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NHS beds and staff shortages; health service funding and Alfie Evans’ future – this week&#8217

NHS Providers finds the health service does not have enough beds or staff

NHS Providers has released figures showing that one in 12 NHS posts are vacant, including nearly 36,000 nurse roles and 9,600 vacancies for doctors. Additionally, it has found that another 10,000 – 15,000 beds are needed, on top of the 100,000 already in the system. They have warned that because of this hospital waiting lists would increase and A&E waits would remain at their current rate.

Read more on the BBC.


Prime Minister announces ten-year NHS spending plan

The Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary have announced a ten-year spending plan with an as yet unspecified total amount to be injected into the NHS. This will be funded through a change in the taxation, with a “special NHS tax” being discussed. The Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary have been increasingly vague in their statements with no mention of a specific date that the funding will be seen, however, there is speculation that it will begin next spring.

Read more on The Week.


Seriously ill toddler’s parents lose legal challenge at the European Court of Human Rights

The parents of seriously ill Alfie Evans have lost their legal battle to keep their son alive. Tom Evans and Katie James asked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to examine their case after not finding success through UK legal channels. The ECHR found no violation of human rights, and agreed that Alife should be brought off life support, following the advice of specialists at Alder Hey hospital who felt further medical treatment was futile as Alfie is in a semi-vegetative state with a  worsening neurological condition.

Read more on The Guardian.


Rare genetic mutation found to increase risk of cot death

Researchers from University College London and the Mayo Clinic in the US have published a study in The Lancet which finds the SCN4A gene mutation to increase risk of cot deaths. The mutation is very rare – fewer than five people in 100,000 have it, however the study discovered harmful mutations of the gene in four of 278 babies who had suffered a cot death. The study finds that the mutation is over represented in those who have had experienced sudden infant death syndrome.

Read more on The Independent.


US Midwife delivers own baby by caesarean

Emily Dial, a Kentucky midwife, delivered her own baby during her caesarean section. With the help of her colleagues who undertook the operation, Ms Dial was able to reach into her abdomen and pull out her baby daughter. The Frankfort Regional Medical Centre told the Washington Post that the birth was a “one-in-a-million, or more so, situation”, and that it “was a controlled environment. At no point was anyone in real danger”.

Read more on The Times (£).


Quote of the week – Julia Scott on what should be the three priorities for action to ensure that the health and social care work together and improve services:

“The spirit to fix the NHS and deliver a health and social care system that works for the future is there in abundance. What we need now is for Hunt and his policy team to better support us to deliver it.”

Read more on The Guardian.

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