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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.

New measures to crack down on failing care homes

Ministers have brought in new rules which could force care homes to shut down if they are not caring for residents properly.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is extending the "special measures system" - which is currently used for hospitals and schools - to include care homes in order to protect vulnerable people after a series of scandals.

Health correspondent Catherine Jones reports.

Warning: This report contains distressing images.

Hunt: 'Far too many' failing care homes

The Health Secretary has said there are "far too many" failing care homes.

Jeremy Hunt said that he would not want his mother, father or grandparents to live in a number of care facilities in England as he announced new measures to tackle failing care homes.

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary

There are many excellent home care providers and many outstanding care homes in this country but there are still too many where I would personally not want my mother or my father or grandparents to live in.

The public have been really shocked by stories of abuse and neglect and we need to give the public confidence that when these things happen they will be spotted quickly and acted on.

– Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary.

Mr Gove said Ofsted-style ratings would be given to care homes and care services and those that are labelled 'inadequate' could be put into special measures or even shut down.

Read: 'Special measures' planned for all care homes.

CQC defend 'special measures' for care homes

Some care homes "need that much longer" to turn around entrenched problems in the way the facility is run and warrant an extension of their time on special measures, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said.

Chief inspector of hospitals for the CQC, Professor Mike Richards, defended his decision to keep struggling care homes running despite damning findings from the industry watchdog.

Some of them are making progress, it is just that I am not confident that they can, if you like, go it alone. So I have recommended that they have a further six months in special measures.

– Professor Mike Richards.
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