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Unions to consult members on health worker pay offer

Union leaders have cautiously welcomed a new offer from the Government in an ongoing row over pay.

Unison's head of health Christina McAnea said it "isn't a great offer" but that it would consult its members on the new terms.

The GMB amd Unite unions both said they too would consult members on the new offer.

Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the "breakthrough" was a "positive start, but there is more to be done".

Unions: Thursday's health worker strikes suspended

Planned strikes by health workers in England and Northern Ireland have been suspended, unions announced today.

It follows new offers made to union leaders in talks with the Department of Health, which are believed to include:

  • A consolidated 1% payment for staff up to senior level
  • An additional £200 consolidated payment for lower paid staff
  • Abolition of the first point on the pay scale, and the second raised to £15,100.

The industrial action had been planned for Thursday and next month in a row over pay.


Poll: Health and immigration seen as election priorities

Health is still seen as the top priority for political parties in the forthcoming general election, according to the results of a ComRes roll for ITV News.

Health overtook immigration as the top election priority in a poll earlier this month Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Half of all respondents said health is the most important issue, closely followed by controlling immigration (49%).

Labour (32%) is the party most trusted on the NHS, while Ukip (33%) is the party most trusted to control immigration.

Two in five people (21%) said they trust the Conservative Party most to control immigration - a five percentage point increase since the last poll.

'Cameron's NHS is what tuition fees were to Clegg'

Ed Miliband has said an NHS under David Cameron "is what tuition fees were to Nick Clegg".

The Labour leader accused Cameron of "broken promises" after he stood outside a hospital with a sign saying "no cuts" then later closed its A&E department.

His comments came as he outlined Labour's 10-year plan for the NHS if elected, which includes an extra 20,000 nurses and 8,000 GPs.

Miliband promises an 'NHS with time to care' if elected

Miliband said the NHS is facing it's 'most perilous moment in a generation.' Credit: ITV News

Ed Miliband has promised an "NHS with time to care" if Labour wins at the General Election.

The Labour leader pledged to recruit an extra 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 GPs and join home services up with hospitals.

He also said he would also guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer test results within one week.

In a speech in Trafford, Manchester, he added: "An NHS that is better for patients, better for staff and better for all of us."


Hospital overcrowding ‘killed 500’ in 2014, top doctor says

Overcrowded hospitals ‘killed 500’ last year, a leading A&E doctor has claimed Credit: PA

Overcrowded hospitals "killed 500" patients last year, a leading A&E doctor has told The Observer.

A study by the College of Emergency Medicine found that 350 deaths were caused by people not being treated fast enough, while another 150 who died were not admitted because of bed shortages.

Dr Clifford Mann, the college’s president, said: “It’s sobering that up to 500 patients a year die because too many of our emergency departments are too often overcrowded. It’s a cogent reminder to the people who run the NHS that overcrowded emergency departments are just unacceptable and dangerous."

The college said its estimates were based on international studies that show patients who arrive at emergency departments when hospitals are overcrowded are at greater risk of dying.

NHS England said: “Unprecedented numbers of patients are accessing services, and staff are dealing with the highest-ever number of 111 and ambulance calls, A&E attendances and emergency admissions."

It said it had put £700m into the NHS to fund an extra 700 doctors, 4,500 nurses and more than 3,000 24-hour GP services, 999, 111, A&E and community and social care services.

Ukip general secretary: NHS costs too much money

Ukip's general secretary Matthew Richardson has said the NHS costs too much money to run and is partly to blame for Britain's national debt, in a video released by the Labour party.

Mr Richardson is also reported to have gone on to say that Britain has "thousands of bigots" and Ukip is proud to stand up for them, according to The Sunday Times (£).

NHS England praises reduction in A&E waiting times

The NHS England target for people waiting four hours or less in A&E departments is 95%. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

Improvements in the number of people waiting four hours or less in A&E departments in England have been hailed as "encouraging" by NHS England.

NHS England's national director of commissioning operations, Dame Barbara Hakin, praised staff "for the excellent job they are doing."

For the second successive week there has been an improvement in A&E performance and we are seeing nine out of 10 patients in England within four hours. It is encouraging that performance is moving in the right direction.

– Dame Barbara Hakin

Meanwhile, the NHS 111 phone line took 234,000 calls for the week ending 18th January, down from 255,000 the previous week and a dramatic reduction on the peak of 439,000 for the week ending 28th December.

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