Sturgeon warns hospitals that there is no excuse for bad hygiene

By Amanda MacMillan

HEALTH Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has slammed bad hygiene in hospitals warning there is “no excuse” for staff not washing their hands properly.

Her remarks come after a report was published by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate about hygiene standards in St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Overall inspectors said the standard of cleanliness in 10 of the 11 areas inspected at the West Lothian site had been good.

But the report also found that some staff in ward 21 were not washing or cleaning their hands appropriately when moving between beds or entering and leaving the ward. Continue reading


New legislation to help prevent forced marriages

By Amanda MacMillan

THE SCOTTISH Government launched a crackdown on forced marriages today (Thurs) – warning offenders they could be jailed under strict new laws.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the new legislation which gives courts the power to issue Forced Marriage Protection Orders aimed at keeping those most at risk safe and also helping those threatened with being taken abroad against their will.

Speaking at Shakti Women’s Aid in Edinburgh, where support workers help young women who experience domestic abuse and provide assistance to those who are being forced into marriage, Ms Sturgeon said: “This is a very important piece of legislation to protect people from being forced into marriages against their will.

“Arranged marriages are established parts of the customs of many faiths in Scotland and where there is consent on both sides that is not an issue. Continue reading

Nicola Sturgeon meets babies and mums taking part in new project

By Amanda MacMillan

HEALTH Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has been meeting the first babies born to young mums taking part in a new US-inspired project.

The Family Nurse Partnership Programme supports first-time mums under 19 and is being tested in the NHS Lothian area.

The pioneering project is aimed at giving children a healthier start in life.

As part of the programme, seven family nurses visit expectant mums every one or two weeks during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their baby’s life.

They offer guidance on child development, preventative health measures, parenting skills, breastfeeding, better diet information and advice for mothers on education and employment. Continue reading

Videos launched to help children prepare for cancer treatment

By Christine Lavelle

A SERIES of short films are to be posted on youtube to help prepare children facing cancer treatment in hospital.

The six two-minute videos have been designed with children and parents in mind, and each addresses a different theme – going to the operating theatre, placing central lines, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and nutrition.

Aimed at kids aged between 10 and 12, the clips feature a friendly staff nurse who takes the viewer step-by-step through what they can expect upon arrival in hospital.

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Health Secretary To Face Workers At NHS Scotland Event

By Shaun Milne

SCOTLAND’S Health Secretary will deliver the opening address at a major NHS conference taking place next week.

Nicola Sturgeon will attend NHS Scotland event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Monday where she is expected to unveil details of a new online facility for health staff and praise key achievement by the service across the country.

She will also focus part of her speech on improving safety and quality for patients and work on reducing waiting times.

Her appearance comes just days after she announced that almost 4000 jobs could go in the NHS this year as part of major cost savings.

The decision saw rivals unveil a new campaign slogan – More Nats Fewer Nurses and accuse the SNP administration of “hurting” Scotland’s NHS.

However Ms Sturgeon said the move to lose 3790 workers, including 1523 nursing and midwifery jobs, was still subject to negotiations with unions.

Anger as doctors pocket £142 for every cremation

By Michael MacLeod

SCOTTISH doctors have pocketed an estimated £1.5 million by charging grieving families to have cremation certificates signed.

The £71 so-called “ash cash” charge allows a deceased person’s body to be released for cremation.

Both GPs and hospital doctors each charge for the form-filling exercise, leaving the deceased person’s relatives to fork out £142.

But most mourning families have no idea they are paying the fee, which doctors could choose to waive if they wanted to, as it is often charged to the funeral director who buries it among the final bill.
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Scottish NHS Boards slammed by Ombudsman

By Cara Sulieman

SEVERAL Scots health boards have been slammed by the Public Services Ombudsman over a series of complaints by patients – on the same day that NHS Scotland was revealed as being the least efficient in the UK.

Jim Martin, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, has highlighted six cases where complaints were upheld against NHS Boards.

In his January report, which was delivered to the Scottish Parliament today (Weds), Mr Martin said that the cases “speak for themselves in the suffering many of them describe”.

The “stories of inconvenience, pain, distress and suffering” uncovered by the Ombudsman included an elderly woman with dementia who suffered in silence for two months before NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde finally diagnosed her broken leg.

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