This is a new feature where we look back on the weeks NHS news.

We include our own analysis, links for further information as well as showing reaction to ensure you are kept up to date and informed about what is happening to the NHS.

Since this is our first Weekly roundup, this edition will feature news from the past two weeks.

Weekly news catchup


Picture credit: AO Weekly

21/07/2017  - Edited by Tom Robinson


Published: 11/07/2017

The authors of the North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) have given a clear warning about the dangers of making further savings after they were ordered by NHS England to cut a further £61m from their financial plans.

Local health bosses pointed out that extra savings could not be made without 'major' changes to access and quality of care and could see waiting times lengthened, less money for life-saving drugs and even emergency departments and maternity units closing.

North Central London is one of fourteen Capped Expenditure Process (CEP) areas - a scheme for areas that have been unable to meet financial targets and are now being told they must make ‘think the unthinkable’ to cut spending.

Full story avaliable in the BMA


Published 11/07/2017

Public health budgets face cuts of £85m in a move deemed “damaging to people’s health and wellbeing” by the BMA.

Local authorities in England are being forced to spend more than 5 per cent less this year on public health initiatives than in 2013-14, according to a new analysis from the King’s Fund.

David Buck, the health think tank’s senior fellow in policy, used data from local governments and the Department of Communities to calculate that planned spending on sexual health services has fallen by £64m, or 10 per cent, over the past four years.

Full story in The Independent


Every £1 spent on public health in the UK saves an average of £14 and yet we are not investing in it. There has already been a cut of £200m cut in the 2015/16 public health budget. Children's health has been put at risk according to an RCN report as the number of health visitors has fallen by 16% since 2010.

A well-funded Public Health service is extremely important as it keeps people healthy and out of hospital. This short-sighted spending cut will place more pressure on overburdened services and cost more in the long run.


Published: 14/07/2017

The NHS was revealed to be the best, safest and most affordable healthcare system out of 11 analysed by the Commonwealth Fund thinktank.

This marks the second time in a row that the study, which takes place every three years has found the UK to have the highest-rated healthcare system.

The NHS achieved the ranking despite the longest budget sqeeze in its history and serious understaffing. It is particuarly notable since the UK puts the fourth smallest amount of GDP into healthcare among the 11 countries.

Full story in the Guardian


The NHS has consistently shown itself to be excellent value for money as it provides wider access than any other country but spends less than most. However its performance has slipped since the last comparison in 2014, a sure sign of the impact of the long financial squeeze on health and social care. Its poor rating on outcomes compared to some other countries requires action; such as earlier detection of disease, investment in prevention, more community-based aftercare and an uplift in staffing numbers. However this requires the government to commit more funding and yet the current financial squeeze is not only holding back progress, but threatening patient safety.

Some say this shows the system is broken, but changing to a new method of funding won't solve it and will be less fair and more expensive.

Nevertheless, the NHS has shown itself to be incredibly resilient in dealing with the growing numbers of people using its services - whilst resources are being cut.

Over a quarter of NHS staff work overtime for no additional pay, but there is a limit to how much pressure we can ask them to bear  and adequate funding is now an urgent part of the solution.


Published: 16/07/2017

Operations on children and young people are being cancelled in huge numbers due to NHS staffing shortages, Labour revealed last Friday.

More than 12,000 procedures – including for broken bones and treatments under anaesthetic – were scrapped last year, a rise of 35 per cent in just three years, the party said.

A lack of available anaesthetists, surgeons, consultants or theatre staff, as well as bed shortages and a lack of theatre time, were key reasons given by health bodies for the cancellations.

Full story in The Independent


Published: Across time and space

Jodie Whittaker was revealed as the 13th Doctor Who on Sunday.

Prompting Lord Buckethead, who infamously stood in Theresa May's constituency on a mandate of "strong, not entirely stable, leadership" to express their concern on twitter about the NHS staffing crisis.

lord buckethead

Ms.Whittaker who is the first woman to play the role was welcomed by her fellow doctors upon the announcement.

However, before she takes on the role of a centuries old timelord, Whittaker will play a fake NHS doctor in the BBCs somewhat more sombre new drama 'Trust me'.


Published: 19/07/2017

Hospitals are being urged to urgently more than double the number of consultants on duty in A&E units in order to ensure that patients receive safe care. The NHS in England must recruit 2,200 extra A&E consultants in the next five years, more than the 1,632 who already work there, according to the body representing emergency medicine doctors.

The increase is needed to help the NHS avoid the sort of winter crisis that occurred last winter and to stop A&E doctors quitting due to burnout, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) claims. Dr Taj Hassan, the college’s president, said the costs of such a dramatic rise could be covered by redirecting the £400m a year hospitals currently have to spend on locum and agency A&E doctors as a result of understaffing.

Full story in The Guardian


Published: 20/07/2017

The Government has been urged to tighten checks on private hospitals used by the HS after a young patient with an open wound contracted MRSA on a private mental health ward.

The incident took place on a child and adolescent mental health ward at Cygnet hospital Sheffield, which was rated inadequate in terms of safety by the Care Quality Commission.

Full story in The Guardian

Analysis: On our sister site: NHS For Sale we show the impact privatisation is having on the NHS. Both in terms of cost and quality of care suffering.