Implement ‘plan B’ winter measures now or risk NHS crisis, Johnson warned

Exclusive: NHS Confederation head fears efforts to tackle backlog of 5 million patients will be derailed Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Ministers must urgently implement sweeping “plan B” winter measures or derail efforts to tackle the backlog of 5 million patients, the head of the NHS Confederation warned as the UK […]

Pregnant women at risk from NHS workers’ mixed messages over safety of jab

Expectant mothers tell helpline that midwives are advising them against vaccines despite threat posed by virus • Coronavirus – latest updates • See all our coronavirus coverage Pregnant women are being advised by some health professionals not to have the Covid vaccine despite an edict from the NHS that they should encourage them to get […]

G4S cuts pay for some NHS test-and-trace staff after living wage order

Exclusive: Workers outside London face drop to maximum of £9.50 an hour after government says firm should pay real living wage NHS test-and-trace units run by G4S have cut the pay of some workers by up to 5% in the wake of a new contract from the government that specifies they should receive the real […]

NHS staff face rising tide of abuse from patients provoked by long waits

Chronic underfunding, Covid and staff shortages blamed for increase in physical and verbal assaults NHS staff across the UK are facing a “growing tide of abuse” including assaults from patients, which they say is being caused by frustration at long waits for care. In a strongly worded joint statement, which has been shared with the […]

Nursing crisis sweeps wards as NHS battles to find recruits

Lack of EU staff adding to shortages: ‘There aren’t enough to deliver care we need’ Ministers are being warned of a mounting workforce crisis in England’s hospitals as they struggle to recruit staff for tens of thousands of nursing vacancies, with one in five nursing posts on some wards now unfilled. Hospital leaders say the […]

Private hospitals treated just eight Covid patients a day despite deal to help NHS

Exclusive: Private hospitals in England also performed far fewer operations on NHS-funded patients despite multi-billion pound deal with government Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Private hospitals treated a total of just eight Covid patients a day during the pandemic despite a multi-billion pound deal with the government to help stop the […]

Wales draws up emergency Covid plan to stop NHS being overwhelmed

‘Urgent’ plan could mean restrictions – but government says most likely scenario is country will remain at alert level 0 Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The Welsh government has drawn up a “Covid urgent” plan designed to deal with any new coronavirus crisis that threatens to overwhelm the NHS this autumn […]

Sajid Javid’s threat to sack NHS chiefs is doomed to fail | Polly Toynbee

The power-crazed health secretary has drafted in an army general, and revealed his ignorance about the health service A long, low groan echoes around the NHS. Not again, please? The new health secretary, Sajid Javid, pledges far-reaching reforms and the most comprehensive review since the 1980s. Too many new health secretaries start there, at the […]

The Guardian view on NHS waiting lists: blame cuts as well as Covid | Editorial

Backlogs will take years to clear, and the fact that they are longest in the poorest areas makes a mockery of Tory rhetoric The worst thing about the NHS’s enormous waiting lists is that they mean millions of people are not getting the care they need in a timely way. Prioritisation systems ensure that most […]

Ask not what the NHS can do for us … but what we can do for the NHS | Adrian Chiles

We venerate the health service and howl at governments to fund it better. But, as individuals, what can we do to help this institution we profess to love so well? We love the National Health Service. It’s a pure, unconditional love. Most of us have experience of great treatment within the NHS, and terrible treatment […]

Nearly a quarter of callers to NHS helpline give up after being left on hold

North-east worst hit as waiting times for assistance near 25 minutes Nearly one in four callers to the NHS’s advice line for urgent health needs are giving up while trying to get through, with people kept on hold for nearly 25 minutes in north-east England, the Observer can reveal. NHS 111 is a free, round-the-clock […]

Bringing in the army won’t halt petrol crisis, says fuel industry boss

Business chiefs accuse ministers of being ‘missing in action’ amid growing backlash against government Ministers have been told that petrol queues in some parts of the country have become worse and army help will not relieve the problem, amid a growing business backlash over the government’s handling of the shortages crisis. Military drivers are set […]

Tories order biggest shake-up of NHS leadership in England for 40 years

Calls by Sajid Javid for far-reaching review described as ‘slap in the face’ by health service bosses The Conservatives have ordered a shake-up of NHS leadership in England on the eve of their party conference, with Sajid Javid saying that with more funding must come “change for the better”. The health secretary said he wanted […]

The raging return of Idles: ‘We’ve always used violence as part of our vocabulary’

After scoring a No 1 in lockdown, the post-punk band’s singer Joe Talbot reflects on writing about car crashes, substance abuse and Rishi Sunak on their new album Towards the end of Idles’ upcoming fourth album, Crawler, lead singer Joe Talbot comes to a euphoric realisation. “In spite of it all,” the 37-year-old howls, “life […]

UK growth revised up to 5.5% amid higher NHS spending and exports rise

GDP grew faster than forecast in second quarter as fewer Covid restrictions prompted households and companies to spend Higher NHS spending, stronger investment and a bounce back in exports helped the UK economy to recover more quickly from the lockdown at the start of the year, official figures have shown. After shrinking by 1.4% in […]

How do we avoid an expensive winter? Take energy back into public ownership | Cat Hobbs

Pressing ahead with a green new deal that reverses decades of privatisation is the key to better utilities Cat Hobbs is the founder of We Own It, an organisation that campaigns for public ownership of public services When Keir Starmer stood for election as Labour party leader, he pledged to continue the party’s support for […]

Ambulance services are no longer local | Letter

The ambulance you call will almost certainly not be from your neighbourhood station, says Graeme Clark The opposition to the closure of 60-plus local ambulance stations in London centres around the idea that it will lead to longer waiting times (Fears over NHS plan to close all local ambulance stations in London, 25 September). The […]

‘Head-to-toe gold sequins!’: nine readers on their favourite post-lockdown party outfits

Now lockdown has eased, everyone is ditching the joggers and dressing up again. There’s just one question: what to wear? I dressed head-to-toe in gold sequins for the Mighty Hoopla festival earlier this month. I’d been eyeing up a big headband from Fumbalinas for a while, and somehow the dress just followed. I bought it […]

Hospitals in England relax Covid rules to help tackle waiting lists

Some health professionals and scientists express concern as government eases safety measures Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Ministers have ordered a major relaxation of coronavirus infection control measures in England’s hospitals in an effort to make it easier to tackle the backlog. The move follows a review, led by the chief […]

Health workers should be given priority access to fuel in UK, says senior doctor

Dr Chaand Nagpaul tells No 10 there is ‘real risk’ NHS staff will not be able to do their jobs as pumps run dry No 10 is facing calls to give ambulance drivers, healthcare staff and other essential workers priority access to fuel after panic buying caused shortages across the UK. With ministers due to […]

Fears over NHS plan to close all local ambulance stations in London

London ambulance service programme will shut 68 sites and replace them with 18 new ‘hubs’ NHS bosses plan to shut every local ambulance station in London, prompting fears that patients could be harmed if 999 crews take longer to reach them, the Guardian can reveal. The London ambulance service (LAS) has started a controversial programme […]

NHS ‘on the edge’ with some patients waiting 48 hours for a bed

Exclusive: record number of A&Es having to turn away ambulances daily amid unprecedented demand The NHS is struggling to cope with growing demand for urgent and emergency care, health officials have warned, with hospitals under the kind of pressure “usually seen at the height of winter”. A&E units across the UK are so crowded that […]

Malindadzimu review – a poignant quest to confront Africa’s past

Hampstead theatre, LondonCharm and camaraderie lie at the heart of a smart, soap opera-style attempt to unpick issues of history, heritage and empire Malindadzimu is a mother-daughter soap opera that takes in the enormous story of Africa’s imperial legacy. It begins in an NHS emergency room in Nottingham where a depressed teenager has taken an […]

National insurance hike to hit NHS and care staff with £900m tax bill

Exclusive: Tax rise will inflict ‘terrible’ financial toll on health and social care workers, analysis finds Boris Johnson’s national insurance hike to fund health and social care will hit NHS and care workers with a £900m tax bill, the Guardian can reveal. The prime minister announced this month that contributions are to increase by 1.25 […]

Refusing your booster vaccine won’t help poorer countries | Letters

Declining a jab won’t promote the international availability of vaccines, say Stephen Mullin and Marilyn Howard, suggesting alternatives ways to help. Plus Tina Foster has good reason for having hers In response to Christopher Cheetham’s letter (21 September), I do not wish to disparage his sentiment of promoting the international availability of vaccines, but I […]

Covid live: US Covid deaths reach average of 1,900 a day; 31,564 new cases in UK

Average deaths per day day have climbed 40% over the past two weeks in United States; UK figures show 203 further deaths have been reported EU set to accept NHS pass as proof of vaccination Trials begin on Covid booster jab hoped to beat new variants Covid-19 has now killed as many Americans as the […]

Use of 10p statins in organ donation ‘could save thousands of lives’

Exclusive: NHS launching large trial of approach that could boost number of transplants and their success rate Thousands of lives could be saved globally by giving patients a 10p statin before transplants, doctors have said, as the NHS launches the world’s largest clinical trial in organ donors. The medical breakthrough is predicted to dramatically increase […]

Private hospitals profit from NHS waiting lists as people without insurance pay out

As NHS waiting lists reach record levels, more and more patients are paying for ops out of their own pockets Britons without health insurance on why they paid to go private When Fabien needed to have a decayed tooth removed in May, his dentist told him that he would have to wait up to three […]

Asylum seeker given £100,000 hospital bill after suffering stroke

Simba Mujakachi says government’s ‘hostile environment’ policies deterred him from taking medication Simba Mujakachi, a personal trainer, was just 29 years old in June 2019 when he suffered a catastrophic stroke that left him comatose. When he awoke, he was paralysed on his left side and unable to talk or eat. His stroke could have […]

‘I couldn’t wait’: Britons without health insurance on why they paid to go private

As a leading private hospital operator returns to profit, patients explain why they chose to pay for treatment Private hospitals profit from NHS waiting lists Spire Healthcare, one of Britain’s leading private hospital operators, has returned to profit after a surge in patients choosing to pay for hip and knee operations. Long waiting lists on […]