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NHS to end era of ‘rip-off’ locums, more than a third of public would volunteer in NHS, and new era of immunotherapy cancer treatment

The NHS is to launch a ‘clamp-down’ on ‘rip-off’ locum agencies, according to  NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens.

Mr Stevens told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show that NHS foundation trusts in England spent £1.8bn on agency on contract staff –  double the amount planned for.

He said: ‘What we’ve got to do is convert that [agency] spending into good, paying permanent jobs.’ And said the NHS would take action ‘collectively’ against agencies.

More than a third of people would volunteer their time to support the NHS, a survey by the Royal Voluntary Service has found.

The Guardian reports more than 2,000 people were surveyed and found 40% would be willing to work in shops and cafes for free, 39% would be willing to help in the community, such as taking patients on social visits.

Tony Stafford who volunteers for the RVS at Addenbrooke’s hospital in said: ‘My weekly shift is always busy and different. Often unprepared, patients find themselves alone and fearful, in pain, facing tests, assessments and possible admissions to wards. I find the work challenging at times, but immensely rewarding.’

And finally, the Telegraph and the Guardian are hailing a ‘new era’ of cancer treatment after the results of several successful immunotherapy trials were revealed at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference.

The Guardian reports one British-led trial had ‘spectacular’ success in patients with advanced melanomas, with more than half of patients in the trial seeing tumours shrink or brought under control using drugs.

Prof Roy Herbst, chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Centre said the treatment, which uses the body’s immune system to attack cancerous cells could replace chemotherapy as the first-line cancer treatment within five years.