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Trusts told to fill ‘essential’ vacancies only and cut exercise targets for over 60s

NHS financial chiefs have warned hospitals that they should only seek to recruit to fill ‘essential’ vacancies, because current financial plans are ‘quite simply unaffordable’.

The Guardian reports that Monitor chief executive David Bennett has written to trusts calling for greater financial savings. Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said this was worrying evidence of ‘a serious deterioration in NHS finances.’

He added: ‘It suggests that the financial crisis in the NHS is threatening to spiral out of control and hit standards of patient care.’

Government’s targets for exercise among the over 60s should be revised to just 15 minutes a day, after research demonstrated this still provided good health benefits and was less likely to discourage people who felt existing targets were unachievable.

The Telegraph reports that regular exercise can reduce risks of illnesses including stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, but around two thirds of over 60s don’t do any exercise at all.

Dr David Hupin, of the Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, France said: ‘The fact that any effort will be worthwhile may help convince the 60% of participants over 60 years of age, who do not practice any regular physical activity, to become active.’



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