Health News Blog
Edited by Ken Kirk
Test and Trace: Eye-watering waste of money
This Telegraph piece is behind its pay wall, but you'll see enough. The government ignored our public-funded public health service and chose to spend £37,000 million on a privatised system. It failed appallingly to prevent Covid lockdowns and enable return to normality.
Sunak's NHS bonus is for capital expenditure
Chief of the Kings Fund says the money is welcome but "will we have any staff to put in them, to actually work them [new equipment]?" The primary focus to cut the backlog should be the staff shortage; for example, there are 39000 nursing staff vacancies.
Covid tests: private firms shouldn't be doing them
It was due to members of the public raising concerns that the problem at the private lab run by Immensa came to light. Health officials should have known about major failings at the lab within days of the problem arising, rather than taking weeks to shut down operations at the site.
F-to-F appointments: government versus GPs
The government has offered GPs more money, but GPs insist it not the issue. A GP says she has never faced a tougher year, a trainee doctor says he can see why others are leaving the profession. Now GPs threaten industrial action.
How will government's health database be used?
OpenDemocracy has written to Sajid Javid demanding that he offer a clearer explanation of what the BAE system is for, and to what extent other private companies will be involved in its set-up, operation and processing of sensitive personal data.
NHS charging patients: £54 million written off
Is the overhead cost of charging patients worth it? Does the government persist with hostile environment policies without knowing their cost-benefit? A London hospital has just written off £54 million. Here are some testimonies of patients, some asylum seekers, who couldn't afford care and who died.
BMA on no lockdown: 'Wilful neglect'
The doctors' union accused the government of wilful neglect in not introducing Covid restrictions now. Dr Nagpaul said "as doctors working on the frontline, we can categorically say that time is now".
Private lab in 40,000 test false negatives
One of the so-called Lighthouse labs, run by private firm Immensa Health Clinics Ltd, is under investigation for issuing more than 40,000 false negative Covid tests. Neither Immensa nor its sister company, Dante Labs, had ever been accredited by the UK’s independent accreditation service, Ukas.
Good value? Covid contract with private hospitals
The total cost to the taxpayer of NHS England's contract with private hospitals is undisclosed but estimated to be between £2 billion and £5 billion, and 26 private hospital companies benefited significantly from the deal. 8000 private hospital beds were made available but the highest number of beds occupied on any day was just 78.
Nursing staff shortage crisis worsens
There is a mounting workforce crisis in England’s hospitals as they struggle to recruit staff. Some wards have a fifth of posts unfilled; there are about 39,000 vacancies for registered nurses in England.
NHS buildings failures stop health services
Such is the backlog of building repairs left undone over the past decade, that patient care is being disrupted by an increasing number of infrastructure failures. The NHS repair bill is now £9.2 billion.
Update on 'Stop surgeries sell off' to Centene
Legal permission has been granted to ask for a judicial review into the sale of GP surgeries to Centene, a US insurance company. The first request was denied.
Gvnt's Covid response "worst public health failure"
A joint select committee report says that the government were slow to instigate a lockdown and the privatised test, trace and isolate system was slow, uncertain and often chaotic, and it still is!
BMA report: shows how severe medical shortages have become
This report illustrates just how severe medical workforce shortages in England have become. Necessary investment in the medical workforce can no longer be justifiably put off by our politicians.
Consultancy contract gave 'no tangible savings'
This article is behind a paywall, but it tells how yet another consultants contract, this costing £7 million, is worthless.
Private hospitals treated just 8 Covid patients a day
The Treasury block-booked the entire capacity of all 7,956 beds in England’s 187 private hospitals along with their almost 20,000 staff to help supplement the NHS, costing £400 million a month. Yet they barely treated any Covid patients.