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Calls for better deal for dialysis patients

A father from Hull is calling for kidney dialysis patients to be automatically entitled to disability benefits - after his own battle with the Department for Work and Pensions.

Stephen Beet has 15 hours of dialysis a week - and has just been awarded Personal Independence Payments - but only after a long struggle to convince assessors that he should get the money. Michael Billington reports.

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Junior doctor: decision to impose contracts 'incredibly disappointing'

Dr John Shaw, a junior doctor from Leeds, says Jeremy Hunt's decision to impose a new contract on junior doctors is "incredibly disappointing." He believes it will increase the feeling of anger among junior doctors. He says the Government is not listening to junior doctors' concerns about safety and working hours.

BMA hits out at 'fundamentally unfair' contract

Dr Johann Malawana, the BMA's junior doctor committee chairman, said: "The decision to impose a contract is a sign of total failure on the Government's part."

He added: "Junior doctors already work around the clock, seven days a week and they do so under their existing contract. If the Government want more seven-day services then, quite simply, it needs more doctors, nurses and diagnostic staff, and the extra investment needed to deliver it.

"Rather than addressing these issues, the Health Secretary is ploughing ahead with proposals that are fundamentally unfair.

"This is clearly a political fight for the Government rather than an attempt to come to a reasonable solution for all junior doctors. If it succeeds with its bullying approach of imposing a contract on junior doctors that has been roundly rejected by the profession it will no doubt seek to do the same for other NHS staff."

He continued: "Our message to the Government is clear: junior doctors cannot and will not accept a contract that is bad for the future of patient care, the profession and the NHS as a whole, and we will consider all options open to us."

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Hunt urged to hold review into junior doctors' morale

Junior doctors have held two strikes over proposed new contracts. Credit: PA

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been urged to conduct an urgent independent review into the welfare and morale of trainee doctors.

The recommendation was made by Sir David Dalton - the government's chief negotiator in talks over proposed new junior doctors' contracts - in a letter which also recommended ending efforts to negotiate a deal.

He said that both sides in discussions over contracts had acknowledged acknowledged that there are "underlying issues which, over a number of years, have created the conditions for doctors in training to feel a high level of discontent".

"I wish to confirm my recommendation to you that an urgent Review of these long standing concerns should be established which can make meaningful recommendations to improve the welfare and morale of trainees," he added.

The letter said the review should be commissioned by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Health Education England and NHS Employers, and should "ensure that the voices of junior doctors are directly and personally heard".

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Deal with doctors 'not possible', chief negotiator says

Sir David Dalton's appear to clear the way for the government to impose new contracts on junior doctors. Credit: PA

The government's chief negotiator in talks over junior doctors' proposed new contracts has written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to tell him a deal is "not possible".

Sir David Dalton has told the health secretary to "do what he deems necessary" to put the contract in place after a row that has so far prompted two 24-hour strikes.

The letter could pave the way for Mr Hunt to impose the contracts without reaching an agreement over the remaining dispute - government plans to class Saturdays as normal working days.

In the letter, Sir David - who is also chief executive of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust - said: "Everyone’s first preference has always been for a negotiated outcome. Unfortunately this no longer seems possible.

"Following consultation with Chief Executives and other leaders in the service, it is clear that the NHS needs certainty on this contract and that a continuation of a dispute, with a stalemate and without any clear ending, would be harmful to service continuity, with adverse consequences to patients," he continued.

"On this basis I therefore advise the government to do whatever it deems necessary to end uncertainty for the service and to make sure that a new contract is in place which is as close as possible to the final position put forward to the BMA yesterday."

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Junior doctors return to work after 24-hour walkout

Demonstrators protest in Westminster during the latest 24-hour doctors' strike. Credit: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

Junior doctors have returned to work after a 24-hour walkout over proposed new contracts.

The deadlock has shown little sign of breaking - with the major sticking pointing remaining over weekend pay and whether Saturday should be classed as a normal working day.

Around 1,140 planned inpatient procedures were cancelled as a result of the latest walkout, alongside 1,734 day procedures, according to analysis by NHS England.

NHS England confirmed that 43% of junior doctors reported for duty on the day shift - a figure including doctors who had never intended to strike, such as those working in emergency care.

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