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Report calls for cash prizes for employees who lose weight

Employees in England could be rewarded with cash or shopping vouchers for losing weight under NHS-backed plans to tackle the obesity crisis.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said workplace health schemes had become a "blind spot" in the healthcare system:

The principal point is that employers in many countries have developed voluntary schemes for their employees whereby for example you actually get cash back based on participation in Weight Watchers or other type schemes.

– Simon Stevens, chief executive, NHS England

NHS-backed weight loss prizes 'all part of a process'

The health secretary dismissed accusations that offering overweight and obese cash incentives to lose weight would be ineffective.

Jeremy Hunt stood by a five-year plan for the NHS which proposed using workplace schemes with cash and shopping voucher prizes to get employees to shed pounds.

Mr Hunt told Good Morning Britain the incentives were "part of a process" similar to the successful public health campaign to get young people to stop smoking.


NHS watchdog examines 'potentially avoidable' deaths

The health service watchdog is examining more than 250 complaints about potentially avoidable deaths and many more about cases where patients may have suffered needless harm according to Dame Julie Mellor, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

The inquiry's finding into NHS complaints will be published next year. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Dame Julie said in some of the cases there had been no investigation by NHS authorities and the watchdog's casework had shown up a "wide variation in the quality of NHS investigations" into serious cases.

The inquiry's initial findings will be published next year, and Dame Julie said it would make recommendations for "system-wide change to the leadership and delivery of patient safety".

When public services fail, it can have serious effects on us as individuals. We know that when people complain, they often want three simple things: an explanation of what went wrong, an apology and for the mistake not to be repeated.

– Dame Julie Mellor


Government 'acting like tin-pot dictatorship' over strike

The Government has been accused of acting "like some tin-pot dictatorship" with its plans to send in the Army and police to cover for striking health workers on Monday.

Christina McAnea, the worker union Unison's Head of Health, told ITV News the proposals were "astonishing".

Midwives, nurses, ambulance drivers and other NHS staff in England will walk out for four hours on Monday in a row over pay, while health workers in Northern Ireland will also take action.

Protests against US-EU trade deal that 'threatens NHS'

Protests are to be held across Britain and the rest of Europe against a controversial US-EU trade deal that UK campaigners claim will lead to more NHS services being privatised.

Rallies will be held today in cities including London, Edinburgh, Bristol and Leeds against the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) amid similar events in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Health campaigners protested about Ukip's silence over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) during the party's annual conference. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has insisted there is no threat to the NHS from the agreement being negotiated between the United States and the European Union.

The Government and the deal's supporters claim TTIP will boost the economy, create jobs and cut red tape, especially for small businesses, by removing trade barriers.

Campaign groups are urging MEPs to vote against the controversial deal when it reaches the European Parliament.

GMC: More doctors coming from Europe than ever before

There are more doctors are coming from Europe to work in the UK than ever, according to a report by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Most overseas-trained doctors had previously come from south Asia, but recently there has been a sharp rise in doctors from southern Europe.

GMC: More doctors coming from Europe than ever before Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

The GMC believes this might have been caused partly by changes to immigration rules which have made it more difficult for doctors from outside Europe to work here.

The report also found that a common theme among doctors working in primary care was feeling "overloaded" and "at risk of burning out". Meanwhile there has been a significant increase in the number of women becoming surgeons and specialists in emergency medicine. The profession as a whole could soon have equal numbers of men and women - women already account for 44% of all registered doctors (up from 42% in 2010) and more than half of medical students are female.

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