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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round-up of NHS and healthcare stories

Nurses demand better pay rise
Nurses have threatened to refuse to do unpaid overtime if they are not given a 3 per cent pay rise. A Royal College of Nursing survey of more than 1,000 nurses found one in three would consider refusing to work unpaid overtime if not given a sufficient pay rise. The survey also revealed that an unfair pay award would lead ten per cent of nurses to stop completing paperwork, and a further eight per cent would go on strike. ìWithdrawing goodwill in any form is not something nurses do lightly,î said RCN General Secretary Dr Beverly Malone. ìThe fact that many would consider it reflects the sheer frustration of nurses across the UK, who feel ignored and undervalued by the Government. The NHS is reliant on nurses' goodwill and commitment, which leads many to work almost an entire extra day for no pay. But it seems that this vital contribution is to be disregarded and go unrewarded.î

Take your tie off to fight infection, says BMA
The British Medical Association has urged its members to stop wearing `functionless' items of clothing such as ties as they are rarely cleaned and could be a source for infections. In a new report, the BMA has stressed that healthcare professionals all have a role to play in preventing and controlling infections such as the MRSA `superbug'. The BMA said hygiene standards had been compromised as the number of cleaners in the NHS has fallen over the past 20 years from 100,000 to just 55,000 in 2003-4. ìA lot of the solutions like hand-washing may sound simple,î said BMA head of ethics and science, Dr Vivienne Nathanson. ìWhile strict guidelines are in place about how health professionals need to wash their hands, there are barriers to compliance. One of the major barriers to doctors following these guidelines is time and the pressure to treat patients and meet targets.î

30th September 2008

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