Victoria Macdonald on Health and Social Care

Our health and social care correspondent analyses a new-look NHS and how changes to the health service affect you.

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March 17, 2015 4 Comments

Little prospect of relief for cash-strapped NHS in the budget

The NHS has had a hard year.  The winter saw trusts under more pressure than ever, with many missing that crucial target of 95 per cent of patients seen, treated and discharged or admitted within four hours.

And it looks as if three-quarters of trusts will reach the end of this financial year in debt – cumulatively amounting to an expected £1bn.

So will there by any relief in tomorrow’s budget?  I have spoken to a number of health economists and the general feeling is there’s not likely to be much.


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March 3, 2015 No Comments

Pattern of failures that put babies’ lives at risk

A “catalogue of failures at almost every level” is linked to the death of three mothers and 16 babies at Furness General Hospital.

March 2, 2015 2 Comments

‘A baby died an avoidable death': one family’s fight for justice

Although the inquiry looks only at Morecambe Bay, it is clear that many of the problems the families faced following the deaths of their babies are far from unique.

February 26, 2015 No Comments

Savile’s offending in NHS ‘scarcely credible’

The story of Jimmy Savile’s offending in NHS hospitals is unusual to the point of being scarcely credible. That is the opening line from Kate Lampard’s report.

February 13, 2015 1 Comment

A small link between HRT and ovarian cancer

The advice before hormone replacement therapy is to weigh up the risks and the benefits – and the increased link between HRT and ovarian cancer is minimal.

February 11, 2015 1 Comment

Giving NHS whistleblowers the freedom to speak up

Over the years I have reported on a number of cases in which whistleblowers have had their careers, reputations and lives blown apart because they have tried to do the right thing.

February 6, 2015 8 Comments

Art meets life: two tales of early-onset Alzheimer’s

Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore, looks at a 50-year-old woman who develops Alzheimer’s. Watching the film is a difficult experience for Wendy Mithcell, 58, who also has the disease.

January 27, 2015 2 Comments

Burnham in spotlight for Labour’s 10-year NHS plan

If this winter has identified anything it is that the health and social care system is not working together as well as it should. Indeed, some less kindly souls might say it’s barely working

January 14, 2015 5 Comments

Patient log jam in hospital? Send for the Red Cross

An NHS hospital has called in the Red Cross to help with what is rather pejoratively called bed blocking.

December 16, 2014 2 Comments

People with dementia need friends – especially at Christmas

Christmas is an isolating time for those with dementia – which is why the Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging people to become “dementia friends”.

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