Four Million NHS patients are currently on waiting lists for surgery – the highest number in the last ten years.
Official NHS performance statistics have revealed that over 4 million patients are currently waiting to be admitted to hospital in England to have surgery – this is the highest number in last 10 years.
Experts have said that an ongoing stream of missed performance targets in A&E, surgical waiting lists and cancer care, clearly demonstrates that the health service is now unsustainable unless it receives additional funding.
Shortages of money, staff and primary care mean that the NHS can not cope with an ongoing and unprecedented rise in demand.
Danny Mortimer, the Deputy Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, said;
“The current system is unsustainable. We simply do not have the resources to deliver what the public now expects”.
The statistics show that just over 4 million patients were waiting to undergo non-urgent operations such as a cataract removals and hip replacements at the end of June – the highest figure since August 2007 and the second highest ever on record.
Jonathan Ashworth, The Shadow Health Secretary, said: “It is staggering that this government have allowed the NHS waiting list to rise over 4 million. A year of Theresa May’s mismanagement of the NHS has pushed services to the brink and left thousands more waiting in pain for routine operations.”
NHS trusts pressuring staff to help meet vaccination targets
Front-line staff are reporting that NHS trusts are pressuring staff into receiving the influenza vaccine in order to achieve governmental targets.
Front-line NHS staff claim they are getting ever-increasing pressure to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine as cash-strapped NHS trusts strive to hit the ‘Flu Fighter’ CQUIN, which provides significant financial incentives for trusts who vaccinate a proportion of their staff.
This news follows last weeks announcement that NHS England will write to all healthcare workers reminding them of their “professional duty” to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine.
One member of staff, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims she was forced to sign a ‘Declination of Influenza Vaccine‘ document by their NHS Trust which states refusal of the vaccine may have ‘life-threatening’ consequences and asks for the reason for refusal.
A spokesperson for NursingNotes said;
“While receiving the vaccine is an important part of infection control, like any patient, staff must provide informed consent and have a right to refuse the vaccination”.
A spokesperson for the RCN said:
“We encourage all nursing staff to have the vaccine. It plays an important part in infection control and preventing sickness absence”.
The NHS Employers ‘Flu Fighter’ campaign is part of an initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS employees.
Snacks sold in hospital shops should be under 250 calories
NHS England says snacks sold in hospitals canteens or shops should all be under 250 calories.
NHS Hospitals will be given cash incentives to comply with a new ‘healthy eating’ campaign which will see a significant reduction in the number of sugary snacks, drinks and confectionary inside hospital shops and canteens.
The proposals will also extend to sandwiches, which must be under 400 calories, and all other pre-packed savoury meals, which should contain no more than 5g of saturated fat per 100g. Cans and bottles of sugary soft drinks are also covered by the ban, as well as sugary drinks made in cafes and canteens such as coffees with sugar syrup.
Hospital chiefs will need to ensure that 80% of items sold do not exceed the 250-calorie limit in order to receive the cash bonus.
It is unknown if this ban will extend to third-party organisations such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks.
Research has suggested that almost 700,000 of 1.3 million NHS employees are overweight or obese.
Last year, controversial expert hypnotist Steve Miller said healthcare professionals should lead the fight against the fat and wants overweight NHS staff to carry ‘I’m fat, but I’m losing it’ badges to inspire patients and colleagues.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, said:
“The NHS is now stepping up action to combat the super-size snack culture which is causing an epidemic of obesity, preventable diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease and cancer. “In place of calorie-laden, sugary snacks we want to make healthier food an easy option for hospital staff, patients and visitors.”
NHS England has pledged to boost the sale of healthy foods and end promotions of sugary and fatty or salty foods at checkouts.
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