Tag Archives: order

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Hospital doctors will find new NHS order on checkups ‘impossible’

Hospital bosses have ridiculed a new edict from the NHS which insists every inpatient should be medically assessed each morning and evening by a senior doctor.

They claim the order is “impossible” to fulfil because so many hospitals are struggling to fill medical rotas because of widespread shortages of doctors, which are as high as 25% in some places.

The instruction came earlier this month in a letter to the chief executives and medical directors of hospitals in England from the regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement. It made clear that in a bid to cut the number of patients using beds unnecessarily, hospitals must “ensure every patient has a review at the start and end of the day by a senior clinician to facilitate discharge”.

“This is totally ridiculous – another example of hospitals being asked to do the impossible by the unreasonable,” one NHS trust chief executive, who asked not to be named, told the Observer.

Another warned that getting doctors to review all patients twice daily would leave them with too few medics to staff operations and lead to longer waits for non-urgent procedures.

“It is not doable. It’s another pie in the sky. There just isn’t the clinical workforce to do this without affecting other services and pushing out waiting times which we are also required to meet. Just another request for the impossible,” the chief executive said.

Q&A

Does the UK have enough doctors and nurses?

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

NHS unions and health thinktanks point out that rises in NHS staff’s workloads have outstripped the increases in overall staff numbers. Hospital bosses say understaffing is now their number one problem, even ahead of lack of money and pressure to meet exacting NHS-wide performance targets. Hunt has recently acknowledged that, and Health Education England, the NHS’s staffing and training agency, last month published a workforce strategy intended to tackle the problem.

Read a full Q&A on the NHS winter crisis

The letter, sent on 9 March, also tells hospitals to ensure that they “boost essential services such as diagnostics and pharmacy at the weekends to maximise non-elective patient flow”.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents trusts, urged NHS chiefs to “not to pretend” that hospitals, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent weeks, could do everything they wanted to improve patient care.

“There is simply not enough capacity to deliver optimum care all the time, particularly when demand is as high as it currently is. We should not pretend otherwise,” she said. “Requirements cannot be consistently delivered all the time, particularly when some trusts are running medical vacancy rates of 25%.”

Doctors should order more blood cancer tests, MPs say

TV presenter Simon Thomas, whose wife died from a rare form of blood cancer last year, is calling for better training of GPs

Sky sports presenter, Simon Thomas


The Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas says doctors only diagnosed his wife’s acute myeloid leukaemia three days before she died. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

The Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas has revealed that doctors missed his wife’s blood cancer three times in the days before her death.

Thomas called for better training of GPs on the same day as politicians said doctors should order blood tests for any patient who shows symptoms of blood cancer.

Thomas’s wife, Gemma, died aged 40 in November, just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a rare form of the disease.

Gemma initially had flu-like symptoms and went to see a doctor three times over the course of six days before she was finally admitted to hospital, where her condition continued to deteriorate, despite intensive chemotherapy treatment.

Since then, her husband Simon has raised more than £30,000 for charity. The money has been divided between Maggie’s Centres, a charity which offers support to people affected by cancer, and a refugee project that Gemma had launched.

On Wednesday, Thomas tweeted: “Three times my wife Gemma went to the doctor in six days and three times she was sent home and told to rest.

“Four days after her final visit to the her GP she was dead. We have to help and train our GPs and to detect blood cancer earlier.”

Simon Thomas (@SimonThomasSky)

Three times my wife Gemma went to the doctor in six days and three times she was sent home and told to rest. Four days after her final visit to her GP she was dead. We have to help and train our GP’s and to detect #bloodcancer earlier. @bloodwise_uk is doing this. #hiddencancer https://t.co/V1uEz1HCLF

January 17, 2018

Simon Thomas (@SimonThomasSky)

Acute Myeloid Leukaemia took my wife Gemma and Ethan’s Mum just before Christmas aged only 40 years and just three days after being diagnosed. This is so important. @bloodwise_uk https://t.co/V1uEz1HCLF

January 17, 2018

Thomas, 44, has been tweeting and blogging about his grief following Gemma’s death from AML, which affects around 2,600 people in Britain each year.

Thomas said he doesn’t blame the doctors who initially saw his wife before she was taken to hospital, but has encouraged people to seek a diagnosis from medics if they continue to feel unwell.

Simon Thomas (@SimonThomasSky)

The darkness will hopefully not overcome. pic.twitter.com/umuBOT0TdW

January 2, 2018

The all-party parliamentary group on blood cancer said on Wednesday that many signs of blood cancer can be “misunderstood or misdiagnosed”.

In a new report, the group said that diagnosing blood cancer – such as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma – can be “complex”.

Highlighting one patient group, MPs described how some elderly myeloma patients reporting symptoms of back ache and bone pain are told their symptom is “part of the ageing process”.

In order to improve early diagnosis rates, they called on GPs to immediately order a blood test for anyone presenting with one or more symptoms of blood cancer.

Symptoms of blood cancers can be similar to the symptoms of feeling “run down” or flu, such as fatigue, night sweats, weight loss, bruising and pain, they said.

The chair of the patient group, Henry Smith, an MP whose mother died from acute myeloid leukaemia in 2012, said: “Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK and someone is diagnosed every 14 minutes.

“Delays in diagnosis can have a severe impact on an individual’s chance of survival, as well as on their quality of life.”

Commenting on the report, professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: ““Each type of blood cancer can present in a varied way and GPs will base their decisions around what diagnostic testing is most appropriate on the symptoms being displayed by, and the unique circumstances potentially affecting, the patient in front of us.

“Any decision to pursue opportunistic testing must not be undertaken lightly as GPs need a good scientific evidence base before they order any investigations.”

NHS must put its house in order before seeking more cash, says internal audit

The NHS needs to put its “house in order” and improve standards before it can justify asking central government for more cash, the man leading a review of efficiency within healthcare has said.

Prof Tim Briggs, the national director of clinical quality and efficiency, said the service wasted too much money on poor care. He told the Times: “I do not think at the moment we deserve more money until we put our house in order and we actually make the changes that will improve the quality of care.

“If you could get the infection rate across the country down to 0.2% just in hip and knee replacements, you’d save the NHS every year £250m-£300m just by improving the quality of care.”

The audit by Briggs identified means of saving hundreds of millions of pounds every year and claimed the greatest wastes of money in hospitals were due to hundreds of thousands of patients needlessly being admitted to emergency surgery beds; bed-blocking; the inflated price of basic surgical equipment; and legal costs associated with mistakes in maternity wards.

Briggs, the consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS trust, said: “There are significant changes we can make to improve our practice that will allow us to do a lot more work with the amount of money we have.”

Two months ago, a report in the Health Service Journal said parts of the NHS in England were considering “savage” cuts in a bid to meet financial targets. Proposals under discussion included: closing or downgrading wards and services; extending waiting times; restricting NHS funding for some treatments; and limiting the number of operations carried out by non-NHS providers.

The NHS has been told to make £22bn in efficiency savings by 2020.