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Sickies, strikes, suspensions and scandals – this week’s Friday Five

Protesting doctors promised taxes will be paid

In an attempt to avert a looming winter crisis caused by understaffing in hospitals, doctors will now have their tax bills paid by the NHS.

Doctors have been refusing to work overtime because they are being hit by a “tax trap” of more than 90 per cent on their earnings if they earn more than £110,000 a year.

Under the new terms, clinical staff will be told that tax bills caused by overtime can be paid out of their pension, with the NHS committing to later topping up their pots, so the total value of them is not reduced.

Read more on the BBC.

Doctors may be suspended over NHS maternity scandal

The General Medical Council has warned that doctors that did not report babies and mother receiving poor care during the NHS’ worst maternity scandal could be suspended.

It emerged on Monday that at least 42 babies and three mothers died at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS hospital trust between 1979 and 2017 as the result of poor care.

Following on from the inquiry, the medical profession’s regulator has asked NHS bosses for details of any doctor they believe may have ignored their professional duty to raise the alarm about threats to patient safety at the trust.

Read more in the Guardian.

Children’s flu vaccine programme back on track

Distribution of a children’s nasal flu vaccine has restarted after a delay which prompted clinicians to voice concerns of the risk to children if they were not be inoculated in time.

It is thought that the delay to the Astra Zeneca vaccine was caused by two reasons; the WHO taking longer than expected to decide which flu strains should be included in the vaccine, and problems in the vaccine testing process.

Helen Stokes-Lampard, RCGP chair, said “it’s still early enough” for programme to have “maximum impact”.

Read more in the HSJ.

Would you ever pull a sickie?

A Com Res survey for the BBC has suggested that two in five adults would fake a sick day if they needed a day off.

The average worker takes about four sick days a year, with the most common reasons for calling off work in 2018 being the common cold, back pain, mental health conditions and “other” problems.

Another study showed that employees will also often over for colleagues who they know might be faking it, with 66% saying they would not tell their bosses if they knew their colleagues were absent, but not ill.

Read more on the BBC.


Quote of the week

In the general election’s leaders’ debate on Tuesday night, Jeremy Corbyn accused Boris Johnson saying;

“You’re going to sell our NHS out to the US and big pharma.”

The PM defended the allegation by promising to continue to massively fund the NHS and highlighting that this will only be possible with a strong and dynamic economy.

Read more in the Guardian.

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