One in five GPs work more than 60 hours a week, finds official audit

From GPs’ magazine Pulse: One in five GPs are working more than 60 hours per week as the number of GPs looking to quit direct patient care is on the rise.

This is the finding of the National GP Worklife Survey, carried out by the University of Manchester on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.

GP leaders said the findings are ‘incredibly worrying’ but unsurprising ‘given the intense pressures family doctors are facing’.

[Read full article on Pulse website…]

More than 1 million patients forced to get a new GP after seven-fold rise in practice closures

From Daily Telegraph: More than a million patients have been forced to get a new GP amid a seven-fold rise in practice closures, an investigation reveals. Family doctors said elderly patients were being left to travel long distances, warning of a “timebomb” as shortages of GPs spread across the country.

[Read full article on Telegraph website…]

Woman who needs to inject life-saving medication three times daily denied an NHS prescriptions for syringes – “due to cutbacks”

From The London Economic: A woman who needs to inject life-saving medication three times daily has been denied an NHS prescription for syringes – ‘due to cutbacks.’ Charlotte Bonwick, from East Grinstead, West Sussex, was told by her doctor that she cannot have a NHS script for hypodermic syringes any longer due to cutbacks – and she says they advised her to go to a needle exchange.

[Read full article on The London Economic…]

Cancer patient waited 541 days for NHS treatment, report says

From The Guardian: The longest waits for cancer treatment in England have soared since 2010, with one patient waiting 541 days, analysis suggests.

Two-thirds of NHS trusts reported having at least one cancer patient waiting more than six months last year, while almost seven in 10 (69%) trusts said they had a worse longest wait than in 2010. This was reflected in the average longest wait rising to 213 days – 16 days longer than in the year the Conservatives entered government.

The official target requires at least 85% of cancer patients to have their first treatment within 62 days of referral by their GP, but this has not been met for 27 months in a row.

More than 100,000 people have waited more than two months for treatment to start since the target was first missed in January 2014.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

One in 12 young people are working in zero-hours jobs

From Morning Star: Zero-hours contracts have risen to nearly two million in Britain, with one in 12 young people working uncertain hours.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the figures, published today, increased from 1.7m to 1.8m in the year to last November and represents 6 per cent of all contracts.

Of these, the ONS has reported, 901,000 workers are on zero-hours contracts as some are forced to work more than one.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Most people are not on zero-hours contracts by choice. They want the same rights, security and guaranteed hours as other employees.

“More than half of zero-hours contract workers have had jobs cancelled with less than a day’s notice. Zero-hours contracts are a licence to treat people like disposable labour and the government should ban them.”

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

NHS England suffers worst A&E waiting times on record

From Sky News: A&E performance fell to the lowest level on record in March as the NHS continues to face unprecedented pressure. Just 84.6% of accident and emergency patients in England were seen within four hours last month, dropping from 85% in February and compared to 90% in March 2017. And the number of people suffering waits of more than 12 hours more than tripled, compared to the same month the year before. Medics said the backlog created by the situation would leave some hospitals struggling to catch up. President of the Society for Acute Medicine Nick Scriven called the figures the “clearest indication yet of the eternal winter we now face in the NHS” and urged a turning point in planning.

[Read full article on Sky News website…]

Young Britons have never been unhappier, research suggests

From The Guardian: Young people’s happiness across every single area of their lives has never been lower, research by the Prince’s Trust has found.

The charity said the results of its annual UK Youth Index, which gauges young people’s happiness and confidence across a range of areas, from working life to mental and physical health, should “ring alarm bells”.

The national survey shows young people’s wellbeing has fallen over the last 12 months and is at its lowest level since the study was first commissioned in 2009. 

The research, based on a survey of 2,194 respondents aged 16 to 25, revealed that three out of five young people regularly feel stressed amid concerns over jobs and money, while one in four felt “hopeless”, and half had experienced a mental health problem.

Almost half said they did not feel they could cope well with setbacks in life, but despite this more than one quarter said they would not ask for help if they were feeling overwhelmed.

The index shows that young people are particularly disillusioned with the job market and are concerned about money and future prospects. One in ten said they had lost a job through redundancy or having a contract terminated or not renewed, or being fired, while 54% said they were worried about their finances.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

Rio Ferdinand slams Tory plans to cut bereavement benefits for grieving parents

From Welfare Weekly: Former England captain and Manchester United star, Rio Ferdinand, has slammed Government plans to reduce the length of time grieving parents can receive bereavement benefits, it has been reported.

Tory minister Richard Harrington recently claimed those changes “will help people readjust to single-parent life”, to which Labour’s Stella Creasy accused the minister of cruelly using “justifications that sound like something from the dark ages”.

His opinion isn’t shared by Rio Ferdinand, whose wife Rebecca died in 2015 aged just 34 from breast cancer, leaving behind three children and a devastated father.

[Read full article on Welfare Weekly website…]

Councils forced to sell off parks, buildings and art to fund basic services

From The Guardian: Analysis shows the financial predicament facing councils across England. Government funding has fallen by nearly 50% since 2010. Combined with increased demand for adult and children’s social care and homelessness services, as well as paying higher national insurance contributions for staff, growing numbers of unitary and county councils are relying on their reserves to balance their budgets.

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‘I would not have survived’: Stephen Hawking lived long life thanks to NHS

From The Guardian: Stephen Hawking’s robust defence of the NHS set the tone for the row to come. When the NHS was plunged into crisis14amid plans to privatise the service, Hawking lashed out at the politicians he held responsible in a 2017 speech at the Royal Society of Medicine. He blamed ministers for funding cuts, pay caps and weakening the service through privatisation. He saw it all leading to a “US-style insurance system”.

He singled out Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, for particular criticism. In arguing for a seven-day NHS, Hunt claimed that 11,000 patients a year died because of understaffing of hospitals at weekends. Hawking pointed out that of the eight studies Hunt had cited, four were not peer reviewed, and that 13 more that Hunt had failed to mention contradicted the view.

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Charge increase providing cover for NHS cuts, say dentists

Press release from the British Dental Association: The BDA has branded the latest patient charge increases in England as a cover for cuts to state funding for NHS dentistry.

The third year of above inflation increases of around 5% a year will bring charges for a basic check-ups to £21.60, and charges for items like crowns or dentures to £256.50. According to the Government’s own estimates this amounts to patients paying in an additional £72.4 million over the course of the financial year.

Dental charges are increasing as a proportion of the NHS budget, while contributions from general taxation are in long-term decline. The BDA estimates patients will be contributing a full third of England’s NHS dental budget by 2020 – and are on course to exceed government spending by 2032.

Nearly 1 in 5 patients have delayed treatment for reasons of cost according to official statistics.

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Hundreds of mental health patients died after NHS care failures

From The Guardian: At least 271 highly vulnerable mental health patients have died over the last six years after failings in NHS care, a Guardian investigation has found.

Coroners have been so alarmed at the lapses in care that emerged during inquests that they issued legal warnings to 136 #NHS bodies, mainly providers of care, between 2012 and 2017. They included mental health trusts, acute hospitals, ambulance services and GP surgeries.

Mental health campaigners said the findings were shocking and claimed that many of the deaths were avoidable and constituted a “tragedy”.

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