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  1. Yesterday
  2. News Article
    Patients have described the effect on their health and wellbeing of the “new normal” of drug shortages in the UK, which has led to three-month delays and 80-mile round trips to acquire medication. Simon Bell, a 43-year-old data analyst from Tyne and Wear, has cystic fibrosis and requires medication that allows him to digest food. “For people with cystic fibrosis, the part of our pancreas which releases enzymes and allows us to digest food doesn’t work, so we have to take these tablets, which does the job of what’s missing from our pancreas,” he says. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Bell says he has been experiencing shortages of Creon 25000, the drug he takes, and once was unable to get his medication for more than three months. Bell decided he had no choice but to stockpile the medication when he could get it, as the effects of going without the drug are much graver than taking a lower dose. “I went three months without getting any, so after that I started just to build up stock by not taking my full amount of medication every month, so now I always keep three months’ supply. Doctors would never advise this but I feel like I have no choice,” Bell says. The situation has prompted concerns for Bell that his other medications will begin experiencing shortages, which could make him seriously ill. “Kaftrio is an expensive drug that if we stop taking would make us really seriously ill,” he says. “If I couldn’t get hold of that medication that would have serious implications in terms of health, long-term health and my ability to work. It could be quite devastating.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 April 2024
  3. News Article
    The true scale of the number of medical trials using infected blood products on children in the 1970s and 80s has been revealed by documents seen by BBC News. They reveal a secret world of unsafe clinical testing involving children in the UK, as doctors placed research goals ahead of patients' needs. They continued for more than 15 years, involved hundreds of people, and infected most with hepatitis C and HIV. The trials involved children with blood clotting disorders, when families had often not consented to them taking part. The majority of the children who enrolled are now dead. Documents also show that doctors in haemophilia centres across the country used blood products, even though they were widely known as likely to be contaminated. Luke O'Shea-Phillips, 42, has mild haemophilia - a blood clotting disorder that means he bruises and bleeds more easily than most. He caught the potentially lethal viral infection hepatitis C while being treated at the Middlesex Hospital, in central London, which was administered because of a small cut to his mouth, aged three, in 1985. Documents seen by the BBC suggest he was deliberately given the blood product - which his doctor knew might have been infected - so he could be enrolled in a clinical trial. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 April 2024
  4. News Article
    Trusts and NHS England are failing to prioritise training for senior leaders on listening to whistleblowers — despite repeated findings of serious concerns going unheard — the National Guardian’s Office has said. The Guardian’s Office — set up by the government to ensure whistleblowers and other staff raising concerns are properly listened to — made the claim in its written evidence to an inquiry into NHS leadership, performance, and patient safety. The Commons health and social care committee is considering regulation of NHS leaders and managers, among other issues, including progress made on the 2022 report for ministers by General Sir Gordon Messenger. The NGO’s evidence, published on Wednesday, said: “In our opinion, there has been little progress on recommendations from the Messenger Review to date… “The NGO has developed, in collaboration with [NHSE], three e-learning modules (Speak Up, Listen Up, Follow Up) which are freely available for anyone who works in healthcare. We have recommended to the sector that these modules should be a minimum standard for all staff and be made mandatory. “Although accessible to all, many organisations have not adopted them, and NHS England has not prioritised these across the system.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 18 April 2024
  5. News Article
    Britain’s health cover market has grown by £385m in a year as the NHS crisis prompted more people to seek out private medical treatment and demand for dental insurance increased, according to a report. The total health cover market, including medical and dental insurance and cash plans, grew 6.1% to £6.7bn in 2022, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the health data provider LaingBuisson. About 4.2 million people were subscribed to medical cover schemes. Including dependants on the policies, 7.3 million people were covered – the highest number since 2008. The NHS waiting list in England continued to lengthen, to a peak of nearly 7.8m last September. In February, it was still 7.5m and half of the patients had been waiting for 18 weeks or longer. Private medical insurance, the largest part of the health cover market, grew by 6% year on year in 2022 to £5.3bn, more than triple the average annual growth rate of 1.8% between 2008 and 2019. After a decade of decline until 2018, more people signed up, particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic which led to a backlog of major procedures such as hip and knee replacements. Tim Read, author of the report, said: “Demand began to increase in 2018, as the NHS waiting list began to rise out of control. A new Labour government is likely to aim to tackle it but will have limited fiscal headroom to make substantial progress. “With people still struggling to access NHS services and the waiting list remaining stubbornly high, there is little likelihood that demand for health insurance is going to fall any time soon.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 April 2024
  6. News Article
    Predatory staff who target vulnerable adults in care homes are free to move jobs unchallenged, The Independent can reveal, as almost 10,000 incidents of sexual abuse have been recorded in the last three years. The fact that abusers can move from home to home emerged in an independent review sparked by complaints made three decades ago by the family of a man with learning disabilities. Clive Treacey was allegedly groomed and sexually abused at the age of 23 in a private care home in Cheshire and then moved to Staffordshire where his abuser was able to access him again, it was claimed. Both Mr Treacey and his alleged abuser have since died. His story was first reported by The Independent in 2021 and the review into his care – carried out by the most senior safeguarding expert in England Professor Michael Preston-Shoot and seen exclusively by this publication – showed huge failures in dealing with concerns raised by his family. It warned that vulnerable adults across the country could still be at risk of harm with no national guidance for officials on how to respond to allegations of abuse of adults by care home staff in positions of trust. Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 April 2024
  7. Last week
  8. News Article
    The Met Police has launched an investigation over concerns about stem-cell injections being offered to children as a cure for autism. The Royal Borough of Greenwich told BBC London it was aware of concerns surrounding "experimental procedures" on autistic children. The Met said it was investigating "a reported fraud relating to the provision of medical services". The National Autistic Society said there was no "cure" for autism. Greenwich Council said it issued a warning to schools and nurseries in the borough after it became aware of concerns. A spokesperson said the authority had recently been made aware of concerns that "an individual claiming to be a doctor plans to visit the UK to offer dangerous, experimental procedures on children with autism". "We understand that this person is proposing the transfer of bone marrow and spinal fluid to the brain by injection," the spokesperson said. "This unlicensed procedure poses a significant threat to life and there is no evidence of any benefits. "The safety and welfare of our children and young people is of the utmost importance." Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 April 2024
  9. News Article
    Doctors are being urged to reduce prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to dementia patients after the largest study of its kind found they were linked to more harmful side-effects than previously thought. The powerful medications are widely prescribed for behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia such as apathy, depression, aggression, anxiety, irritability, delirium and psychosis. Tens of thousands of dementia patients in England are prescribed them every year. Safety concerns have previously been raised about the drugs, with warnings to medics based on increased risks for stroke and death, but evidence of other dangers was less conclusive. New research suggests there are a considerably wider range of harms associated with their use than previously acknowledged in regulatory alerts, underscoring the need for increased caution in the early stages of treatment. Antipsychotic use in dementia patients was associated with elevated risks of a wide range of serious adverse outcomes, including stroke, blood clots, heart attack, heart failure, fracture, pneumonia and acute kidney injury, the study’s authors reported. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 April 2024
  10. News Article
    Nearly a dozen junior doctors have been relocated from a London hospital’s general surgery department by NHS England, after concerns about a culture of fear, poor support, and reports of bullying. NHSE has withdrawn 11 surgical foundation year trainees from Barnet Hospital, in north London, after a review uncovered concerns regarding staff behaviour and safety. The General Medical Council has opened a case into the hospital’s department, which is run by the Royal Free London Foundation Trust, and the trainees have been placed elsewhere in the trust. Colin Melville, the GMC’s medical director and director of education and standards, told HSJ: “Doctors in training in the department reported a culture of fear, worry, and feeling unsupported and unable to raise concerns in the appropriate manner. “There are also concerns over their supervision, bullying, and undermining behaviours in the department, as well as doctors’ physical and mental wellbeing. “Because of the [trust’s] failure to meet the high standards we require, we stand firmly with NHSE workforce, training, and education London’s decision to relocate the 11 trainees, [to] where they can work and learn in a supportive environment. “This action is necessary not only to ensure their safety, but to protect the public as well.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 April 2024
  11. News Article
    Preventable deaths of seven people from sepsis – including four children – have prompted coroners to flag major concerns about NHS services’ management of the condition. Since the start of March, six English coroners have sent formal warnings to trusts, NHS England and the government warning of systemic failures to spot sepsis and delays in administering antibiotic treatments. It comes after an HSJ investigation in February uncovered more than 30 avoidable deaths from sepsis, and undertook analysis of internal figures revealing repeated failures by NHS trusts to provide prompt treatment. Coroner warnings since March include: Two notices were sent this week by Nottingham assistant coroner Elizabeth Didcock to Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, raising concerns over its ability to provide safe paediatric care following the deaths of 10-week-old Tommy Gillman and five-year-old Meha Carneiro from sepsis; A warning from earlier in April criticising University Hospitals Birmingham FT for its failure to treat 56-year-old Tracey Farndon’s sepsis and low blood pressure. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 April 2024
  12. News Article
    Global supply problems have caused a “shock rise” in shortages of life-saving drugs like antibiotics and epilepsy medication, new research reveals. These shortages come at a cost to the patient and the taxpayer, and are happening despite the NHS spending hundreds of extra millions trying to mitigate the problem. The UK risks being left in the cold when it comes to co-ordinated EU attempts to tackle them. That’s according to a new report by the Nuffield Trust think tank and a group of academics, funded by the Health Foundation, which examined key indicators on drug shortages in the UK in the context of global problems with supply chains and the availability of key ingredients. It finds that the past two years have seen constantly elevated medicines shortages, in a "new normal" of frequent disruption to crucial products. Key findings on drugs shortages include: Price concessions (where the government gives extra funding because there are no drugs left at the NHS price) have risen sharply in recent months: prior to 2016 there were rarely more than 20 per month but in late 2022 they peaked at 199 and have remained high ever since. The excess cost for medicines in months when they were subject to price concessions was £220m across the year to September 2023. There are now over double the number of notifications by drugs companies warning of impending shortages than there were three years ago: in 2023 there were 1,634 such alerts issued, compared to 648 in 2020 (a spike in 2021 was caused by concerns over supply fears in Northern Ireland following Brexit). The UK has been slower to approve drugs than the EU for new drugs that are authorised centrally. Of drugs authorised in the year to December 2023, 56 drugs authorised in Europe were approved later in the UK and eight have not been approved. Four were approved faster. The report shows that the EU Exit has not caused the recent spike in medicine shortages, but it is likely to significantly weaken the UK’s ability to respond to them by splitting it from European supply chains, authorisations and collective efforts to respond to shortages. In particular, the research highlights the risks posed to the UK from being left out of key initiatives like the Critical Medicines Alliance and Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism, led by EU member states to work together to insulate themselves from the impact of medicines shortages. Read full story Source: The Nuffield Trust, 18 April 2024
  13. News Article
    Hospitals which rely heavily on locum doctors are 'undoubtedly' risking patient safety, a study of NHS practice found. While temporary staff are a 'vital resource' to plug workforce gaps, issues such as unfamiliarity with protocols and procedures mean they 'pose significant patient safety challenges' for the NHS, experts say. The report warned many were left feeling isolated and stigmatised by resident staff, creating a 'hostile environment'. This has led to a 'defensive' culture over mistakes, hindering improvements to care, according to researchers. Calling for greater monitoring by inspectors, NHS leaders must rethink how these professionals are supported and used, the authors said. Writing in a linked editorial, Professor Richard Lilford, of the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham, said the findings suggested 'the life of the locum is a difficult and lonely one, opening up many pathways to unsafe practice.' Likening it to airline pilots, he suggested staff would benefit from standardised practices – such as how the medicine cabinet is stocked – to minimise mistakes. Agencies providing staff should be given routine feedback by employers and locum staff, to enhance patient safety, he said. Read full story Source: MailOnline, 16 April 2024
  14. News Article
    This is a sick country, getting sicker. NHS waits will take years to clear, if at all. While people wait, they get sicker. When more and more people slip into absolute poverty – a fifth of people now – they get even sicker. More sicken as they age, and that peak has not yet been reached. Every part of the NHS feels at the sharp end, coping mostly because, amazingly, they just do, even with no end in sight to the stress. NHS data released last week on people waiting more than 18 weeks with serious heart problems suggests some will probably die before they get treatment. When waiting patients have heart attacks and strokes they call an ambulance – so there’s been an astonishing 7% rise in those category 1 calls. At an ambulance dispatch centre in Kent, Polly Toynbee listens in to calls like this at the South East Coast Ambulance Service dispatch centre in Gillingham, north Kent, covering Surrey, Sussex and Kent. She sat with D, a seasoned and sympathetic emergency medical adviser, call handler and life-and-death decider. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 April 2024
  15. News Article
    The Government is inviting views on how well GP practices and other NHS organisations are complying with their legal duty of candour when things go wrong. Patients and health professionals are being asked whether the statutory duty is well understood and adequately regulated by the CQC. Under the statutory duty of candour, introduced for all CQC-registered providers in 2015, GP practices must be open and honest with their patients when something goes wrong and has caused harm. In December, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced a review into whether healthcare providers are following the duty of candour rules. This was in response to concerns that the duty is not always being met and that there is variation in how the rules are being applied. The DHSC has published its ‘call for evidence’ to gather views on how well the duty of candour obligation is working for both patients and health professionals. Patients have been asked whether GP practices and other providers ‘demonstrate meaningful and compassionate engagement’ with patients who have been affected by an incident. The call for evidence also asks for views on whether the criteria for triggering the duty are appropriate and well understood by staff. Read full story Source: Pulse, 16 April 2024
  16. News Article
    The parents of a baby who died from sepsis said their son deserved a "fighting chance" after concerns were raised over his care in hospital. Ten-week-old Tommy Gillman was admitted to King's Mill hospital on 7 December 2022 but died the next day. Tommy Gillman, from Coddington, Nottinghamshire, was "extremely unwell" with what proved to be Salmonella Brandenburg meningitis when admitted to the Sutton-in-Ashfield hospital at 12:35 GMT. His assessment was delayed, and then the severity of his condition missed, meaning correct treatment with antibiotics and fluids did not start until 17:00. A coroner's report identified a lack of experienced paediatric nurses and confusion in handovers between staff. "I am not reassured that necessary actions to address these serious issues identified are in place," the coroner said. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it welcomed the review and a "rapid" programme of improvements was being worked on. Tamzin Myers and Charlie Gillman said their son deserved "a fighting chance" by getting prompt treatment Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 April 2024
  17. News Article
    Investigators have applied artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to gait analyses and medical records data to provide insights about individuals with leg fractures and aspects of their recovery. The study, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, uncovered a significant association between the rates of hospital readmission after fracture surgery and the presence of underlying medical conditions. Correlations were also found between underlying medical conditions and orthopedic complications, although these links were not significant. It was also apparent that gait analyses in the early postinjury phase offer valuable insights into the injury’s impact on locomotion and recovery. For clinical professionals, these patterns were key to optimizing rehabilitation strategies. "Our findings demonstrate the profound impact that integrating machine learning and gait analysis into orthopaedic practice can have, not only in improving the accuracy of post-injury complication predictions but also in tailoring rehabilitation strategies to individual patient needs," said corresponding author Mostafa Rezapour, PhD, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "This approach represents a pivotal shift towards more personalised, predictive, and ultimately more effective orthopaedic care." Read full story Source: Digital Health News, 12 April 2024
  18. News Article
    A record 3.7 million workers in England will have a major illness by 2040, according to research. On current trends, 700,000 more working-age adults will be living with high healthcare needs or substantial risk of mortality by 2040 – up nearly 25% from 2019 levels, according to a report by the Health Foundation charity. But the authors predicted no improvement in health inequalities for working-age adults by 2040, with 80% of the increase in major illness in more deprived areas. Researchers at the Health Foundation’s research arm and the University of Liverpool examined 1.7m GP and hospital records, alongside mortality data, which was then linked to geographical data to estimate the difference in diagnosed illness by level of deprivation in England in 2019, the last year of health data before the pandemic. They then projected how levels of ill health are predicted to change in England between 2019 and 2040 based on trends in risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, obesity, diet and physical activity, as well as rates of illness, life expectancy and population changes. Without action, the authors warn, people in the most deprived areas of England are likely to develop a major illness 10 years earlier than those in the least deprived areas and are also three times more likely to die by the age of 70. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 April 2024
  19. News Article
    Three in four NHS staff have struggled with a mental health condition in the last year, according to a new poll. A survey of workers carried out by NHS Charities Together over medics’ mental health comes as healthcare leaders were forced to reverse cuts to NHS Practitioner Health, a service for medics. A backlash from NHS staff over the proposed cuts forced health secretary Victoria Atkins to intervene. In the new poll of more than 1,000 NHS staff, 76% said they have experienced a health condition in the last year with 52% reporting anxiety, 51% reporting low mood, while 42% of respondents also said they’d experienced exhaustion. Meanwhile, the most recent NHS data shows the most common reasons for staff sickness are anxiety, stress, depression or other psychiatric conditions, with more than 586,600 working days lost over this in November 2023. NHS Practitioner Health began as a mental health service for GPs but has since expanded to other specialities following funding from NHS England. However, last week the provider announced this national funding was due to end, so its service would be reduced. NHS England said the decision was so it could review the services available for all NHS staff. However, it was forced to u-turn on the decision and agreed to provide funding for an additional year. Read full story Source: The Independent, 17 April 2024
  20. News Article
    The UK’s data protection regulator has published new guidance for health and social care organisations it says will help them be more transparent about how personal information is being used. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said the new guidance would provide regulatory certainty to organisations on how they should keep people properly informed as technology is increasingly used to deliver care and carry out research. The regulator said focus on the issue was needed as the health and social care sector routinely handles sensitive information about the most intimate aspects of peoples’ health, and that under data protection law, people have a right to know what is happening to their personal information. Being transparent is essential to building public trust in health and social care services Anne Russell, head of regulatory policy projects at the ICO, said the ever-increasing use of technology meant personal data was more important than ever, and so therefore was more transparency. “Being transparent is essential to building public trust in health and social care services,” she said. “If people clearly understand how and why their personal information is being used, they are likely to feel empowered to share their health information to both access care and support initiatives such as medical research. “As new technologies are developed and deployed in the health sector, our personal information is becoming more important than ever to boost the efficiency and public benefit of these systems. “With this bespoke guidance, we want to support health and social care organisations by improving their understanding of effective transparency, ensuring that they are clear, open and honest with everyone whose personal information is being used.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 15 April 2024
  21. News Article
    A regulator overseeing 340,000 professionals breached a psychologist’s human rights by letting their fitness-to-practise case go on for a decade, amid widespread very long delays, it has emerged. A judgment from the Health and Care Professions Tribunal said the “lamentable” situation for the registrant was down to the “disgraceful… manner in which the Healthcare Professions Council dealt with their case”. The HCPC oversees professional standards for several groups including radiographers, paramedics, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and operating department practitioners. If a complaint is made about a registrant, it can investigate and refer them to the tribunal, which can strike them off. The Society of Radiographers said the current speed of cases was “simply unacceptable” and its director of industrial strategy Dean Rogers added: “Our members spend too long working — and living — under the intense scrutiny of their regulator, often under the control of an interim order restricting or even preventing their practise while investigations drag on.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 April 2024
  22. News Article
    Researchers at the National Institutes of Health applied artificial intelligence (AI) to a technique that produces high-resolution images of cells in the eye. They report that with AI, imaging is 100 times faster and improves image contrast 3.5-fold. The advance, they say, will provide researchers with a better tool to evaluate age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other retinal diseases. "Artificial intelligence helps overcome a key limitation of imaging cells in the retina, which is time," said Johnny Tam, Ph.D., who leads the Clinical and Translational Imaging Section at NIH's National Eye Institute. Tam is developing a technology called adaptive optics (AO) to improve imaging devices based on optical coherence tomography (OCT). Like ultrasound, OCT is noninvasive, quick, painless, and standard equipment in most eye clinics. "Our results suggest that AI can fundamentally change how images are captured," said Tam. "Our P-GAN artificial intelligence will make AO imaging more accessible for routine clinical applications and for studies aimed at understanding the structure, function, and pathophysiology of blinding retinal diseases. Thinking about AI as a part of the overall imaging system, as opposed to a tool that is only applied after images have been captured, is a paradigm shift for the field of AI." Read full story Source: Digital Health News, 11 April 2024
  23. News Article
    The number of people dying needlessly in A&E soars on a Monday as hospitals are stretched to the limit and failing to discharge patients at the weekend, new data shows. Figures uncovered by The Independent show an average of 126 patients died every Monday between 2020-2023 – 25% higher than any other day. On a Saturday, the average number of deaths drops as low as 90. Waiting times are also shown to spike massively at the start of the week, with an average of 9,300 patients spending more than 12 hours waiting on a Monday – up to 2,000 more than any other day. Medical experts said the rise in A&E waits can be attributed to people staying away from hospitals during weekends and patients not being discharged from medical care, causing a bottleneck in an already buckling system. The stark statistics also directly contradict repeated government efforts to make the NHS a seven-day service. Multiple coroners have warned the government and health leaders about delays to patients’ treatment and diagnosis due to variations in staffing and access to specialists – particularly over the weekend. Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the NHS England data clearly signposted an “increased risk” at the start of the week. Another expert said the sharp rise in deaths on Mondays showed an A&E “running constantly in the red zone”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 8 April 2024
  24. News Article
    Many people with breast cancer are being “systematically left behind” due to inaction on inequities and hidden suffering, experts have said. A new global report suggests people with the condition are continuing to face glaring inequalities and significant adversity, much of which remains unacknowledged by wider society and policymakers. The Lancet Breast Cancer Commission highlights a need for better communication between medical staff and patients, and stresses the importance of early detection. It also highlights the need for improved awareness of breast cancer risk factors, with almost one in four cases (23%) of the disease estimated to be preventable. The Lancet Commission’s lead author, Professor Charlotte Coles, department of oncology, University of Cambridge, said: “Recent improvements in breast cancer survival represent a great success of modern medicine. “However, we can’t ignore how many patients are being systematically left behind. “Our commission builds on previous evidence, presents new data and integrates patient voices to shed light on a large unseen burden. “We hope that by highlighting these inequities and hidden costs and suffering in breast cancer, they can be better recognised and addressed by healthcare professionals and policymakers in partnership with patients and the public around the world.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 15 April 2024
  25. News Article
    Some people having a lung transplant on the NHS will receive a skin patch graft from their donor too as a way of spotting organ rejection sooner. Rejection could show as a rash on the donated skin patch, say experts, allowing early treatment to stop problems escalating. The trial, by University of Oxford and NHS Blood and Transplant, will enrol 152 patients in England. It follows earlier success with some other transplant patients, including Adam Alderson, 44, who received a donor skin graft on his abdomen in 2015 when he had eight organs replaced – including a pancreas, stomach and spleen – after treatment for a rare cancer. He says the graft has already helped guide his treatment a few times to prevent his body rejecting his many new organs. He said: "It's a really comforting thing to have - I feel safer knowing that I have a tool available to tell if something is going wrong before it becomes too serious. It's almost like an oil warning light on your car. Plus, having that visible reminder of how lucky I am is really special." Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 April 2024
  26. News Article
    Public protection and support for bereaved families are at the heart of a government overhaul of how deaths are certified. From September, medical examiners will look at the cause of death in all cases that haven’t been referred to the coroner in a move designed to help strengthen safeguards and prevent criminal activity. They will also consult with families or representatives of the deceased, providing an opportunity for them to raise questions or concerns with a senior doctor not involved in the care of the person who died. The changes demonstrate the government’s commitment to providing greater transparency after a death and will ensure the right deaths are referred to coroners for further investigation. Health Minister, Maria Caulfield said: Reforming death certification is a highly complex and sensitive process, so it was important for us to make sure we got these changes right. At such a difficult time, it’s vital that bereaved families have full faith in how the death of their loved one is certified and have their voices heard if they are concerned in any way. The measures I’m introducing today will ensure all deaths are reviewed and the bereaved are fully informed, making the system safer by improving protections against rare abuses. From 9 September 2024 it will become a requirement that all deaths in any health setting that are not referred to the coroner in the first instance are subject to medical examiner scrutiny. Welcoming the announcement today, Dr Suzy Lishman CBE, Senior Advisor on Medical Examiners for Royal College of Pathologists, said: “As the lead college for medical examiners, the Royal College of Pathologists welcomes the announcement of the statutory implementation date for these important death certification reforms. “Medical examiners are already scrutinising the majority of deaths in England and Wales, identifying concerns, improving care for patients and supporting bereaved people. The move to a statutory system in September will further strengthen those safeguards, ensuring that all deaths are reviewed and that the voices of all bereaved people are heard.” Read full story Source: Gov.UK, 15 April 2024
  27. News Article
    Tens of thousands of doctors are hoping to quit the NHS and move abroad this year in search of better pay, the medical regulator has warned. Half of the doctors planning to leave said they wanted to move to Australia, which has been the most popular destination for emigrating UK doctors for the past five years. The General Medical Council surveyed 3,154 doctors about their attitudes towards leaving the UK, including 1,000 who had recently left to practise abroad. Some 13% of those working in the NHS said they were “very likely” to move in the next 12 months, while another 17% said they were “fairly likely” to move. The GMC said this would amount to 96,000 doctors quitting over the next year if applied to the total number of doctors on the medical register, although it acknowledged that the actual rate of departures was likely to be much lower. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 12 April 2024
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