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England's poorest 'get worse NHS care' than wealthiest citizens

England’s poorest people get worse NHS care than its wealthiest citizens, including longer waiting for A&E treatment and worse experience of GP services, a new study has shown.

Those from the most deprived areas have fewer hip replacements and are admitted to hospital with bed sores more often than people from the least deprived areas. With regard to emergency care, 14.3% of the most deprived had to wait more than the supposed maximum of four hours to be dealt with in A&E in 2017-18, compared with 12.8% of the wealthiest. Similarly, just 64% of the former had a good experience making a GP appointment, compared with 72% of those from the richest areas.

Research by the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation thinktanks found that the poorest people were less likely to recover from mental ill-health after receiving psychological therapy and be readmitted to hospital as a medical emergency soon after undergoing treatment.

The findings sparked concern because they show that poorer people’s health risks being compounded by poorer access to NHS care.

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Source: The Guardian, 23 January 2020

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East Kent hospitals: Care watchdog inspects trust after baby death apology

England's care watchdog has carried out a no-notice inspection of an NHS trust at the centre of concerns over the possible preventable deaths of babies. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is investigating East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust but has not yet decided whether to prosecute.

It comes as the trust is likely to be heavily criticised at an inquest into the death of baby Harry Richford.

On Thursday, the BBC revealed significant concerns have been raised about maternity services at the trust, and a series of preventable baby deaths may have occurred there. On Wednesday and Thursday this week, the trust's maternity services were subject to an unannounced inspection from the CQC.

On Thursday night, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust said in a statement: "We are truly sorry for the death of baby Harry and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Harry's family. We accept that Harry's care fell short of the standard that we expect to offer every mother giving birth in our hospital and we are fully cooperating with the CQC's investigation into Harry Richford's death."

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Source: BBC News, 24 January 2020

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