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.
From The Independent: The NHS shake-up which led to greater “privatisation” damaged attempts to improve patient care, a government minister has conceded for the first time.
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.
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.”
From Daily Mirror: Stories collected by food bank charity The Trussell Trust included a mother “who considered giving up her own two children while she waited for her Universal Credit to come in so that they could finally get some food”.
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.
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.
Number of NHS doctors retiring early DOUBLES after senior GPs become tired of Tory cuts and soaring waiting lists
From Daily Mirror: The rate of doctors retiring early has doubled, with the exodus driven by pay cuts and huge workloads causing waits for GP appointments to soar.
From The Guardian: Britain’s busiest NHS ambulance service may no longer be able to answer all 999 calls quickly enough because its control rooms are chronically short of call handlers, it has warned.
The London ambulance service (LAS) disclosed this week that its capacity to respond to medical emergencies has been under threat because of a 20% shortfall in its control room staff.
Campaigners for patients have voiced alarm over the findings, saying the risk to the service could lead to people dying of strokes or heart attacks because an ambulance has taken longer than it should to reach them.
The Patients Association said the LAS’s inability to recruit enough staff posed a direct threat to patients.
From The Guardian: GPs are being offered cash payments not to refer patients to hospital, in a move which leading family doctors have criticised as ethically questionable and a risk to health.
NHS bodies in four parts of England are using schemes under which GP practices are given up to half of the money saved by sending fewer patients to hospital for tests and treatment.
The disclosure by the GP website Pulse about the controversial “profit share” initiatives operated by the four NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) has triggered a row. Critics said the schemes were the latest example of NHS bodies increasingly resorting to the rationing of care to help them operate within their budgets.
NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG has offered to give groups of practices working together in its area 50% of savings made from GPs referring fewer patients for dermatology care, ear, nose and throat treatment in the community, and minor surgery and wound closure.
From Daily Telegraph: NHS officials have introduced new limits which mean patients in some parts of the country will be made to wait at least three months for routine surgery, such as hip operations and cardiac procedures.
From Business Insider UK: Theresa May has been accused of secretly plotting to sell off the NHS after declining a request to rule out making the NHS part of any future post-Brexit trade deal with the US. The prime minister was asked by Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable in the House of Commons to give an “absolute guarantee” that the NHS “will not be for sale” when the UK government begins negotiations with the Donald Trump administration.
However, May declined the opportunity, saying the UK did not yet know what “requirements” the US would make as part of any deal. “We are starting the discussions with the American administration,” May replied. “He doesn’t know what they are going to say in their requirements for that free trade agreements. We will go into those negotiations to get the best possible deal for the United Kingdom.”
From the TUC: A plot by #Tory ministers to scrap the Working Time Directive in the UK reported today could deny paid holidays to millions of workers, and make long working weeks the norm, the TUC has said.
The Sunday Times and Sun both report plans by ministers – including Michael Gove and Boris Johnson – to scrap the Working Time Directive after Brexit.
Losing the protections of the directive means that:
- 7 million workers could lose rights to paid holidays – 4.7 million of them women, and many on zero-hours or part-time contracts.
- Even more workers could be forced by bosses to work weeks longer than 48 hours.
- Workers could lose the right to lunch and rest breaks.
- Night workers could lose some health and safety protections.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is a straight-up attack on our rights at work. Millions could lose their paid holidays, and be forced to work ridiculously long hours.
Theresa May’s entire social mobility commission quits because “she’s too busy with Brexit to help the poor”
From Daily Mirror: Theresa May’s entire social mobility commission dramatically quit last night, accusing the Prime Minister of being too busy with Brexit to help the poor.
From Daily Mirror: Hospitals will be forced to tear up waiting time targets next year thanks to Tory underfunding, NHS chiefs have warned.
From Daily Mirror: Police numbers will fall to levels last seen in the 1970s as more than 15,000 officers face the chop. Forces must make £800 million real terms cuts in their budgets by 2022, after Chancellor Philip Hammond failed to give them a penny more in Wednesday’s Budget.
The quote used by The House magazine to promote their interview with Tory trade secretary Liam Fox is:
Tory trade secretary #LiamFox: If UK trade figures are bad, it's nothing to do with me.
From BBC News: The prediction that average UK earnings in 2022 could still be less than in 2008 is “astonishing”, according to an independent economic think tank.
Paul Johnson, director of the politically independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, added that the economic forecasts published in the Budget made for “pretty grim reading”.
He highlighted that since 2014 growth in earnings has been “choked off”.
“We are in danger of losing not just one but getting on for two decades of earnings growth,” he said.
The narrative of the Tory press is that the UK’s debt issues are all Gordon Brown’s doing, and #ToryCompetence (LOL) is saving the day.
This infographic from the Press Association tells an ever-so-slightly different reality.
From RT: Jeremy Corbyn poured his scorn on the May government over announcements that the Tories claim will pull Britons out of poverty and put the young on the property ladder.
Corbyn slammed the government, and mocked them for the policies that he agreed with, stating they had been “lifted” from his own manifesto. “It’s falling pay, slow growth and rising poverty,” he said.
“This is what the chancellor has the cheek to call a strong economy. The poorest tenth of households will lose 10 percent of income by 2022, while the richest will lose just 1 percent. So much for tackling burning injustice. This is a government tossing fuel on the fire,” added the Labour leader.
“8.3 million people are over indebted. If he wants to help people out of debt, back Labour policy for a real living wage of £10 per hour by 2020.” Read more