England ambulance service, highlighted by the whistleblower.
The ambulance service became critically overstretched from 19 December, and senior managers wanted to move into what is called Reap 4, the fourth stage of the resource escalation action plan, which involves seeking outside help, Lewis told MPs....read more
Care cuts could put patients' safety at risk, warn MPs (The Guardian: 17 January 2018)
Officials want local health bodies to cut the amount spent on the NHS’s Continuing Healthcare (CHC) funding packages and NHS-funded nursing care by hundreds of millions of pounds over coming years.
The Commons public accounts committee said it was unclear how this could be done without raising the threshold for eligibility or limiting the packages available, “both of which will ultimately put patient safety at risk”....read more
NHS ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses as more leaving than joining (Nursing Notes: 17 January 2018)
The NHS is “haemorrhaging” staff with 1 in 10 nurses leaving the NHS in England each year, official figures show.
NHS Digital figures that show 1 in 10 nurses are leaving the NHS in England each year, with more than 33,000 leaving last year alone. The news comes amid an ongoing winter crisis, where NHS trusts have taken the extraordinary measures of asking for the assistance of medical students and turning to social media in order to plead staff to work....read more
Patients 'dying in hospital corridors' (BBC News: 11 January 2018)
Patients are dying in hospital corridors as safety is compromised by "intolerable" conditions, doctors say.
The warning has been issued in a letter to the prime minister signed by 68 senior A&E doctors, spelling out the danger patients are facing this winter.
It comes as reports have emerged of people being left for hours on trolleys in corridors and stuck in ambulances....read more
'Desperate times' for overcrowded hospitals, senior doctor warns (The Guardian: 1 January 2018)
Pressures on the NHS have “escalated rapidly” over the festive period, with hospitals experiencing significant bed shortages, a leading doctor has warned.
Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM), said many hospitals reported more than 99% capacity in the week before Christmas.
He said services are being placed under significant strain as they enter the new year and called for non-urgent operations to be postponed until at least the end of January.
Doctors have described corridors overflowing with patients and used social media in a bid to find extra staff to cope with demand....read more