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Sir Bruce Keogh to face MPs following report on 999 call downgrading

The medical director of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, will give evidence to MPs today about pressure on emergency services.

The hearing comes after one NHS trust admitted downgrading thousands of 999 calls without permission from senior management.

The East of England Ambulance Service has admitted to downgrading calls without permission from senior management Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The East of England Ambulance Service released an internal report showing that 57 patients died after having their 999 calls downgraded leading ambulances to either arrive late at the scene or not turn up at all.

Yesterday, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham raised the case in the House of Commons, claiming that some of the downgraded calls were on behalf of terminally ill patients.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the East of England ambulance service has received £3.6 million of extra support this winter and defended the record of ambulance services nationwide.


NHS report 'endorses key planks of Labour's plan'

Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said that today's five-year forecast for the NHS "endorses key planks of Labour's plan".

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham

He said he agrees with the report's finding that primary care has been under-resourced and called on the government to stop cuts to the budget for GPs.

Mr Burnham also noted that the report "does not give one mention to competition" and says the Coalition should review its competition rules.

While the Health Secretary denied that the report endorses Labour's vision, he said there were large parts of it that Labour and the Conservatives "can agree on".

Health Secretary: NHS plan is 'essentially optimistic'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called today's five-year plan for the NHS an "essentially positive and optimistic" vision of the future of the health service in England.

In his statement to the House of Commons, in response to an urgent question from Labour's Andy Burnham, he said the report calls for a "change in culture about the way we care for people" rather than structural change.

Hunt: NHS Ebola response 'based on risk'

Britain's response to Ebola is "based on risk" and will assess anyone who has come back from west Africa in the last month, the health secretary told Good Morning Britain.

Jeremy Hunt said anyone returning from west Africa would be "tracked" on a twice daily basis to see if they developed any of the "flu-like" symptoms of Ebola.


Hunt: Pay rise would mean 'letting go of 14,000 nurses'

If the government implemented the recommended pay rise for NHS staff at least 14,000 nurses would be laid off over the next two years, the health secretary said.

Jeremy Hunt told Good Morning Britain he would have "loved to have been more generous" but had been told in no uncertain terms a real terms pay rise would mean drastically reducing staff numbers.

NHS 111 call handlers to help identify potential Ebola cases

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that call handlers on the NHS 111 service will help to identify potential Ebola cases.

He said that "anyone reporting potential symptoms of Ebola" would be asked about their recent travel history.

If the person with symptoms has recently been to West Africa and is at high risk of having been in contact with Ebola, 111 will immediately refer them to local emergency services for assessment by ambulance personnel with appropriate protective equipment.

– jeremy hunt, health secretary

Ebola symptoms include respiratory problems, high temperatures, or diarrhoea and vomiting.

Govt: We have 'capped' amount families pay for care

The Government has defended its efforts to help with the cost of dementia care, pointing to its policy of improving diagnosis rates, doubling research funding and capping the amount families have to pay.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

I want to make sure those with dementia, their families and carers get the help they need. It's precisely because people face such unfair care costs that we are transforming the way people pay for care, capping the amount they have to pay and providing more financial help.

To tackle this devastating condition, we are also doubling funding for research, pushing the NHS to improve diagnosis rates and post-diagnostic support, and focusing national attention on dementia like never before.

– Jeremy Hunt

Drive to end 'unacceptable' 12 month NHS waiting lists

No patient should have to wait for more than 12 months for medical treatment, unless it is clinically necessary, Jeremy Hunt has declared.

The NHS has kept average waiting times below 10 weeks and fewer people are waiting longer than 18 weeks, a government spokesman said.

The Health Secretary announced a £250 million cash injection to end the "unacceptable" year-long waiting period some patients had to endure.

The money will be used to fund 100,000 extra treatments for NHS patients over the summer.

Mr Hunt highlighted a dramatic cut in numbers of people waiting 12 months or more for treatment, which has fallen from 18,458 when the coalition Government came to power in 2010 to 574 now.

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