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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round of NHS and healthcare stories

Treasury to review NHS spending

The Treasury is to re-examine the Wanless report of 2002 as part of its review of long-term increases in NHS spending. The report concluded that under-spending on the NHS, compared to other European health systems, amounted to about £220bn over 25 years and that spending needed to rise by 7 per cent a year in real terms up to 2008. However ministers are worried that such a level of growth (double the historic rate) could threaten other funding priorities such as education and child poverty.

Nurse wins battle for free Herceptin

A former nurse has won her battle to receive a course of Roche's breast cancer treatment Herceptin on the NHS. Barbara Clark, 49, from Bridgwater, Somerset, was diagnosed with breast cancer this year, but because the illness was not terminal she was told she would have to pay for the treatment herself. She then threatened to use the Human Rights Act to force her local primary care trust to prescribe the drug to her. Somerset Coast PCT chief executive Alan Carpenter said the organisation had ìlooked very carefully at Ms Clark's individual circumstance and believes it is in her best interests to receive Herceptin at this stage of her treatment.î

Tories vow to make NHS 'top priority'

Improving the NHS must become the Conservatives' number one priority, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley has told the party's conference in Blackpool. In his keynote address, Lansley accused the Labour government of ìtaking the NHS for grantedî and said its target-driven attempt to improve standards was failing. He added that health policies should focus on cutting bureaucracy, extending choice within the NHS, and allowing private and independent organisations to compete for NHS contracts.

30th September 2008

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