Music, fast food and mud at London’s summer vaccine festival

Tower Hamlets council and the local NHS trust stage free event in effort to improve uptake of jabs Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage It certainly felt like a British music festival. A band was playing on the main stage, food vans dispensed trays and across the field people filed in and […]

Pain aggravation: the human cost of medicine price hikes

After Advanz’s £100m fine over the price of its thyroid tablets, two people recount the difficulty of obtaining medication The UK’s competition watchdog has fined pharmaceutical company Advanz over £100m for inflating the price of its thyroid tablets by up to 6,000%. The exorbitant costs resulted in NHS clinical commissioning groups advising doctors not to […]

Price gouging fine for Advanz is a rare story that is becoming common | Phillip Inman

Competition and Markets Authority is working on a string of cases involving the NHS being overcharged for drugs A fine by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for unfair pricing by private health companies is a rare story that looks set to become increasingly common. This week’s example is the £100m penalty dished out to […]

Amanda Pritchard to replace Simon Stevens as NHS England chief

Appointment is sign government wants continuity for pandemic recovery Simon Stevens’ deputy has been confirmed as the head of NHS England after months of speculation that the job could go to the head of test and trace, Dido Harding. Amanda Pritchard will be officially appointed as the NHS England chief executive on Sunday in a […]

Unions could have helped to avoid this ‘pingdemic’ mess – but no one asked them | Frances O’Grady

Ministers have been more interested in placating libertarian Tories than talking to England’s essential workers Frances O’Grady is general secretary of the Trades Union Congress See all our coronavirus coverage Last week, as the country was hitting peak “pingdemic”, I met key workers, in places ranging from food plants to care homes, in Manchester. They […]

Low-paid NHS workers deserve better than this paltry offer | Letters

Karen Barratt highlights all those essential cogs in the health service who will not benefit by the government’s largesse, while David Hughes says nurses should take a leaf out of politicians’ greed playbook. Plus letters from Roger Cook and Jean Betteridge I’ve stood on picket lines in support of junior doctors during the Jeremy Hunt […]

Respected GP and ‘fearless defender’ of NHS dies at 73

Politicians and medics pay tribute to Kailash Chand, who received an OBE for his health service work Leading political figures and medics have paid tribute to a respected GP and “fearless defender” of the NHS, who died on Monday aged 73. Prof Kailash Chand was renowned for his longstanding service to the NHS, for which […]

The pandemic has opened up a deep rift within the Conservatives. It will grow | Polly Toynbee

How can Britain recover without greater public spending? The tax-cutting party has no answers Something strange is happening within the political party famously ruthless in its pursuit of power and keeping hold of it. Its still popular prime minister, with an 80-seat majority, has only just marked his second anniversary, and has faced little threat […]

Keeping loved ones safe is not ‘cowering’, Sajid Javid | Letter

If anyone is cowering, it is this government when faced with criticism, says Sue Hardman How utterly incomprehensible that the health secretary should tell us not to cower from Covid, despite his later apology (Sajid Javid apologises for saying it was time to stop ‘cowering’ from Covid). But why am I not surprised? I was […]

‘Pingdemic’ is the result of a criminal Covid policy | Letters

One emergency worker says the NHS is already at breaking point. Plus letters by Joan Twelves, Prof Claire Anderson and Linda Wright Your article (England may have to reimpose Covid rules in August, scientists warn, 21 July) says some restrictions may have to be reintroduced within three weeks to avoid the NHS becoming overwhelmed – […]

Is medical cannabis really a magic bullet?

Research increasingly suggests that extracts from the plant are effective in treating pain, anxiety, epilepsy and more, but experts still preach caution around recreational use In 2017, Mikael Sodergren, a liver and pancreatic cancer surgeon at Imperial College healthcare NHS trust, was finding himself becoming increasingly interested in the potential role of medical cannabis in […]

UK government opening floodgates to Covid variants, MPs warn

Cross-party group says proportion of positive tests analysed for variants among red list arrivals has plunged Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The government is “opening the floodgates” to new versions of Covid, a cross-party group of MPs has warned, after revealing a steep decline in the proportion of positive tests being […]

The Guardian view on public sector pay: inadequate and insulting | Editorial

The government had a chance to do things differently. The chance is being squandered by ministers who do not know what to do Parliament is breaking for the summer recess with the Conservatives in a shambles over some of the most fundamental issues facing the country. Government tactics for getting into the recess without allowing […]

NHS staff have lost thousands in real pay since 2011, studies find

Analyses by thinktank and GMB union show scale of cuts when pay adjusted for inflation NHS staff in England have suffered real-terms falls in their pay of up to £2,949 over the last decade, new research by a leading health thinktank shows. After adjusting for inflation, nurses’ and health visitors’ pay has dropped by £1,583, […]

Public consent for test and trace in England at risk, says Jeremy Hunt

Scrap self-isolation for people fully vaccinated, former health secretary urges amid ‘pingdemic’ chaos Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The government “risks losing social consent” for its test-and-trace programme if it does not immediately allow fully vaccinated people to avoid isolation, the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said. His comments came […]

Threat of nurses’ strike over 3% pay offer for NHS staff

Offer is three times higher than initial 1% offer but nurses likely to reject award and may take industrial action in protest Ministers have offered more than 1 million NHS staff in England a 3% pay rise, three times higher than its initial 1% offer which sparked fury among frontline workers. However, nurses are likely […]

Pay freeze for England’s teachers a ‘slap in the face’, say unions

School leaders hit back saying once inflation was taken into account, the government’s freeze amounts to a pay cut Teachers in England are to get no pay rise this year, the government has confirmed, sparking fury from unions who described it as “an insult” and a “slap in the face” after all their efforts during […]

Iceland aims to recruit 2,000 staff due to ‘pingdemic’ absences

Retailer says some outlets has been forced to close after more than 3% of staff has been asked to self-isolate Grocery chain Iceland is aiming to recruit 2,000 spare staff to help cover absences caused by the self-isolation “pingdemic”, as retailers warned it was becoming difficult to maintain opening hours and keep shelves stocked. The […]

Tory plans to raise national insurance won’t tackle Britain’s social care crisis | Torsten Bell

Taxes will have to go up to address rising costs, but this plan unfairly targets young people and low earners The government intends to increase social care spending. It is 100% right to do so. It is apparently considering plans to raise national insurance (NI) to make that possible. It is 100% wrong to do […]

Isolate if ‘pinged’ by NHS Covid app, says No 10, despite minister’s claims

Firms and staff told to follow app’s instructions even though they are not legally enforceable Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Downing Street has urged people to isolate if they are “pinged” by the NHS app, after the business minister, Paul Scully, suggested individuals and employers could choose to ignore the instructions. […]

Dominic Cummings tells BBC PM denied Covid would overwhelm NHS

Former aide says Boris Johnson held out on October lockdown because those ‘dying are essentially all over 80’ Boris Johnson denied the NHS would be overwhelmed and said he was not prepared to lock down the country to save people in their 80s, texting his adviser “get Covid and live longer,” according to new WhatsApp […]

Boris Johnson’s ‘freedom day’ isolation tells us the virus is everywhere | Polly Toynbee

The prime minister had planned a Churchill-style speech. But his U-turn reveals the true cost of his Covid bungling How was “freedom day” for you? On the stroke of midnight a photogenic few leapt on to the dancefloor and raved into the small hours; but the NHS, social care, schools, supermarkets, hauliers, hospitality and transport […]

UK Covid cases could hit 200,000 a day, says scientist behind lockdown strategy

Prof Neil Ferguson says 100,000 cases after England unlocks are ‘almost inevitable’ and may double Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Covid cases could hit 200,000 a day in the UK this year and cause “major disruption” to the NHS, according to the scientist whose initial modelling helped shape Britain’s coronavirus lockdown […]

Disabled UK teenager mounts legal challenge after benefits cut off

Cameron Mitchell, 19, and his mother seek to overturn rule after payments suspended while he was in hospital A severely disabled teenager is to mount a legal challenge after his benefits were cut off while he was in hospital receiving treatment for a life-threatening infection, leaving him thousands of pounds out of pocket. Cameron Mitchell, […]

Labour accuses Gove of lying about extent of vetting for PPE deals

Minister said all NHS contracts had eight-stage process, but this was not case for a deal linked to Tory adviser Michael Gove has been accused of falsely claiming all personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts for the NHS went through eight steps of vetting, as it emerged this did not happen with a deal for millions […]

Bins in England go uncollected due to Covid test-and-trace ‘pingdemic’

Councils and NHS services struggle with high volume of staff absence related to Covid-19 Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Rubbish bins in parts of England are going uncollected and some health workers have been urged to postpone holidays because of staff shortages associated with the surge in Covid cases. Bin collections […]

GP staff receive abuse every day over Covid vaccine reminders

Staff making reminder calls are being threatened for carrying out NHS work, say doctors’ leaders Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage GPs and their staff are receiving abuse and threats every day from patients whom they contact to remind them to have a Covid vaccine, family doctors’ leaders in London have revealed. […]