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PM suggests NHS could be a part of US trade deal

Nursing Notes

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Theresa May insists the government would remain ‘committed to an NHS that is free at the point of use’ but couldn’t comment further.

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Prime Minister Theresa May says she can only commit to a health service that is free at the point of delivery, but could not comment on whether the NHS would be off the table in trade deal discussions.

During an interview with the Independent May was asked if UK health services might form a part of a potential deal, she said: “We’re at the start of the process of talking about a trade deal. We’re both very clear that we want a trade deal. It will be in the interests of the UK from my point of view”, “I believe we can come to an agreement that is in the interests of both”.

When asked again whether the NHS would be off the table she said: “As regards the NHS, we’re very clear as a Government that we’re committed to an NHS that is free at the point of use.”

The statement left open the possibility of the greater involvement of US firms in UK healthcare, as long as people do not have to pay for the services they provide at the moment they are received.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. somersetsage

    27th April 2017 at 9:15 pm

    “free at the point of use” gives the impression nothing will change for the patient. If pressed they will say, ‘who cares if the provider is state or private as long as the treatment is effective. But context is everything. Private contractors might be better funded but that investment would have to be recovered and a profit earned for the shareholders. Bids have to be adjudicated and evaluated and that involves both lawyers and accountants. The companies incur costs in advertising and lobbying. If the companies have to access other parts of the NHS, then that needs to be charged and the process itself has a cost. If the NHS teams do not get the contract, they are likely to be disbanded or absorbed into the new team. This divides the work force; no longer are they all working for the same employer, and their career depends the new employers.
    The extra costs and probable loss of central oversight will affect the ‘point of use’.

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NMC says regulation for nursing associates moves a step closer

James M

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council say regulation for nursing associates is getting closer and is expected by July 2018.

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has welcomed the Department of Health’s consultation on proposed changes to its legislation to enable the regulation of nursing associates.

The consultation follows the decision of the NMC’s Council to agree to regulate the new role, following a request from the Secretary of State for Health in January 2017.

Earlier this month the NMC released it’s draft standards of proficiency for Nursing Associates.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“This consultation is a vital step towards the NMC becoming the regulator of nursing associates.

“It’s always been our ambition to open the register to nursing associates in January 2019, when the first trainees qualify. But in order to do so, it’s critical that Government drives through the necessary changes to our legislation, to ensure that we’re able to protect the public from the moment the first qualified nursing associates begin to practise.”

The NMC expects the necessary changes to its legislation to come into force by July 2018. This will give the regulator six months until the first trainees qualify to complete the activities that need to be in place in order to open the register. This includes approving the NMC’s Rules and fees, approval of the final nursing associate standards and approval of nursing associates programme providers.

The consultation, Regulation of Nursing Associates in England, will run from 16 October to 26 December.

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Snacks sold in hospital shops should be under 250 calories

James M

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Image: Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

NHS England says snacks sold in hospitals canteens or shops should all be under 250 calories.

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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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