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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round of NHS and healthcare stories

NHS Confederation not swayed by Health Select Committee
The NHS Confederation, which claims to represent more than 90 per cent of NHS organisations, has welcomed the recent Health Select Committee report as ìa timely warning that a `cycle of perpetual change' in the NHS could derail health service improvementsî.

However, the Confederation remains convinced that the government's underlying plans and the PCT's capacity for restructuring remain sound. Their Chief Executive, Dr Gill Morgan, said: ìThe NHS has shown remarkable resilience to cope with 23 major reorganisations since 1974 and we are confident that PCTs will ensure patient care is not damaged by this latest restructuring.î

Private chain ready to mop up failing hospitals
Britain's largest private hospital chain has confirmed talks with the Department of Health about taking over the management of failing hospitals.

BMI Healthcare, which owns 49 private hospitals, is working on rescue plans for struggling trusts throughout England. At present, it is not known how many hospitals BMI aims to take over; nor are there official figures citing the number of `failed hospitals' in the UK.

Ian Smith, chief executive of General Healthcare who owns BMI, told the Financial Times that the private sector must back health reform and face down ìthe forces of evilî that want to block them - meaning ìthe old, state-run, NHS monopoly itselfî, including its unions.

Dentist allowed boyfriend to operate in her practice
Mogjan Azari, a Swedish-Iranian dentist who let her unqualified boyfriend treat her patients, has been barred from practising in the UK.

Omid Amidi-Mazaheri, Azari's boyfriend, worked on over 600 patients, leaving many in agony after anaesthetic-free surgery. The NHS paid out £120,000 for the criminal work.

Azari has now been barred from practising in the UK. She once ran practices in Norbury and Tulse Hill, South London. It has been alleged that Azari allowed her boyfriend to continue treating patients despite promises to the Croydon Primary Care Trust in 2003 that he would stop. Undoubtedly, questions about the PCT's role in the affair will be raised.

30th September 2008

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