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17 Jul

Save the Children UK expects income to fall by £67m

Save the Children UK expects its income to fall by £67m this year after it withdrew from government funding amid claims of sexual misconduct by senior staff.

The development charity became mired in allegations that it failed to investigate sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour by the charity’s former chief executive and former policy director.

Its accounts for the year to 31 December 2017, published last month, revealed the charity anticipated income loss in 2018, but it did not say by how much.

17 Jul

NHS operation waiting lists reach 10-year high at 4.3m patients

The number of patients waiting for an operation on the NHS has reached 4.3 million, the highest total for 10 years, official figures show.

Growing numbers are having to wait more than the supposed maximum of 18 weeks for planned non-urgent surgery such as a cataract removal or hip or knee replacement.

In May, for example, 211,434 patients had been on the waiting list for more than six months, up from the 197,067 who were in that position a month before and up by almost half compared to a year earlier, the NHS England data shows.

17 Jul

Disabled passengers ‘treated unacceptably’ at four UK airports

Disabled passengers are being treated unacceptably at four major UK airports, the aviation watchdog has said.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) assessed all airports in Britain, with London Gatwick, London Stansted and Birmingham airports told they needed to improve accessibility for disabled passengers.

Manchester was the only airport to receive a “poor” rating. Some passengers on incoming flights were left waiting on planes for more than an hour before assistance arrived.

17 Jul

Appeal court rules flat rate for sleep-in care workers is fair

The court of appeal has overturned a ruling on payments for care workers who carry out “sleep-in” shifts for clients with learning disabilities, potentially averting a crisis that employers claim would have jeopardised the care of vulnerable people.

A court ruled last year that care workers should be paid the national minimum wage (NMW) for every hour of a sleep-in shift, rather than a flat rate – in effect doubling the cost of a shift to £60. It said providers should be liable for six years of back-pay to carers.

On Friday, the court reversed the back-pay decision and ruled flat-rate payments were fair, meaning sleep-in shift care workers could receive the full rate only for those hours during which they were awake and assisting the client.

17 Jul

NHS opt-in transplant policy at risk due to cuts and staff stress

Plans to save hundreds of lives by making everyone in England a potential organ donor could fail because hospitals are so short of transplant surgeons and specialist nurses, the NHS’s own analysis of the policy has revealed.

Lives could be lost because teams of organ retrieval specialists are already under “extreme stress” and understaffed transplant centres are struggling to keep up with existing demand, according to NHS Blood and Transplant’s(NHSBT) impact assessment of switching to a system of presumed consent.

17 Jul

Nearly 8 million people providing care for family members without pay

The number of people caring for a family member has reached 7.6 million, a sharp increase of one million compared with a decade ago.

Data analysis by the Social Market Foundation, an independent thinktank, shows that millions are now giving up their time to for free to look after elderly relatives, a partner or a sick or disabled child – with the number spending 20 hours or more caring for a relative up by 4% between 2005 and 2015.

17 Jul

Over 2 million Britons risk dying early from multiple illnesses

More than 2 million Britons are at risk of dying early because they have at least one potentially fatal illness, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, as well as coronary heart disease.

Research has revealed that 90% of the 2.3 million patients in the UK who suffer from heart disease also have another condition that could shorten their life – a total of 2.07 million people. More than half (57%) of the 2.3 million have at least three “multi-morbidities” – a total of 1.31 million people.

17 Jul

Universities outsource mental health services despite soaring demand

Amid mounting concern over student suicides, some universities have found a surprising solution to their long mental health waiting lists – they are reducing or outsourcing their counselling services in a move apparently designed to shift the burden on to the NHS.

Unable to keep up with rising demand, they are rebranding their mental health student support as “wellbeing” services. Some universities plan to maintain a reduced number of counsellors, but others are sending students to local NHS services. Professional counsellors are being told to reapply for jobs as wellbeing practitioners, or face redundancy.

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