Can the NHS get all the doctors and nurses it needs?

  • 3 June 2019
  • From the section Health
Nurses walking in a hospital Image copyright Science Photo Library

It is one of the biggest challenges for the NHS in all parts of the UK - ensuring there are enough nurses, doctors and other health staff to cope with rising patient demand in future years.

With intensifying recruitment problems across the service, an important report on the future NHS workforce in England has been keenly anticipated for weeks.

But a widely-expected launch last week was postponed at the last minute.

Then a press release shortly before midnight on Sunday gave a few hours' notice for anyone still awake that the report would be released at 06:00 BST on Monday morning, on a day dominated by the arrival of the US president and preparations for the D-Day commemorations.

Some groups representing staff received no advance notice.

Read full article Can the NHS get all the doctors and nurses it needs?

Social care in England - will it ever be addressed?

  • 30 May 2019
  • From the section Health
Care worker in home (generic) Image copyright MartinPrescott/Getty Images

It is one of the main domestic issues of our times - how to pay for social care with an ageing population.

The government at Westminster promised a policy paper for adult social care in England back in 2017.

Read full article Social care in England - will it ever be addressed?

Opioid painkillers: Alarm bells are ringing

  • 16 May 2019
  • From the section Health
Opioids Image copyright Getty Images

It is said to be a public health crisis in the US and Canada and officials there have branded it an "opioid epidemic".

But an authoritative report emphasises there are increasing problems with opioid painkiller addiction and abuse in other leading economies - including the UK.

Read full article Opioid painkillers: Alarm bells are ringing

Cystic fibrosis drug campaign makes no progress in year

  • 10 May 2019
  • From the section Health
Child with cystic fibrosis in a hospital bed Image copyright Getty Images

It is a year on from the delivery of more than 1,000 letters to Downing Street, many of them from children, pleading for access to a cystic fibrosis drug, called Orkambi. But there is still no decision on whether it will be made available on the NHS.

At the time, in May 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May said there was an ongoing dialogue with the drug company Vertex and she hoped for a "speedy resolution to the negotiations".

Read full article Cystic fibrosis drug campaign makes no progress in year

Bereaved father leads NHS movement against suicide

  • 9 May 2019
  • From the section Health
Edward Mallen took his life at 18, as he was about to go to Cambridge University Image copyright The MindEd Trust
Image caption Edward Mallen killed himself shortly after his 18th birthday

It has been a painful journey for Steve Mallen, whose 18-year-old son killed himself in 2015.

Edward Mallen was a talented student who had won a place at Cambridge University.

Read full article Bereaved father leads NHS movement against suicide

Blood inquiry seeks answers at last

  • 30 April 2019
  • From the section Home
Derek Martindale
Image caption Derek Martindale was given a year to live

It has been a long time coming - more than three decades to be precise.

At long last a full public inquiry into the infected blood scandal has started a process which will attempt to give victims and their families some answers.

Read full article Blood inquiry seeks answers at last

Brexit: NHS no-deal fears prompt call for drugs export ban

  • 29 March 2019
  • From the section Health
Generic image of pharmaceutical capsule tablets Image copyright Getty Images

Pharmaceutical industry leaders want a temporary ban on drugs exports to prevent the NHS being hit by shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The call came from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

Read full article Brexit: NHS no-deal fears prompt call for drugs export ban

Social care 'national scandal and disgrace'

  • 4 March 2019
  • From the section Health
Elderly care
Image caption Demand for social care is soaring

It is one of the biggest domestic policy issues of our times - where should the balance be struck between the individual and the state's responsibility for paying for care in old age? A much-anticipated government policy paper for England has still not surfaced.

Experts are calling it a "national scandal" with services in parts of the country near collapse and millions of vulnerable people deprived of the care and support they need.

Read full article Social care 'national scandal and disgrace'

Could patients become their own doctors?

  • 12 February 2019
  • From the section Health
man using a screen Image copyright Getty Images

An NHS where patients stay at home and rarely attend GP surgeries or hospital out-patient appointments is likely in a decade's time, according to US health expert Dr Eric Topol, who was asked by ministers to look at how technology would change the role of health staff in England.

Many patients, according to his report, will be managing their own long-term conditions, for example high blood pressure and lung disease, with wearable devices and sensors, which will be much more effective than occasional appointments with a doctor.

Read full article Could patients become their own doctors?

Could NHS have been doing more operations?

  • 4 February 2019
  • From the section Health
Surgery Image copyright Getty Images

The number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for routine operations such as hip and knee replacements is rising year on year in England.

The total waiting list of more than 4.1 million is up more than 10% over 12 months.

Read full article Could NHS have been doing more operations?