21st October 2021

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.