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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round-up of NHS and healthcare stories.

Few GPs want budget control

The majority of GPs have failed to sign up to an NHS system that will give them more control of their budgets. From next month, GPs will be able to control their own budgets and keep half of any savings they make to spend on services they feel are needed. An NHS Alliance survey of 601 GPs found that only 25 per cent had signed up for the scheme. Although 18 per cent said that they would be signing up to the scheme in the future, 50 per cent said that they would not be taking part.

NHS staff face increased abuse

A quarter of all NHS staff have been verbally harassed or abused by a patient or their relative, the Healthcare Commission's second national NHS staff survey has revealed. The survey, involving over 217,000 NHS employees, found that 27 per cent of staff had been harassed, bullied or abused at work in the past 12 months. This figure rose to 37 per cent if harassment from colleagues was included. A further 14 per cent also reported being physically attacked by patients or their relatives.

GP home visits in decline

Fewer GPs are making home visits, according to official statistics. Figures revealed that only 4 per cent of GPs visit patients in their own home, compared to 22 per cent in 1970. Nearly nine out of 10 patients visit their GP at a surgery if they are ill and one in 10 would telephone their doctor for advice. A reduction in the number of doctors working out of hours was given as the reason for the decline in GP home visits.

Unpaid overtime common in NHS

More than half of all NHS staff work unpaid overtime so that they can provide the best possible care to patients, according to the results of an NHS staff survey conducted by the Healthcare Commission. It revealed that more than half of all NHS staff had worked extra hours without receiving any extra money, with around 12 per cent working six or more extra unpaid hours a week. However, a third of staff regularly work paid overtime.

30th September 2008

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