Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 12-18 October 2016

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 20 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5627

NHS news

Cancer waiting target is missed again

The 62 day cancer waiting time target of 85% was missed again in England in August 2016, as only 82.8% started treatment within this time after an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer. Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s head of policy, said, “It’s important to remember that these missed targets represent thousands of cancer patients whose treatment has been slow to start. This is unacceptable. And we’ve highlighted these missed targets for more than two and a half years now.”

Locum caps save £600m

Caps on hourly pay rates for locum doctors introduced in November 2015 have saved the NHS over £600m (€671m; $736m), NHS Improvement said. The NHS spent over £3bn on agency staff in 2014-15, but 73% of trusts reduced their agency spending after the caps were introduced. However, NHS Improvement said that the NHS was still spending £250m a month on agencies, and it has introduced a new set of measures designed to curb spending. (doi:10.1136/bmj.i5616)


£500m investment for GPs in health centres

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, announced an extra £500m (€559m; $613m) investment in general practices and health centres by 2021. Alan McDevitt, chair of BMA Scotland’s GP committee, called the announcement “hugely encouraging . . . It …

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