The NHS is guilty of a “ridiculous waste of resources” – and could improve care without spending a penny more, its most senior doctor says. Prof Keith Willett, medical director for acute care, urged staff to stop “fuming” when the system “grinds to a halt” and instead do more to prevent beds being blocked by patients who should have been discharged. He said too many surgeons were left unable to operate – sometimes on a daily basis – because of a failure to tackle bedblocking, with beds filled by those unable to discharged for want of help at home.
THE NHS could improve care without spending a penny more than it already does, its most senior doctor has claimed. Professor Keith Willet said the service was guilty of a “ridiculous waste of resources” in a damning diagnosis of the problems in the healthcare system. He said too many surgeons were left unable to operate because of a failure to tackle bed-blocking. The medical director for acute care urged his colleagues to stop “fuming” when things “grind to a halt” and instead ensure patients who could be discharged are. Prof Willet writes in the Daily Telegraph: “To have highly skilled surgeons, anaesthetists and nursing sitting around waiting for patients is clearly a ridiculous waste of resources.
Hospitals in England ended last year with twice as big a deficit as expected, according to sources, in another illustration of the NHS’s fragile finances. NHS Improvement (NHSI), the health service’s financial regulator, will reveal the overspend when it releases full details on Thursday of how the NHS performed in 2017-18. Sources close to the publication of the annual health check confirmed NHS trusts ended 2017-18 “about £1bn” in the red. The likely overspend, double the £496m expected, will fuel claims that the government is underfunding the NHS, given the sharp increase in the number of people needing care.
Children and the elderly are routinely languishing in pain from broken bones because of “inexcusable” delays in accident & emergency units, senior doctors have said. Only 4 per cent of patients with broken hips waiting in agony get pain relief within an hour, down from 56 per cent five years ago, as doctors and nurses in overcrowded hospitals have ever less time for the basics, according to a report by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. At the same time, 12 per cent of children in severe pain with fractures and 28 per cent of those in moderate pain get no relief at all, leading to suffering that can cause mental scars, it says.
Support for an easing of immigration restrictions for staff coming to work in the NHS is high, even among Brexit voters, according to a survey. Only 14 per cent of Britons back the present policy on visas for NHS staff, who are subject to the overall cap. Among Brexit voters, 23 per cent agree with the cap, with 69 per cent saying that the UK should instead decide on visas for NHS staff “based on what the NHS needs”. The survey also found that only 21 per cent of Conservative voters agreed with the policy.
Hundreds of Tommy Robinson supporters flocked to Downing Street on Saturday to demand the release of the far-right leader. Robinson, 35, was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace on Friday after he was seen filming outside a court house. It has caused a furious backlash among his supporters who stormed Whitehall on Saturday to stage a protest. They waved ‘#FreeTommy’ and ‘Free the truth teller’ placards as others branded St George’s flags and banners with ‘Make Britain Great Again’ on them. Some managed to mount the gates surrounding the Prime Minister’s home, but the Metropolitan Police told MailOnline there were no arrests made.
Boris Johnson has piled further pressure on Theresa May‘s Brexit plans by warning the UK must be ‘fully out’ of the EU customs union in order to strike free trade deals. The Foreign Secretary said there are ‘realms of gold’ to be won by forging new deals with countries in South America. But he warned that Britain can only make the most of doing deals with these big new emerging economies if it fully cuts ties with Brussels. His intervention, which comes after he spent a week touring south America, heaps fresh pressure on Mrs May as she struggles to get her divided Cabinet to sign up to her Brexit vision.
Worrying murmurs are appearing, with warnings that the British government are not sufficiently preparing for a ‘No Deal’ with the European Union should negotiations break down. “Our preparedness for No Deal is virtually non-existent,” one British official has been quoted as saying by EU cheerleaders the Financial Times. “Our ability to deliver a ‘No Deal’ outcome recedes with every week that passes.” A government spokesman responded by saying that there had been “extensive resources” committed to prepare for a possible No Deal, with £3 billion allocated “specifically for our exit preparations”.
Tory Brexit leader Jacob Rees-Mogg spoke out Sunday on the poor state of Brexit negotiations and called for the government to be more hard-nosed in dealing with the European Union in remarks which have again been interpreted as being targeted directly at the Prime Minister. The so-called Brexit Divorce Bill was one of the “strongest cards” in Britain’s negotiating hands and to not have played it at all is “an error” and could leave Britain a “vassal state”, leading Brexiteer and backbench MP Jacob Rees-Mogg told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.
MINISTERS are weakening Britain’s hand in talks with the EU by failing to prepare for a “no deal” outcome, officials fear. Mandarins are reportedly complaining that the Government isn’t spending enough on making sure the UK can thrive if we crash out of the EU without a trade deal. And Brexiteers worry that Brussels will have the whip hand over us if Eurocrats know we’re not prepared for talks to collapse. Theresa May has always insisted that “no deal is better than a bad deal” and vowed to walk out of negotiations if the EU refuses to offer us good trade terms.
New pressure is being heaped on Theresa May after Tories demanded she allows abortion in Northern Ireland – despite her DUP allies opposing it. MPs want the Prime Minister to decide where her loyalties lie after Ireland voted for reform – while Northern Ireland retains some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe. Only women whose lives or serious health are at risk can get abortions in Northern Ireland, forcing thousands to travel desperately across the Irish Sea each year. Several prominent Tories including the Equalities Minister have now renewed demands that women in Northern Ireland win the right to abortion.
THERESA May signalled yesterday she would not assist senior Tories trying to liberalise abortion laws in Northern Ireland with a vote at Westminster. The Prime Minister congratulated the Republic of Ireland for voting decisively to overturn its original ban on all terminations except to save the mother’s life. The country voted two to one to allow abortion on demand at up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and at up to 24 weeks in exceptional circumstances. In Dublin yesterday, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald and deputy leader Michelle O’Neill celebrated with a placard reading: “The North is Next”.
Theresa May has come under renewed pressure to back fresh legislation on strict abortion laws in Northern Ireland. In the wake of the overwhelming referendum result in the Republic of Ireland, the prime minister has faced calls from both sides of the House of Commons to resolve the “anomalous” situation further north. With no devolved administration in Stormont, the government could act to rewrite existing laws on the issue and Labour has moved to push Mrs May to enable just that. Shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler said: “Fifty years ago, abortion was decriminalised under a Labour government, but women in Northern Ireland are still denied this fundamental right, having to travel to mainland UK or faced with potential prosecution and imprisonment at home.
The result of Ireland’s abortion referendum has no impact on the law in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader has said. Arlene Foster said the legislation governing abortion is a devolved issue and the Northern Ireland Assembly should debate such issues. The government agreed with Mrs Foster. Labour and a number of senior Conservative MPs have called on Theresa May to back a reform in NI’s abortion law after Friday’s historic referendum. A government spokesperson said abortion law is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland.
LABOUR’S leader in Brussels provoked fury last night by suggesting that his party open to “reconsidering” the verdict of the Brexit vote. In an outburst that raised fresh doubts about Jeremy Corbyn’s European policy, Richard Corbett admitted to being “very sympathetic” to the idea of holding a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. He also claimed the party frontbench had not ruled out a fresh national poll to allow voters to “reconsider Brexit”. His remarks, in an online interview published on his own website, yesterday threatened to intensify the angry row over Labour ranks about the party’s stance in the debate about Britain’s future relationship with Brussels.
Jeremy Corbyn is under growing pressure from Momentum activists to give party members a say on Brexit at the Labour Party conference. The left wing pressure group, set up to support Mr Corbyn, officially backs the leadership’s position on Brexit. But there are concerns about decisions being taken behind closed doors with some activists warning that would recreate some of the worst practices of the New Labour regime for excluding ordinary members. There is not yet a “coordinated” effort to push for a conference vote and debate, a Momentum source told the BBC. But calls are growing ahead of the annual meeting in Liverpool in September for members to have a say.
Boris Johnson should be given greater control over Brexit, according to the chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. Tom Tugendhat, who has previously clashed with the foreign secretary, said Mr Johnson had been “hobbled” because his role does not have enough power. Mr Tugendhat, who along with Mr Johnson has been tipped as a future Conservative leader, will use a speech on Tuesday to call for a “revolution at the heart of government”. This would see the foreign secretary given greater powers over Brexit, diplomacy, intelligence, defence, aid spending and international trade. It would also involve Mr Johnson gaining “strategic control” of several key areas, including Brexit.
Boris Johnson has been “hobbled” as foreign secretary partly by a Whitehall refusal to make the Foreign Office a strategic department spanning diplomacy, trade and overseas development, according to the chair of the foreign affairs select committee. Tom Tugendhat suggests that bringing trade, intelligence and overseas development issues under the control of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) would provide better coordination to meet the challenges of the post-Brexit era. In a speech to be given on Tuesday to the Rusi defence thinktank, Tugendhat says his proposals will require a revolution at the heart of government. After the EU referendum, the FCO was dismembered, with the responsibility for Brexit negotiations going to the new Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).
The European Union has moved to shut the door on British and other non-EU defence companies from participating in a new flagship €500m (£437m) defence fund after Brexit, the Telegraph can reveal. The move, which comes amid a mounting row over the exclusion of British companies from the €10bn Galileo satellite navigation system on security grounds, has raised further fears about the EU willingness to forge a deep UK security partnership after Brexit.Senior sources in Brussels said that the European Commission had agreed to impose “strict conditions” on non-EU companies who wanted to participate in projects financed by the EU fund which is due to open next year.
Britain will help to determine the EU’s £1 trillion budget up to 2027 after European countries defied Brussels and invited UK officials to take part in negotiations. The invitation, which has been accepted, was made because EU officials believe that Britain will keep paying billions of euros to Brussels for years after Brexit. The European Commission is furious at the plan, which was devised by the EU council representing individual member states. The commission claims that Britain will use budget discussions to change the rules to make it easier for the country to join science, research and other spending programmes after leaving the EU.
Feta cheese, Parma ham, French cognac and Belgium’s sour lambic beers are the latest cause of indigestion in Brexit talks, after the EU stepped up demands on the UK to legislate to preserve the status of European speciality produce. EU special status for regional food and drink has emerged as a new sticking point in the negotiations, following a bad-tempered week of discussions in which the two sides clashed over the Galileo satellite system, and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, told the UK government to stop playing “hide and seek” over its goals. In a demand likely to infuriate Brexiter backbenchers, the European commission is calling on the British parliament to legislate to protect a few thousand protected food and drink products from copycats.
THE EU’s “dangerous” obsession with “strategic autonomy” by locking out the UK and other non-EU defence companies from participating in a new €500m (£437m) defence fund after Brexit will push Britain into the arms of the Americans, a senior Whitehall source claims. The move comes after it was revealed UK companies were excluded from the €10billion Galileo satellite navigation system on security grounds. Senior Whitehall defence sources warned the EU’s ultra-defensive approach towards the UK and other non-EU countries risked damaging Europe’s long-term security.
Nicola Sturgeon attacked “mad Brexiteers” like Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove after meeting with Michel Barnier in Brussels on Monday. The Scottish First Minister demanded Britain stay in the Customs Union and Single Market after it leaves the EU shortly after holding talks with Mr Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. Theresa May has repeatedly said that Brexit means leaving both but Mrs Sturgeon said that position was “unsustainable” and that remaining in them could find majority support in the House of Commons.
Nicola Sturgeon made clear in her view this was the “only credible and sustainable” option for the UK after Brexit, but added that the Prime Minister was only listening to “mad Brexiteers”. While some Tory politicians, such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, want the UK to pull out of both the customs union and the single market, Ms Sturgeon insisted maintaining these relationships would be in the country’s best interests. She spoke out after a meeting with the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels. Ms Sturgeon said afterwards: “I was very clear with Michel Barnier this morning that I wanted to see not just Scotland but the UK as a whole remaining within the single market, that’s the position the Scottish Government has taken all along.”
Philip Hammond has been accused by one of the Bank of England’s most senior figures of pursuing a Brexit deal that would leave the Bank as a “rule taker” from Brussels. Sir Jon Cunliffe, one of the Bank’s deputy governors, fears that the Treasury is “going to give it all away” when it comes to City regulation post-Brexit, it is claimed. Relations between the Treasury and the Bank are said to be “very, very bad” as a result of the growing distrust. It comes as Theresa May was accused of damaging the chances of a successful Brexit by refusing to allow ministers to talk about preparations for “no deal”.
The Treasury sought last night to play down reports that it was at loggerheads with the Bank of England as manufacturers weighed in to the customs row that divides the cabinet. Tensions over how goods would be traded across the UK’s border after it left the European Union have obscured in recent weeks the related issue of how far Britain would align its regulations with the rest of the bloc. In seeking to protect the services sector, and particularly the City of London, Philip Hammond, the chancellor, wants Brussels to sign up to a “mutual recognition” agreement.
Telegraph (by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)
Italy’s pro-euro elites have overreached disastrously. President Sergio Mattarella has asserted the extraordinary precedent that no political movement or constellation of parties can ever take power if they challenge the orthodoxy of monetary union. He has inadvertently framed events as a battle between the Italian people and an eternal ‘casta’ with foreign loyalties, playing straight into the hands of the insurgent Five Star ‘Grillini’ and anti-euro Lega nationalists. He unwisely invoked the spectre of financial markets to justify his veto of euroscepticism. Taken together, his actions have made matters infinitely worse.
Populist parties enraged by the president’s decision to scupper their government are threatening to turn the autumn elections into a referendum on Italy’s place in Europe. President Mattarella named Carlo Cottarelli, a former IMF official, as interim prime minister yesterday after refusing a candidate for economy minister proposed by the Five Star and League parties as they stood on the brink of taking power. The presidential veto of Paolo Savona, after his calls for a possible Italian exit from the euro, prompted the two parties to ditch government talks and accuse Mr Mattarella of taking orders from Brussels, not from Italy’s voters.
BRUSSELS was yesterday blamed for plunging Italy into crisis amid accusations it pressurised the country’s establishment to squash a Eurosceptic government. The Eurozone’s third largest economy teetered on the brink of fresh elections last night after President Sergio Mattarella controversially installed a former IMF banker, Carlo Cottarelli – nicknamed “Mr Scissors” for his love of spending cuts – as unelected PM. Italy has struggled to form a coalition government ever since a major election upset three months ago that saw the populist League and 5 Star Movement surge ahead of the established parties. Mr Mattarella vetoed the appointment of anti-euro finance minister Paolo Savona, saying he had a duty to protect his country’s place in the single currency.
Italians were in uproar Monday over the decision by President Sergio Mattarella to reject the newly elected populist government in deference to European Union concerns, calling for his resignation or impeachment. This was the first time in the history of the Italian republic that a president had thrown out the proposal for a government from elected parties, and even critics of the populist victors have acknowledged that the Italian people will take the move as a slap to Italian voters and the entire democratic process.