NHS consultants: Overworked or overpaid?

  • 27 July 2016
  • From the section Health
Consultant running Image copyright Thinkstock

The sums are eye-watering. Consultants in a quarter of trusts are making six-figure sums each year from overtime alone.

In one case, the total is in excess of £200,000 and in another it is £375,000. That is over and above their basic salary, which is just shy of £90,000 for the average consultant. These are amounts many people could only ever dream about.

Make no mistake, there is disquiet in the health service about these payments.

Hospital managers recognise they are not the best use of money. But they feel they have been left with little choice.

They are under pressure to hit waiting time targets, cope with rising demand and deal with the consequences of over-run emergency departments (which leads to other treatments being postponed).

Read full article NHS consultants: Overworked or overpaid?

Hunt's Houdini act: What next?

  • 15 July 2016
  • From the section Health
Jeremy Hunt Image copyright PA

Barring the appointment of Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, the decision to keep Jeremy Hunt in the health brief in England was perhaps the biggest surprise of Theresa May's new cabinet.

Tipped for the chop ahead of the announcement, he ended up keeping his job - but only after it was widely reported he had lost it.

Read full article Hunt's Houdini act: What next?

Why the No vote means nothing and everything

  • 6 July 2016
  • From the section Health
Rejected sign Image copyright Aquir

There is a precedent for the No vote by junior doctors and medical students over their new contract.

Back in 2002, consultants in England rejected the terms on offer and British Medical Association negotiators went back into talks with the government. A year later, a deal was agreed second time round and the contract was brought in.

Read full article Why the No vote means nothing and everything

Has Brexit ended junior doctors dispute?

  • 4 July 2016
  • From the section Health
Demonstrators at a rally and protest march for junior doctors in London Image copyright PA

Stop the press. In two days' time we will get another referendum result.

But it's not about the EU this time. It's the result of the junior doctors' vote on whether to accept their new contract in England.

Read full article Has Brexit ended junior doctors dispute?

How red bags are bringing NHS and care homes closer

  • 27 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Care home residents are sent to hospital with a red bag containing belongings and vital information Image copyright Other

Like many good ideas, the way the NHS and care sectors in the London borough of Sutton are working together more closely is a relatively simple concept.

When a care home resident needs to go into a hospital, a red bag is packed for them.

Read full article How red bags are bringing NHS and care homes closer

Has NHS failure become the new norm?

  • 21 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Nurse Image copyright wavebreakmedia

With both the doctors' and nurses' annual conferences taking place in Belfast and Glasgow respectively, this would normally be a week when the state of the NHS takes top billing.

But not this year. The coverage is pretty muted. Of course, the EU referendum has something to do with that.

Read full article Has NHS failure become the new norm?

Gardening and volunteering: The new wonder drugs?

  • 13 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Volunteers Image copyright Thinkstock

Last week was national volunteers' week, a chance to celebrate the role volunteers play in society.

Their impact is immense. Some studies have put the value at over £50bn, making the voluntary sector as big as the energy industry.

Read full article Gardening and volunteering: The new wonder drugs?

Is the ambulance service in crisis?

  • 23 May 2016
  • From the section Health
Back of ambulance Image copyright Thinkstock

It is perhaps one of the untold stories of the health service. While there has been acres of coverage of the junior doctors dispute, the rising waiting times in A&E and the money problems bedevilling the NHS, the plight of the ambulance service has slipped, by-and-large, under the radar.

But of all the parts of the NHS, it is arguably the one under the most strain and where delays have the greatest impact.

Read full article Is the ambulance service in crisis?

Junior doctor contract: How the two sides moved

  • 30 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Contract Image copyright Devonyu

After months of deadlock and strikes, the government and the British Medical Association finally reached a deal on a new contract in England in May.

The deal has since been rejected in a vote of junior doctors, although it is well on its way to being introduced.

Read full article Junior doctor contract: How the two sides moved

What yoghurt tells us about the obesity fight

  • 9 May 2016
  • From the section Health
Bowl of yoghurt Image copyright Getty Images

When it comes to understanding the challenge facing the nation on obesity, yoghurt is a good place to start.

It's one of the most common items in our shopping basket. We spend more on it than we do on crisps and bacon.

Read full article What yoghurt tells us about the obesity fight