NHS Trust paid agency nurse £1500 to cover one shift as bosses accused of ‘slapping staff in face’ : Daily Mirror.

Figures released from a Freedom of Information request show NHS Lanarkshire forked out £1565 to an agency for a day worker in 2015-16.

Shona Robison

Health Secretary Shona Robison says the overall bill for agency nurses has dropped 11 per cent in the past decade (Photo: Daily Record)

A health board has admitted paying more than £1500 for an agency nurse to cover a single hospital shift.

Figures released from a Freedom of Information request show NHS Lanarkshire forked out £1565 to an agency for a day worker in 2015-16.

Meanwhile, NHS Lothian said the largest amount they had paid for a single shift in the last three years was £1528, in 2014-15.

NHS Tayside shelled out £1251 in 2015-16, and NHS Ayrshire and Arran estimate the highest single payment they had made from 2013-14 to 2015-16 was between £1300 and £1600.

Agency nurses are being paid up to almost £1600 a shift in some hospitals

Using agency and bank staff cost Scots health boards £158million in 2015-16 (Photo: Getty)

Tory health spokesman Donald Cameron said the figures, obtained by the party, were a “slap in the face” to NHS staff nurses, The Daily Record reports.

He added: “Health boards pay through the nose when an adequately resourced rota could have done the job at a fraction of the price.”

Using agency and bank staff cost Scottish health boards £158million in 2015-16.

But Health Secretary Shona Robison said the overall bill for agency nurses and midwives was more than 11 per cent lower than 10 years ago.

She added: “Bank and agency staff are an important part of our staffing arrangements to allow heath boards to cope with peaks in demand.

“Boards only use bank and agency staff when they have to and the vast majority are the board’s own nursing agency staff.

“We want to reduce agency use as much as possible and we have launched a new initiative, in partnership with NHS National Services Scotland, to drive down the cost and use of temporary agency staff.

“Figures show 99.6 per cent of all care is delivered by NHS staff.”

Link : Daily Mirror.

Overworked junior doctors falling asleep at the wheel : Morning Star.

AT LEAST four in 10 junior doctors have fallen asleep while driving home from a long night shift, according to research for a BBC documentary airing tonight.

Out of 1,100 newly qualified doctors surveyed, 41 per cent of them said they had nodded off at the wheel.

Dr Sam Jayaweera from Oxford said she often works four 13-hour night shifts in a row and admitted that she had fallen asleep on her way home once and drove on the wrong side of the road. Luckily, there were no other vehicles around.

She told the BBC: “Only last year I was going to a night shift and I came across a car that (had) flipped in the road, it was an unlit country road and … it was another junior doctor coming back from their late shift.”

The Inside Out programme details how 23-year-old Lauren Connelly died after her first night shift.

Her father Brian — whose campaign brought about a reduction in the permitted number of consecutive night shifts in Scotland from seven to five — told the makers how he and his wife had set out to look for Lauren, learning of her accident only when they arrived at the crash scene.

In another case, 33-year-old Dr Ronak Patel from Gosport died when his car hit a lorry when he was heading home to his pregnant wife after his third night shift in a row. According to evidence at the inquest, it was likely that he had fallen asleep.

Dr Michael Farquhar, who teaches junior doctors about the benefits of rest, said that nurses and doctors must take breaks when they work at night — it was not a “sign of weakness” to do so.

Inside Out is on BBC1 South at 7.30pm.

Link : Morning Star.

More than 10 avoidable deaths a day linked to A&E overcrowding : Express.

MORE than 10 avoidable patient deaths a day are linked to overcrowded A&E departments – double the number of fatalities from road accidents, research reveals.


More than 10 patients die avoidable deaths linked to hospital overcrowding, research reveals
The shock figures, released by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, have alarmed health experts and led to calls for urgent Government action to “unblock” the system.

With ever-increasing numbers of people flocking to A&E departments across the country, they have warned the death toll is set to rise even higher.

Dr Adrian Boyle, chairman of the college’s Emergency Care Committee who helped carry out the analysis, said: “The number of deaths linked with overcrowded emergency departments is as serious a problem as the number of deaths caused by road traffic collisions. We need to recognise this.

“This is not caused by inappropriate attenders to A&E and is not confined to a few hospitals.”

He added: “Urgent action must be taken to unblock social care and unblock hospitals otherwise the problems will get worse and there will be more avoidable deaths.”

Experts say loss of life is being caused by delays in treatment in a “gridlocked” and “overstretched” system.

Consultant Dr Linda Dykes, a Fellow of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “These are appalling figures and this is a scandal.

The number of deaths linked with overcrowded emergency departments is as serious a problem

Dr Adrian Boyle

“The obvious ambulance or treatment delays are just the tip of the iceberg as patient outcomes are also being changed by the knock-on effect of a gridlocked hospital leading to poor care, which can have an impact on health.”

She added: “It becomes a vicious cycle. The number of days people stay in hospital actually goes up when hospitals are full, making the NHS even more log-jammed. The frail and elderly are particularly vulnerable.

“Leaving elderly patients stranded in hospital awaiting social care packages isn’t just inhumane and cruel, it’s more expensive. Starving the NHS and social care of adequate funding is financial lunacy.”

Link : Daily Express.



Fury as last London community dental clinic shuts : Guardian.

Warning that closure will pile more pressure on A&E services.

People suffering from a broken tooth or abscess are urged to ring an NHS helpline.
People suffering from a broken tooth or abscess are urged to ring an NHS helpline. Photograph: liveostockimages/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The NHS has been accused of letting down patients in pain by shutting London’s last community-based A&E-style service for people needing emergency dental treatment.

NHS England’s closure of the “urgent dental service” in Kentish Town will leave the capital’s 8.7 million residents with only two busy hospitals to go to with teeth problems. Dentists have warned that it will force more patients to seek help at overcrowded GP surgeries and A&E units. The disappearance is the latest loss of walk-in services across England for people with emergencies such as a broken tooth or abscess.

NHS England said the service would shut on 31 March, even though 5,451 people used it last year and patients come from all over London to get treatment. People should in future call the NHS111 helpline or seek an appointment with their regular dentist, they said.

“Access to emergency dental care is increasingly a postcode lottery. Inadequate provision is simply piling more pressure on GPs and A&Es that are not equipped to provide dental treatment”, said Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen of the British Dental Association.

“It’s absurd that NHS111 operators are asking patients to do ring-rounds [of dental surgeries looking for a free slot at short notice],” he said.

The association is urging the NHS to tackle the growing shortage of emergency dental services by arranging for high-street dentists to always have a certain number of emergency appointments available.

“It is irresponsible to shut a fantastic service that provides emergency dental care to patients without providing an alternative. Where do they think these patients are going to go?” said Dr Francesca Silman, a doctor whose practice is near the closing walk-in centre. “It is not acceptable to leave people in pain and in need of treatment, and this will only worsen the pressures already on GPs and A&E who can offer very little help to those that attend.”

Andrew Dismore, a Labour member of the London Assembly, has voiced concern about the service going, NHS England’s lack of public consultation, and the fact that it has been taken “against the wishes” of Whittington Health, the NHS trust that staffs it.

The dental association recently estimated that 135,000 dental patients a year end up attending A&E because they cannot easily gain access to care for a sudden problem. A further 600,000 seek treatment from a GP, adding to the pressure on family doctor services, it believes.

Read More : T he Guardian.

‘It’s RIDICULOUS’ NHS spends £100 million on TRANSLATORS for 128 languages in five years : Express.

AN ESTIMATED £100million has been spent on NHS translators in just five years as calls grow for the foreign aid bill to be redirected.

According to researchers, at least £23million is spent on thousands of translators across NHS authorities in England and Wales every year in a bid to communicate with patients who cannot understand English according to 2020health.org.

Translation is provided for free at the point of delivery and – according to the NHS – must be of a “high quality, accessible and responsive to a patient’s linguistic and cultural identity”.

Among the most popular languages are Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Lithuanian, Nepalese, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish and Urdu.

Translation services cost the NHS more than £23m a year

Translation services cost the NHS more than £23m a year
Rules stipulate that patients must not be asked to pay for interpreting services and that they are entitled to “verbal and written language interpretation services” for 128 spoken languages.

Hundreds of face-to-face interpreters are drafted into hospitals, medical centres, and doctors’ surgeries each year.

And telephone interpretation service is provided for non-urgent standard consultations or appointments.

NHS services are at breaking point as the UK government spends £12bn on foreign aid

NHS services are at breaking point as UK government spends £12bn on foreign aid
An NHS report revealed: “This service is for patients with English language difficulties who require an Interpreter to communicate with staff on their hospital consultations or appointments.”

However, the rising costs of the service as well as health tourism are leading to serious funding shortages, warn critics.

Use of the NHS by those who travel to the country specifically to receive free treatment is estimated to be between £110million and £280million a year.

UKIP MEP Mike Hookem said it is a “travesty” the NHS is now spending millions of pounds in taxpayers’ money on translation services saying, “its the national, not international health service.”

Mr Hookem said: “At a time when budgets are stretched to the limit and we have charities saying we have a potential ‘humanitarian crisis’ in the NHS, it seems utterly ridiculous that we are wasting millions each year on providing translation in 82 different languages.”

“It is especially ridiculous when we are also currently giving away £12billion a year on foreign aid, much of which could be re-directed in the NHS.

“It is time the traditional parties got a grip of this situation and realised the level of public anger at what is seen the waste of public money both in foreign aid and in the NHS.

“We are one of the only countries in the world that spend millions on translation in this way and while it has limited benefit for a small minority of people, the cost totally outweighs the benefit.

“It is time we got back to the principle of charity beginning at home, redirected some of the International aid budget towards the crisis in social care and stopped trying to play nurse to the world.”

Link : Daily Express.


More than 1,000 registered and licensed doctors have criminal convictions… including possession of indecent images of children, sexual assault and threats to kill : Daily Mail.

  • Disgraced medics have been allowed to keep their jobs despite criminal offences
  • Figures reveal there are 1,067 registered doctors with criminal convictions
  • This includes Dr Steven Burn, 53, a consultant cardiologist, who was able to keep his job despite being found with 65 child abuse images on his work computer
  • Campaigners reacted furiously and said patients should not be kept in the dark

Patients are not being told about disgraced medics who have been allowed to keep their jobs despite serious criminal convictions.

At present, there are more than 1,000 doctors who are registered and licensed who have criminal convictions, MailOnline can reveal.

This includes possession of indecent pictures of children, sexual assault, soliciting for the purpose of prostitution, cruelty and neglect of children, threats to kill and death by careless driving.

But in some cases even those who have committed the most serious crimes are able to stay in their posts.

The shocking revelations will come as a shock to the millions of patients who put their complete trust and faith in doctors.

Dr Steven Burn, 53, a consultant cardiologist, was able to keep his job despite being found with 65 child abuse images on his work computer

Dr Steven Burn, 53, a consultant cardiologist, was able to keep his job despite being found with 65 child abuse images on his work computer

Campaigners have reacted furiously to the disclosure and said patients should not be kept in the dark.

Magda Taylor, of patients’ group The Informed Parent, told MailOnline: ‘The fact [the number of doctors with criminal convictions] has increased is appalling.

‘I do think the public have every right to know about doctors and their previous convictions.’

Official figures reveal there are 1,067 doctors with criminal convictions, who have accumulated 1,181 crimes between them.

The number of doctors with convictions has risen by 38 over the past two years, while the number of crimes has gone up by 35.

But in the past year, only 13 doctors were struck off the medical register.

Under the law, doctors who receive a caution or conviction must attend the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), the disciplinary arm which hears all cases pursued by the General Medical Council.

However, in many cases, the watchdog allows them to continue to practise or only bans them temporarily.

The GMC had claimed two years ago it was looking for a way automatically to ban doctors guilty of serious crimes, including sex offences, without a hearing.

Widow offered NHS cash to have eye surgery abroad because of Scots health board’s waiting list : Daily Record.

Elaine Hanby was put on a waiting list for cataract surgery in August but was told she could wait up to 18 months just to see a consultant.

A widow has been offered NHS cash to go abroad for an eye op because a Scots health board can’t provide the treatment fast enough.

Elaine Hanby was put on a waiting list for cataract surgery in August.

But she was told she could wait up to 18 months to see a consultant – and then have to go on another waiting list for the op.

The Government’s own target says 95 per cent of patients should start treatment within 18 weeks of a GP referral.

Elaine, 48, has had cataract problems in one eye for around three years and in August, her optician referred her for surgery.

But Highland Health Board warned her she could face a long wait and instead sent her forms to enable her to have the operation done in Europe.

Elaine told of her shock at the offer yesterday, saying: “It makes me mad that I can take the money to go abroad but can’t have the operation here.

“Surely it cannot be economically viable to give money to hospitals abroad to get people off the waiting lists.”

Elaine, from Nairn, contacted her health board in December to ask if she could have her surgery at the Golden Jubilee hospital in Clydebank, where many minor ops are carried out – but she was told by the appointments secretary that the hospital was no longer being considered for such operations.

Elaine was told she could wait more than a year to see a consultant and would then join another waiting list for the operation itself.

At that point she was offered the chance to go abroad for surgery, with the NHS picking up the bill and Elaine paying for travel and other expenses.

Former NHS staffing officer Elaine now chairs the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Widows Association, which involves her driving all over the country – and with impaired vision, she is struggling to do her job.

She said: “Friends who are police officers have advised me against driving at night. If I was in an accident, questions would be asked.

“Older people waiting on cataract operations have different problems but for me it is driving to work which is affecting me most.

“When I spoke to the lady at Raigmore, she was very curt and told me I wasn’t even on the list for the operation.

“I asked about cancellations but she said I wouldn’t get one unless I was at the top of the list.

“She said there was a 12 to 18-month wait for a consultant’s appointment and then I would have to go on another list for the operation itself.

“And she wouldn’t even discuss how long the second waiting list is.”

Elaine added: “Cataract surgery only takes about 15 minutes. I could easily pop down to the Golden Jubilee but I was told that is no longer a possibility.

“However, under the European directive I can take the money it would cost for the op – about £925 – and use it in a country like Spain, France or Germany.

“The woman I spoke to said they would be happy for me to do this because it would remove me from the waiting list.”

Scottish Labour health spokesman Anas Sarwar said last night: “It is utterly unacceptable that Elaine is faced with another year to wait for an operation because our health service cannot cope.

“No patient should have to consider travelling across the EU for routine NHS treatment.”

NHS Highland said: “We are sorry the patient is unhappy. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with her directly.”

A Holyrood spokesman added: “We will be seeking further detail from NHS Highland to get clarity on the handling of this case.”

Link : Daily Record.