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Greens pledge to 'take back' NHS, nurses 'too stretched to care' and report warns of dementia research shortfall

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

The Green Party has launched its election manifesto with a pledge to take back the NHS from the private sector, the BBC reports.

At the manifesto launch today in East London, party leader Natalie Bennett will promise to reverse ‘creeping privatisation’ of the NHS. The manifesto also sets out plans to deliver £1.3bn to the NHS to deal with costs associated with cold homes, in a nationwide plan to insulate cold homes and get fuel bills down.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said: ‘For every £1 invested in this programme, it’s estimated that £1.27 comes back to the economy in terms of the benefit in jobs and reduction on the NHS bill.’

Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror leads on a damning report from health union Unison, which it says reveals NHS nurses are worried about under-staffing and the lack of time they have with each patient - leading to fears of ‘another Mid Staffs-style disaster’.

The survey of 5,000 nurses found 65% said patients in their hospital, clinic or community were missing out on care because of understaffing, while 49% reported not having enough time with each patient, and that staffing levels are worse than at the time of the last election in 2010.

Christina McAnea, head of health at the union, said nurses were being forced to ‘make the difficult choice as to which patients receive care and which ones miss out’, the paper says.

Lastly, research into dementia is getting 13 times less funding than cancer, despite costing society far more, according to Oxford reseach reported by the Daily Telegraph.

According to the study, just 8p is spent on researching new treatments for each £10 spent looking after people with dementia, the paper says. In contrast, cancer research receives £1.08, more than 13 times more.

Yet the combined health and social care costs of dementia to society are much higher than for cancer, the researchers argue - around £11bn compared with £5bn a year.

Hilary Evans, of Alzheimer’s Research UK said: ‘While there have been welcome moves to increase government funding for dementia research in recent years, these figures show that research into the condition still needs greater investment in proportion to its impact on society.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • NHS budget set aside for dealing with 'cold homes'
    Crazy carrots!! So we will have to deal with cold and damp in homes after all.
    11% is welcome but unfortunately money gets squandered with 200k salaries for employees in quangos which include CCGs, PCAs and NHSE. Don't what the scale is in the CQC and DoH but certainly won't be lower than that.

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