Daily digest July 27 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

NHS spends £1.8bn on redundancy pay-offs

About £1.8 billion has been spent on NHS staff redundancy pay-offs since the government’s restructuring of the health service, The Independent reports.

More than 44,000 people have been laid off in the past five years with about 5,500 re-employed by the NHS in another job.  Some were given severance payments in excess of £200,000, Sky News reported.

The government insisted the restructuring had saved money and reduced bureaucracy.

Read more on The Independent website

Almost half of EU doctors seeking work in UK failed to prove English skills

Nearly half of all EU doctors who sought work in the UK in the past year were turned away because they failed to prove that their English was good enough, the medical regulator has revealed.

In all, 779 doctors – 45% of those who applied between June 2014 and July this year – did not provide evidence of their language skills to the General Medical Council (GMC) and were therefore refused a licence to practise, The Guardian reports.

The GMC, which registers doctors and licenses them to work, has been able to check EU medics’ English since last summer, several years after The Guardian revealed how an incompetent German doctor, Daniel Ubani, accidentally killed David Gray, 70, while on his first UK shift in 2008.

Read more on The Guardian website

The placebo effect is real - even when patients know the treatment is fake

The placebo effect is real, even if patients know the treatment they have been given has no medical value, research has concluded.

Scientists found that patients who were given a fake painkiller continued to feel benefits from it, even after they were told it was a placebo, the Mail Online reports.

However, in order to feel this effect, the subjects had to be conditioned into thinking that the treatment was real and needed enough time for this belief to become ingrained.

Read more on the Mail Online website

33,000 under-age girls given contraception

Family campaigners erupted with fury yesterday at figures showing the huge number of under-age girls given contraceptive implants and injections without parental consent, The Express reports.

More than 33,000 girls aged 15 or under received the treatment unknown to their parents over the past four years, and campaigners are now calling for a review of ‘professional attitudes’ towards under-age sex.

The figures were released by the government’s Health & Social Care Information Centre, and show the extent to which NHS health clinics are giving ‘long-acting’ contraceptives to young girls.

Read more on The Express website

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