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Daily digest June 1 2015

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How nursing agencies are bleeding the NHS dry

The extraordinary boom in agencies supplying doctors and nurses to the NHS amid a rapidly deepening deficit in the health service budget has been revealed by the Daily Telegraph.

An investigation by the newspaper suggests total revenue at ten of Britain’s biggest medical recruitment companies rose by almost 40% over three years, with the companies posting overall takings of £7.7 billion since 2009.

The investigation shows how revenue at one of the NHS’s largest outsourced recruitment firms, Independent Clinical Services increased by 60% in just two years to £314 million.

The newspaper claims individuals running the agencies are earning up to £950,000 a year.

Official figures show NHS spending on temporary workers has reached a record £3.3 billion high, and ‘catastrophic’ levels of debt are being blamed on last year’s rise in agency bills.

Speaking on the BBC One Andrew Marr Show, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens promised to tackle the high cost of agency staff.

Read more on the Telegraph website 

Thousands of teenage girls have suffered serious illness after being vaccinated against cervical cancer

According to the Mail Online, official figures show the HPV vaccination programme generated 8,228 reports of suspected side effects over the past decade – almost more than all other routine jabs put together.

More than a quarter of these reports were classed as serious, a category that includes symptoms severe enough to require hospital treatment or even be life-threatening.

Read more on the Mail Online website

Children are being poisoned by sugar in sweets and drinks, warns NHS chief

Sugar in sweets, food and drink is poisoning children and putting them in danger of serious illness, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens warned.

Mr Stevens urged parents as well as food producers to help tackle the problem.

His stark message follows alarming research that looked into the nutrition of 8,800 schoolchildren. Results showed they did not get enough fruit and vegetables, and too many children skipped breakfast.

Mr Stevens said: ‘We have responsibilities. When your children come home after school, it’s water or milk, not fizzy drinks and juice.’

Read more on the Mirror website

Patients hunt for new GPs as surgery closures accelerate

Thousands of patients have had to find a new GP because their practice has closed, as staffing shortages and workload pressures take their toll on surgeries, new figures show.

In England, Scotland and Wales, 61 practices have closed since April 2013, forcing more than 160,000 people to register somewhere new. The Independent reports that closures are being caused by problems both in recruiting GPs and in retaining the existing workforce. The figures, obtained by the magazine Pulse, were described as the tip of an iceberg by one senior GP.

Read more on the Independent website

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