The ‘sharply deteriorating’ position of the NHS is laid bare in the Guardian, which reports that the number of hospitals overspending on their budgets has risen by almost 50% in the last year.
The Department of Health’s annual accounts show 65 hospital trusts overspent by a combined £767m in 2013-14, and more than half received a bailout. This compared to 45 trusts in trouble the previous year, with 11 receiving bailouts.
And the accounts also reveal that more than the amount of the NHS budget handed to private providers topped £10billion for the first time.
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham blamed the coalition’s reforms saying: ‘David Cameron chose the worst possible moment to pull the rug from under the NHS with a huge reorganisation that nobody wanted.’
‘It has thrown NHS finances off course – trusts are increasingly struggling to keep their heads above water.’
The Independent reports there are calls for action over shocking figures which reveal the population of England’s most deprived areas are destined to die almost a decade earlier than the most well off.
ONS figures reveal that men in the most deprived regions have a life expectancy of just 73, compared to 83 in more affluent areas, and for women the gap has reached seven years.
Dr Ann Marie Connolly, director of health equity and place at Public Health England, said: ‘[These statistics] are stark and highlight an ongoing problem that is central to everyone who works in public health, and should be central to all who are concerned about our nation’s health.’
And finally, the BBC also reports that Scots take their drinks stronger than either the Italians or Spaniards, with a survey finding coffee served in Scotland had a higher caffeine content than either of the nations famed for their café cultures.
Writing in the Journal of Food and Function, researchers warned there could be health implications with regular coffee drinkers exceeding their daily recommended caffeine limit without realising.