Mental health patients sent 300 miles from home due to lack of beds

From The Guardian: Patients with serious mental health problems are being sent more than 300 miles away from their home areas because of widespread bed shortages across the NHS, figures show.

Adults in mental health crises were sent as far as 307 miles from home last year, where they were denied easy access to family and friends for many months – a situation NHS chiefs have admitted reduces chances of recovery.

Dorset Healthcare University mental health trust sent patients to a Priory mental health hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, 246 miles from the south coast, because of a lack of beds. The year before it had sent patients even further afield to a Priory unit in Durham, 325 miles away.

Last year, Lancashire Care NHS foundation trust had to place patients 299 miles away in a mental health unit in the village of Ticehurst in East Sussex, while people from Norfolk ended up being cared for at Arbury Court in Warrington, 239 miles away. Oxleas mental health trust, based in Dartford, Kent, sent patients for care – including in a psychiatric intensive care unit for those whose lives were at risk – up to 232 miles away in Bradford, West Yorkshire.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

End to nursing student bursaries sees numbers keep falling

From Morning Star: The nursing profession has been left in “managed decline,” the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said today, responding to a further drop in student numbers due to bursaries being replaced by loans.

The number of nursing students from England taking university places has fallen by 4 per cent from last year and 11 per cent since 2016 when bursaries were axed, according to data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

The RCN said the decline could jeopardise the future supply of nurses at a time when the NHS is dire need of such staff.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

‘Worst ever’ July A&E performance shows collapse in NHS standards under Theresa May

From Morning Star: Latest figures on A&E waiting times reveal the “astonishing” collapse in NHS standards under Theresa May, Labour said today.

Monthly statistics for July 2018 published by #NHS England show that just 89.3 per cent of people attending A&E were seen within four hours, well below the 95 per cent target.

That dismal performance means NHS England has consistently failed to meet the 95 per cent four-hour target — lowered from 98 per cent by the coalition government — since July 2015.

The number of people attending A&E in July 2018 also hit a record 2.176 million people in July 2018, the highest figure since records began in 2010.

[Read full article on Morning Star website…]

Smokers forced to quit on their own after funding cuts

From The Observer: Thousands of smokers are being left without the support they need to quit after prescriptions of products to help them stop plummeted by 75% over the last decade, according to a report.

GPs are the most common first port of call for smokers who want to beat their addiction in England – 38% of smokers choose this route.

However, primary care prescriptions of nicotine replacement patches and gum and the smoking-cessation drugs bupropion and varenicline fell by three-quarters in England between 2005-06 and 2016-17.

In Worcestershire, where 15% of the population smokes, the local authority decommissioned its stop-smoking services, and local clinical commissioning groups advised GPs not to prescribe stop-smoking aids for new patients in April 2016, the report reveals.

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NHS operation waiting lists reach 10-year high at 4.3m patients

From The Guardian: The number of patients waiting for an operation on the NHS has reached 4.3 million, the highest total for 10 years, official figures show.

Growing numbers are having to wait more than the supposed maximum of 18 weeks for planned non-urgent surgery such as a cataract removal or hip or knee replacement.

In May, for example, 211,434 patients had been on the waiting list for more than six months, up from the 197,067 who were in that position a month before and up by almost half compared to a year earlier, the NHS England data shows.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

IVF services slashed in England as NHS bosses cut costs

From The Guardian: A growing number of areas in England have axed IVF treatment on the NHS and the proportion offering the recommended three cycles of treatment has fallen to just over one in 10, the Guardian can reveal.

The data, gathered by the Fertility Network UK, also show that a further one in 10 are considering restricting or axing fertility treatment, amid widespread NHS cuts and the rationing of services in an effort to save money.

Despite guidance from the NHS group Nice (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) that women under 40 should be offered three cycles if they have been trying to conceive for two years, the number no longer offering any cycles has increased from four to seven in the past 15 months.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]

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…]

‘Shocking’ rise in coroner warnings over NHS patient deaths, says Labour

From The Guardian: The number of legal warnings issued by coroners over patient deaths in England attributed to NHS resourcing issues has risen by 40% in three years.

There were 42 prevention of future death reports (PFDs) relating to issues such as lack of beds, staff shortages and insufficiently trained agency staff in 2016 compared with 30 in 2013.

Coroners have a statutory duty to make reports to a person, organisation, local authority or government department or agency where the coroner believes that action should be taken to prevent future deaths.

Labour, which compiled the figures, blamed the increase on the government’s austerity policies.

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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…]

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