Other News In Brief

Call To Delay The Launch Of NHS 111

GP leaders have urged health minister Earl Howe and NHS Commissioning Board chief executive Sir David Nicholson to delay the launch of NHS 111.

BMA GPs committee chair Laurence Buckman, in a letter sent after the GPC's March meeting last week heard reports of problems with NHS 111 implementation, wrote: "We have repeatedly asked for the implementation of NHS 111 services not to be rushed and stressed that a smooth transition is essential for patient safety. As yet, many areas seem not to be ready for that transition and, from some of the examples reported, I am worried that patients may be put at risk."

Dr Buckman, in a statement today, added: "We cannot sacrifice patient safety in order to meet a political deadline for the launch of a service that doesn’t work properly. There have been widespread reports of patients being unable to get through to an operator or waiting hours before getting a call back with the health information they have requested. In some areas, such as Greater Manchester, NHS 111 effectively crashed because it was unable to cope with the number of calls it was receiving."

Councils To Receive Share Of Disabled Facilities Grant

Housing Minister Mark Prisk has confirmed £180 million to help councils fund the adaptations disabled people need to live independently in their own home.

Councils across England will receive a share of the £180 million Disabled Facilities Grant, which provides financial help to install a wide range of housing adaptations or modifications such as wider doorways, stair lifts and level access showers.

Mr Prisk said that the grant was essential to help thousands of people stay in their homes if their circumstances change, providing the support that disabled or vulnerable people need to live independently and comfortably, whether they are homeowners, social tenants or living in rented accommodation.

Ministers have protected the Disabled Facilities Grant programme for the last 3 years, with a further £185 million expected in next year's funding.

ollowing last weekend's snowy weather across many parts of the UK, forecasters at the Met Office are predicting that the cold weather will continue through the Easter weekend.

Staying Cold For The Easter Weekend

Cold easterly winds will remain firmly in charge of the weather but for the majority of the UK it should be dry.

However, until Sunday the wind will be less strong and it will therefore feel a little less bitter. There will also be some sunshine with the best of this in western areas. However, it will stay cold with temperatures rising to no more than 4 or 5 Celsius along with frosty nights.

Frank Saunders, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: "The prospect of drier and brighter weather will be a welcome relief for many but the prolonged low temperatures will mean that any lying snow will be slow to thaw.

"This will maintain sharp night-time frosts and a risk of ice, and people should be aware of the potential for tricky driving conditions if they are travelling this weekend."


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