Andrew Lansley has been heckled and branded a ‘liar’ at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual congress, the papers report this morning.
The anger surfaced after the health secretary attempted to dispute the RCN’s estimate that some 61,000 NHS posts are at risk. The Telegraph reports that Mr Lansley’s response, that the number of NHS clinical staff has risen since the 2010 election, was greeted with derisive laughter and shouts of ‘liar!’
The health secretary instead blamed NHS trusts for falling nurse numbers. He said: ‘Across the whole of the NHS we have seen staffing levels reduce. But clinical staffing levels overall have gone up by nearly 4,000. The number of qualified nurses has gone down by nearly 3,000 in two years in England but those are decisions made by trust boards.’
He also told delegates that the £9billion ‘efficiency savings’ over the last two years had been largely unnoticed by patients. The Telegraph reports that one delegate remarked, ‘He is living in a parallel universe.’ The Guardian has a video, should you wish to witness the heckling in glorious Technicolor.
Elsewhere, the Guardian reports that MPs have blamed speculators exporting drugs for profit to the EU for a serious drug shortage in the UK. An investigation by the all-party Pharmacy Group found that drugs are bought in the UK and sold for far higher prices to pharmacies in Europe. As a result, there are between 20 and 40 medicines in short supply at any one time in the UK. Although the practice is legal under EU trade rules, MPs are calling for the government to ‘unequivocally state’ that the interests of UK patients must come first.
The papers also report that long hours in front of the computer, lunches eaten at a desk and evenings spent slumped on the sofa could be putting young professionals at risk of blood clots. The Mail reports how a survey of 1000 people under 30 found that three out of four office workers did not take a lunch break. The charity Lifeblood have warned that long sedentary periods can lead to the ‘economy class syndrome’ deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
In the Telegraph, we read that for every hour spent sitting, the risk of a blood clot increases by 10%. Around 60,000 potentially fatal blood clots are recorded in the UK every year.