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NHS care ‘among the worst in Europe’ due to under-investment

Nursing Notes

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The NHS has been ranked as one of the worst health care systems in Europe due to chronic under-investment, a major study has declared.

The UK has been ranked 30th in a global list of countries assessed for health care quality and deemed as lagging behind many of its European neighbours like France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

Experts are blaming the low ranking on chronic under-investment in specialist cancer care and many hospitals failing to meet emergency care targets.

In other categories the UK achieved the best possible score of 100 for treating common vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and measles.

The study, published in The Lancet, looks at the provision and availability of healthcare to patients between 1995-2015.

Professor Martin McKee, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who co-led the study, said: “The UK has made consistent progress since 1990, but with a score of 85, it now lags behind many of its European neighbours, including Finland, Sweden, Spain and Italy, all of which have health systems very similar to the British NHS and so are most directly comparable”. “The gap between what the UK achieves and what it would be expected to, given its level of development, is also wider than in other western European countries.”

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Primary Care

Morning after pill can now be bought online for £4.99

Sarah J

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Online pharmacy Chemist 4 U has revealed they will be selling the morning after pill to women for just £4.99 per pack.

Initially, the online-only pharmacy was praised for making the morning after pill more accessible for women at an affordable price but some have criticised the move.

Women will be able to buy as many as three packs of Levonelle, a generic version of the pill, from the online pharmacy in six months.

Campaigners on reproductive ethics have been quick to condemn the initiative, explaining that the accessibility presents the morning-after pill as regular contraception, when professional advice is to only use it in emergencies.

Shamir Patel, Managing Director of Chemist 4 U, told The Independent;

“We always advise women in an emergency situation, to go to their nearest pharmacy that day, rather than waiting a day to receive it from an online pharmacy.

“However our belief is, an advanced supply from us avoids the panic in the unlikely event of barrier method failure. We advise all patients that EHC should not be used as a regular contraceptive method”.

Other retailers such as Boots and Superdrug have recently drastically reduced the cost of the morning after pill following calls from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

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Primary Care

May set to end public sector pay cap

Sarah J

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Reports indicate that Theresa May and Phillip Hammond are drawing up plans to remove the public sector pay cap.

Experts say that Theresa May is drawing up plans to end the seven-year cap on public sector pay, which currently restricts annual public sector pay increases to 1 per cent. It is thought mounting from public sector unions and finally contributed towards this change in policy.

Despite voting against the removal of the pay cap earlier this year, several senior ministers, including Boris Johnson Michael Fallon are in reportedly in support of dropping the unpopular policy.

The announcement is expected to take place when Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, sends guidance letters to the pay review bodies, including the NHSPRB, later this month.

Removal of the pay cap for all 5 million public sector employees would cost an estimated £4 billion a year.

A Downing Street spokesperson said;

“We are listening.

“We know that many people in the public and private sector feel they are just about managing.”

Many claim removal of the pay cap will help with staff shortages in certain areas, such as nursing, teaching and the senior civil service.

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