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Jeremy-HuntIn my final message to you before the election I would like to thank you for pulling out all the stops and achieving remarkable results despite the huge pressures of an ageing population.


Last year you carried out over one million more operations than 5 years ago and saw over 6 million more people in outpatient appointments.


Alongside this, over 430,000 NHS staff have undertaken dementia training, transforming the way we look after one of the most vulnerable patient groups.


medical technologyDetails of a review into plans to give NHS patients quicker access to innovative medicines and medical technology have been announced.


The ‘Innovative Medicines and Medical Technology Review’ will improve the speed at which medical innovations such as precision medicines, digital devices, apps, diagnostics and new therapeutic technologies get to patients and their families.


The review will be led by Sir Hugh Taylor, Chair of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. He will be supported by an expert advisory group headed by Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. The review is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

NHS privatisation: Why the fuss?

surgeons operating - NHS privatisation

The words privatisation and NHS together are enough to start a fight in an empty room. But what exactly do we mean by it? And why does the issue make many so angry?

London's Cromwell Hospital, run by Bupa, does a good trade in NHS patients at its gamma knife radiosurgery centre. About a third of the patients with brain tumours seen there are sent by the NHS, costing the health service nearly £7,300 a go.

But even the most ardent critics of privatisation in England (it tends to be a debate which is focused there) accept this.

healthcare teamA row has broken out about the system for giving NHS hospitals in England their income.

Hospital chiefs have rejected plans for next year's payment system, warning that safe care could not be guaranteed under what was being proposed. Much of a hospital's funding comes from a set of tariffs that rewards them per patient treated. NHS bosses had proposed a cut of just under 4% - once inflation is taken into account - as part of a savings drive. The dispute does not affect services, but is a sign of the mounting pressure on the hospital sector.


Waiting-time targets are already being missed for A&E, cancer and routine operations and at the halfway point of the 2014-15 tax year, the NHS was £630m overspent.

British medics are being thanked for their work to defeat the disease in Sierra Leone.


ebola protectionThe government extends a special thanks to the doctors, nurses and health specialists from across the UK who spent Christmas Day in Sierra Leone helping to treat Ebola patients. More than 70 NHS volunteers have travelled directly to the West African country to work in British-built treatment centres, while many more are working with local hospitals and community centres on the ground, supported by UK aid.

Their efforts are part of the £230 million UK package to contain, control and finally defeat the disease in Sierra Leone. Nurse Donna Wood joined the first wave of NHS volunteers to work directly in the British-built treatment centres. Since arriving in Freetown on 7 December, Wood has undergone training in the hot, oppressive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits that form the only barrier between the health workers and the disease.

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