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In brief: HCSA President on winter crisis, Legal fee cap

HCSA President voices concern at crunch
HCSA President Ross Welch was among the many voices to speak out amid headlines labelling an unfolding yet anticipated squeeze on hospital capacity as an unprecedented “winter crisis.”

He expressed alarm at hearing of “hospital doctors unable to perform routine surgery across the country as hospitals cancel admissions while beds fill up with patients awaiting discharge into social care.

“This is inefficient and frustrating for all NHS staff as well as the patients they care for,” he said. “It is also predictable given the successive warnings over underfunding of both social and health care in the past year.”

At the time of writing NHS Improvement had yet to publish the detailed figures of hospital performance for the new year.

NHS targets legal fees
“Excessive” lawyer charges that cost the NHS £418 million last year, a 43 per cent annual rise, could be cut under a consultation designed to reduce the current £1.5 billion compensation and legal fee bill.

It aims to target those firms mounting thousands of cases where their income – courtesy of the NHS – dwarfs any eventual payout.

A cap is expected to be put in place by the autumn.