The pain of waiting for a knee operation

  • 9 August 2018
  • From the section Health
Richard Cubis

Richard Cubis, 69, has learned to live with Parkinson's - but it's the constant pain in his knee he finds most difficult.

He was put on a waiting list for a knee replacement in May 2017. Since then, there have been four cancellations.

Had it gone ahead, he says, he would have been able to walk a little and be less reliant on his wheelchair.

"I feel left behind - I feel disgruntled I wasn't put on a priority list," he says. "I feel a prisoner in a room because I can't get out no matter how hard I try."

His local hospital said it was very sorry but it had a significant backlog of cases. It is an experience familiar to other patients.

Read full article The pain of waiting for a knee operation

Why did more people die in depths of last winter?

  • 1 August 2018
  • From the section Health
Elderly man receiving care Image copyright Getty Images

Every year, more people die in the winter than the summer. Excess winter deaths, largely linked to the cold weather and flu, are expected.

But they were even higher this past winter in England and Wales than in previous years, and experts are concerned.

Read full article Why did more people die in depths of last winter?

Tech an early priority for health secretary

  • 20 July 2018
  • From the section Health
Anaesthetist in a hospital Image copyright Getty Images

More GP consultations via Skype and barcode tracking of patients and their treatments in hospitals - these are two of the uses of technology the new health and social care secretary was enthusing about in his first speech since taking on the job.

Matt Hancock sees the tech agenda in the NHS as one of his early priorities.

Read full article Tech an early priority for health secretary

New leadership, same old problems

  • 10 July 2018
  • From the section Health
Matt Hancock Image copyright EPA

It's a big deal for the NHS in England after nearly six years with a secretary of state with whom it had become very familiar. Jeremy Hunt was the longest serving health secretary since the post was created. His departure to the Foreign Office is akin to regime change.

Now, the health world will have to tune in to the thinking of his successor, Matt Hancock. So what difference will his arrival make and how will he deal with the unrelenting pressures on the health service and his first winter in the job?

Read full article New leadership, same old problems

Is the NHS a champion or an also-ran?

  • 25 June 2018
  • From the section Health
NHS

How good is the NHS? It's a question much debated over the years, even more so with the 70th birthday celebrations under way.

If there was an Olympics for healthcare, where would the NHS be in the medal table?

Read full article Is the NHS a champion or an also-ran?

NHS plan: What we still need to know

  • 18 June 2018
  • From the section Health
Female surgeon Image copyright Science Photo Library

It was a significant funding announcement - few at senior levels in the NHS in England disagree with that.

But as the dust settles after the weekend, several unanswered questions are still hanging in the air.

Read full article NHS plan: What we still need to know

Relaxing visa rules for doctors and nurses

  • 6 June 2018
  • From the section Health
A doctor with stethoscope Image copyright SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A letter to the prime minister from leading health think tanks is the latest plea for a rethink on visa rules that have affected NHS recruitment from outside the European Union. They argue that the NHS workforce is "facing a crisis" with shortages of key staff.

The chief executives of the King's Fund, the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation have come together to make a joint submission to Downing Street ahead of the much-anticipated long-term plan for the NHS promised by Theresa May.

Read full article Relaxing visa rules for doctors and nurses

Hospital loans from government 'unmanageable'

  • 1 June 2018
  • From the section Health
Woman climbing a hill carrying a large stone Image copyright Getty Images

The financial struggles of the NHS in England are a major talking point. The government has promised a new long-term funding plan. But could it be making life harder for hospitals by charging interest on nearly £5bn of loans made over the last few years? Some trusts are even being hit with interest rates of 6%.

That's one of the claims in a new report by former health secretary Alan Milburn and colleagues at the consultancy firm PwC, in partnership with the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Read full article Hospital loans from government 'unmanageable'

A&E statistics 'worse than reported'

  • 17 May 2018
  • From the section Health
Accident and Emergency Department Image copyright PA

The official monthly accident and emergency figures in England for the final months of last year claim more than 85% of patients were treated or assessed within the four-hour target - but those figures are almost certainly wrong.

Estimates by NHS England - taking account of factors that have since come to light - suggests December's figure was 84.9%.

Read full article A&E statistics 'worse than reported'

Tide turns on obesity strategy

  • 15 May 2018
  • From the section Health
People jogging Image copyright Getty Images

It wasn't long ago when ministers were worried that any intervention to curb what is marketed to British shoppers might upset retailers and provoke accusations of a "nanny state".

But the tide seems to be turning.

Read full article Tide turns on obesity strategy