NHS pays firms £181m to care for patients with serious mental illnesses

Due to a severe shortage of NHS mental health beds in England, the NHS has been left with no option but to pay private institutions such as the Priory increased sums to provide residential rehabilitation each year.

“The NHS is paying private firms an “eye-watering” £181m a year to look after people with serious mental health problems in units often hundreds of miles from their homes.” – The Guardian.

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NHS Procurement Rules under attack

An online campaign survey has revealed huge support for an overhaul of the current procurement requirements within the NHS and to free the NHS from overly rigid procurement requirements.

A survey run by 38 Degrees asked “to what extent do you agree that the law should be changed so that contracts to run NHS services no longer have to be put up for auction?” In response to this, 89% expressed that they strongly agreed.

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NHS launches digital capacity tracker for care home places to cut ‘bed blocking’

The NHS has this week launched an online portal to assist NHS hospitals in identifying care home places for patients upon discharge. 

Elderly and infirm patients are often delayed in being discharged from hospital due to the lack of availability of a suitable care home for them to be discharged to.  Often, their care needs will have changed since their admission to hospital.  The fact that patients remain in hospital after they are medically fit for discharge – but cannot return to their previous home – places a strain on the NHS.  In 2018, the NHS estimated around 250,000 hospital beds days were taken up by patients well enough to be discharged but with no care home to go to. 

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Stephen Hawking’s former nurse struck off

One of the nurses who provided care to the late Professor Stephen Hawking has been struck off the nursing register by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (“NMC”).  Patricia Dowdy worked for Professor Hawking from 1999 to 2004 and again from 2013 to 2016.  An interim suspension had been put in place in 2016. 

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