Ministers in Scotland were forced to deny reports that NHS leaders are considering a two-tier health service in which the wealthy pay for treatment. The NHS in Scotland remains under huge pressure, which was exemplified by the decision to put NHS Forth Valley into special measures this week.
In England, NHS England launched its annual NHS 111 Online campaign to encourage people to use online and remote resources over the winter. And Wales launched its own version of the NHS App in beta.
One hundred and thirty NHS organisations could see their nurses strike before Christmas, after a ballot by the Royal College of Nursing delivered a mandate for industrial action over pay. UNISON and Unite are also balloting. Between them, the three unions cover a million NHS workers.
Meanwhile, there are reports that the government could delay the latest plans for social care reform in next week’s autumn statement, which is likely to include significant public sector cuts. On the NHS IT front, a GDE ‘fast follower’ trust signed off on HIMSS EMRAM Level 5, and an Altera Digital Health site deployed to ED and e-prescribing.
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard told the King’s Fund’s annual conference that the NHS is facing a tougher time than it did during Covid. Steve Brine, the Conservative MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, became chair of the Commons health and social care committee, and said he wanted to know why it isn’t delivering better value for money.
The Citizen’s Access project to give patients automatic access to new entries in their GP record was thrown into turmoil on Tuesday, the day it was meant to start, with contradictory reports about whether it had been halted completely or only for practices that told EMIS and TPP to stop. And UKCloud went into liquidation.