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NHS private firms plan condemned

The Government's proposal to give GPs on the NHS banker-style bonuses and allow private firms to profit from the health sector represents "the worst kind of excess", MPs have been told. But Health Secretary Andrew Lansley insisted the move would improve the quality of service because doctors will get more say on commissioning treatment.

Treat prisoners via videolink, says MP

Medical consultations should be given to prisoners via videolink to cut costs and discourage them from absconding, an MP has said. Conservative backbencher Philip Davies said a system to allow doctors to treat patients via videolink had already been developed by a technology firm in his Shipley constituency. Speaking in the House of Commons, he […]

Cost of lacklustre dementia support

A lack of support on offer for people with dementia within their own homes will force about 50,000 sufferers into care homes prematurely, experts have said. A report has highlighted the inadequate help available for people with dementia to complete everyday tasks such as dressing, washing and shopping. This is making it difficult for those […]

Patients “to consult their GP by email”

Plans to free up GPs’ surgeries could see patients told to email their doctor and describe their symptoms, it has been reported. Patients would be asked to electronically submit a description of their condition, which would be answered by doctors later in the day, under the system reportedly being considered by ministers. Doctors would then […]

NHS fraud case ‘up by one third’

Fraud investigations in the NHS have increased by 37% in the last three years, according to official figures. The NHS Counter Fraud Service revealed that the amount of potential fraud detected and probed rose amid the economic downturn, from 351 in 2007/08 to 415 in 2008/09 and reached 482 in 2009/10. The value of the […]

Senior MP demands alcohol debate

Government plans to tackle cheap supermarket alcohol prices have been branded a "huge disappointment" by a senior Liberal Democrat. Bath MP Don Foster said efforts to deal with "pocket money-priced" drinks had not gone far enough and called for a Commons debate on the issue. Mr Foster insisted that Home Office ministers needed to face […]

Flu vaccine orders “to be centralised”

Ordering flu vaccines could be brought under central control after a "mismatch" in supplies this winter left some areas with a shortage and others with a surplus. The Government's director of immunisation, Professor David Salisbury, has said there is a "pretty compelling" case for moving responsibility away from GPs to central control and health minister […]

Swine flu fuels sharp rise in deaths

The majority of people who have died from flu in the UK had the swine flu virus, figures show. The number of deaths from flu has reached 254 since September, a substantial rise on the 112 deaths recorded last week, with 195 of the 214 deaths on which information is available linked to the H1N1 […]

GPs could lose control of flu jab orders

GPs might have to relinquish control of ordering future flu vaccines after complaints about this winter's programme, according to the Government's director of immunisation. Professor David Salisbury said there are issues over the way GPs are paid for the task but there is a "pretty compelling" case for the Government to take control.

GPs control care services in Bexley

A borough of south-east London is one of the first areas in England where GPs have taken full responsibility for commissioning services for patients under the Government's radical NHS reform proposals.