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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2008): National Health Service - funding

Can cheap generic statins achieve national cholesterol lowering targets?

D. Petty and D. Lloyd

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol. 13, 2008, p. 99-102

Recently the patents for pravastatin and simvastatin expired and these drugs are now relatively cheap in England. The Department of Health recommends that they should be used in primary care in most cases in preference to more expensive branded products. This study aimed to identify whether primary care trusts (PCTs) that used a high proportion of pravastatin and simvastatin performed as well on the Quality and Outcome Framework targets related to cholesterol lowering as those PCTs that used less. Results showed that PCTs which used a high proportion of pravastatin and simvastatin were just as successing in hitting targets for lowering cholesterol as those that used more expensive branded alternatives.

GPs set to lose income guarantee

N. Timmins

Financial Times, April 11th 2008, p.5

Lord Darzi's 'next steps' review of the NHS is to recommend that family doctors' minimum income guarantee should be scrapped, in a move that could open up health services to more competition.

(See also The Guardian, Apr.11th 2008, p. 9)

Health staff warned pay deal may be cut if offer is rejected

A. Porter and R. Prince

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 15th 2008, p. 2

Government is offering a staged pay increase worth 8.1% over three years to NHS staff. Unions have been warned that the government reserves the right to impose or even reduce the pay offer if it is not accepted.

Johnson offers nurses pay rise of nearly 8% over next three years

J. Carvel

The Guardian, Apr. 8th 2008, p. 12

The government appears to have averted the threat of industrial action across the NHS with a pay offer for nurses and ancillary staff worth almost 8% over three years. Nurses will receive an immediate increase of at least 2.75%, the highest award in the public sector during the current pay round.

(See also Financial Times, Apr. 8th 2008, p. 4)

MPs want more access to details of PFI deals


Financial Times, Apr. 21 2008, p. 2

The Parliamentary Liaison Committee (which consists of chairs of the other parliamentary committees) is calling for MPs and select committees to have details of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deals to assess whether they offer value for money. PFI is used as a key funding mechanism in many parts of the NHS. The information commissioner has rejected claims that details of these deals cannot be disclosed. The National Audit Office already has such access.

NHS seeks two highly paid bosses for failing IT system

J. Kirkup

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 24th 2008, p.14

The NHS is seeking to hire two information technology chiefs on a combined salary of almost half a million pounds a year to oversee failing programmes such as the computerisation of patient records and appointment booking systems.

(See also Times, Apr. 24th 2008, p.26)

Prescription gap widens as charges are cut for Scots

T. Helm

Daily Telegraph, Apr. 2nd 2008, p. 4

The gap between prescription charges in England and Scotland grew to 2.10 on April 1st . The cost of a prescription in England rose by 0.25 to 7.10, while the Scots, whose charges will be abolished by 2011, enjoyed a 25% fall in the price of their prescriptions from 6.85 to 5.00. The increasing disparity will add to discontent in England about the greater funding for public services in Scotland.

Scotland to build 842m health campus without private funding

S. Carrell

The Guardian, Apr. 23 2008, p. 5

Scottish ministers have pledged 550 million for the building of the largest and most expensive hospital in the UK. The Southern hospital, to be built in Glasgow, will rely on public funds, in direct contrast to the Labour Party's reliance on private funding for its school and hospital building programme.

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