In brief

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 05 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h601

Care spending on elderly people in England is down by a fifth: Spending on social care for people aged 65 or over fell by 20% in England over the past 10 years, an analysis by the BBC has found. The research showed that £1188 (€1580; $1800) was being spent in 2003-4 per person aged 65 or over. By 2013-14 that had fallen to £951. George McNamara, head of policy and public affairs at the Alzheimer’s Society, said, “We urge all three parties to take action to address the historical underfunding of social care and respond to the challenges of an ageing population.”

Worker sold stolen NHS property on eBay: A worker at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales, who stole NHS property from his workplace and then sold it on the auction website eBay has received a six month suspended jail sentence after an investigation by NHS counterfraud investigators. Paul Anthony Lloyd, 30, also received a 200 hour community service order and was ordered to repay £5000 to the NHS as compensation. He stole around 800 items, including disposable gloves and hearing aid batteries, from the hospital’s main store and then used the hospital’s postal service to mail the items to his eBay customers.

Scotland’s out of hours services to be scrutinised: Out of hours primary care services in Scotland are to be reviewed, with recommendations on change expected to be made by late summer. The Scottish government ordered the review because pressure has increased on hospital emergency services and greater demands are being made by an increasingly elderly population. It will deal with issues such as recruitment and retention of GPs, staff availability (especially during peak holiday times), consistency of service, and public expectations.

Campaign reaches 400 000 NHS staff: The “Hello, my name is” campaign (, which encourages NHS staff to introduce themselves to patients, is being supported by over 80 NHS organisations and more than 400 000 doctors, nurses, receptionists, and porters. Kate Granger, 33, an acting consultant in geriatric medicine at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, launched the campaign after being treated for terminal cancer two years ago. In response to a question in the BMJ Confidential series of articles, “What personal ambitions do you still have?” she said, “I’d like to see #hellomynameis in every single NHS hospital and for every member of staff to value person centred care and the real, tangible difference it can make.”1

Austerity in Greece is linked to increased suicides: The monthly number of suicides in Greece rose by a third in June 2011, when the government introduced further austerity measures to help tackle the country’s debts, from 31.4 to 42.6 a month, a study published in BMJ Open has found.2 The suicide rate in men started rising in 2008, when the Greek recession began, increasing by just over 13%, equivalent to an extra 3.2 suicides a month. The rate then rose by an additional 5.2 suicides every month (18.5%) from June 2011 onwards. Suicides among women rose by an extra 2.4 a month (an increase of just under 36%) in May 2011.


Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h601


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