Stephen Hawking blames Tory politicians for damaging NHS

Exclusive: Physicist criticises ministers over funding cuts, privatisation and pay caps before address revealing his reliance on health service

Stephen Hawking has accused ministers of damaging the NHS, blaming the Conservatives in a passionate and sustained attack for slashing funding, weakening the health service though privatisation, demoralising staff by curbing pay and cutting social care support.

The renowned 75-year-old physicist was speaking to promote an address he will give on Saturday outlining how he owes his long life and achievements to the NHS care he received, and setting out his fears for a service he believes is being turned into “a US-style insurance system”.

Related: The NHS saved me. As a scientist, I must help to save it | Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is brilliant physicist but wrong on lack of evidence 4 weekend effect.2015 Fremantle study most comprehensive ever 1/2

And whatever entrenched opposition,no responsible health sec could ignore it if you want NHS 2 be safest health service in world as I do 2/2

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Sexual health shake-up in south-west London unsafe, experts say

Cost-cutting plans in three boroughs will lead to more STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancies, senior doctors warn

Senior doctors have warned that a major shake-up of sexual health services in three London boroughs will lead to more unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.

As concerns grow about the funding of sexual health services across England, 14 experts in the field at St George’s hospital in south-west London have written to NHS and local council leaders branding the money-saving changes “unsafe, unworkable and unsustainable”.

Related: Government cuts ‘leave sexual health services at tipping point’

Related: Cases of syphilis hit highest level in England since 1949

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Health inequality gap ‘is still growing’ in England, new Department of Health data shows

Poor people face years of failing health and earlier death compared to the rich, despite government pledges to reduce inequality

The health gap between rich and poor is growing in England, according to shocking figures compiled by the Department of Health.

Despite government pledges to reduce inequalities in areas such as life expectancy and susceptibility to disability and disease, those living in the most deprived areas of the country run a greater risk of premature death, seeing a child die soon after it is born, and of ending up in hospital as an emergency case. Differing health outcomes for the rich and the poor were identified by Theresa May last year as a “burning injustice”.

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Health inequality gap ‘is still growing’ in England, new Department of Health data shows

Poor people face years of failing health and earlier death compared to the rich, despite government pledges to reduce inequality

The health gap between rich and poor is growing in England, according to shocking figures compiled by the Department of Health.

Despite government pledges to reduce inequalities in areas such as life expectancy and susceptibility to disability and disease, those living in the most deprived areas of the country run a greater risk of premature death, seeing a child die soon after it is born, and of ending up in hospital as an emergency case. Differing health outcomes for the rich and the poor were identified by Theresa May last year as a “burning injustice”.

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NHS patients waiting for hospital care top 4m for first time in a decade

Critics likely to claim breaching of 4 million barrier is proof government is doing too little to help England’s hospitals

More than 4 million patients are waiting to be admitted to hospital in England to have surgery, the highest number in 10 years, the latest official NHS performance statistics reveal.

Hospital bosses said the figure, and a series of missed performance targets on A&E and cancer care, showed that the health service was now unsustainable. Shortages of money, staff and care outside hospitals to keep patients well meant that it could not cope with an ongoing and unprecedented rise in demand, they said.

Related: Shortage of doctors and midwives putting lives at risk – report

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‘Diana’s doctor poisoned my husband,’ says widow

Society doctor Peter Wheeler is sued for negligence after series of apparent oversights led to death of Greek banker

A widow has told for the first time how her husband died after being slowly “poisoned” when the high-profile private GP overseeing his care failed to ensure that a powerful drug his patient was taking was not harming him.

Barbara Vavalidis is suing Dr Peter Wheeler, a society doctor in London who was Princess Diana’s personal physician, over the death of her husband, Stefanos, from liver failure in 2016.

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Shortage of doctors and midwives putting lives at risk – report

Lack of trained obstetricians is worrying, experts say, because of high risk of serious complications during and after birth

Childbirth experts have warned that mothers’ and babies’ lives in Britain are being put at risk after an NHS inquiry into its maternity services uncovered serious shortages of doctors and midwives in maternity units.

Almost nine out of 10 (88%) units are struggling to recruit enough middle-grade doctors to ensure proper staffing levels, according to an unprecedented in-depth NHS audit of childbirth services across Britain.

Related: More nurses and midwives leaving UK profession than joining, figures reveal

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