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Seven-day working in NHS, obesity admissions triple and the £15m spent on gagging clauses

The NHS must operate seven days a week to be ‘compassionate’, says medical director of the NHS Sir Bruce Keogh this morning in the papers. He says in a debate in the BMJ that it has been proven that patients admitted at weekends into hospitals are more likely to die and that several medical royal colleges were in favour of the change.

The Guardian reports that the number of people admitted to hospital because of their obesity has more than tripled in five years, according to the latest official NHS figures. In 2011/12, there were 11,736 cases of people being admitted for hospital treatment because of obesity – although some of them may have been admitted more than once. That is more than 11 times higher than the 1,019 cases in 2001/02 and more than three times higher than the 3,862 in 2006/07.

The NHS spent £15million in three years on gagging whistleblowers, the Mail reveals today. The newspaper says the ‘shocking figures pile the pressure on NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson’ and that they cost the taxpayer £14.7million, the equivalent of almost 750 nurses’ salaries.