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Brain surgeon Charlie Teo says ‘the truth will set you free’ as inquiry resumes

Teo tells hearing he ‘went too far’ in surgery that left patient unresponsive, but defends his actions

The high-profile neurosurgeon Charlie Teo has admitted making an error during surgery by going “too far” and leaving a patient damaged.

Teo is appearing at a medical disciplinary hearing to explain how two of his patients ended up with catastrophic brain injuries after he performed surgery.

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Will Jeremy Hunt foot the bill for NHS staffing? The signs aren’t promising | Denis Campbell

Unions, regulators and NHS England all say staff shortages are affecting health of medics and patients

“There’s a gap today that no locum filled, so I am carrying both bleeps and doing the work of two people.” That recent tweet, by a children’s doctor, is one of many examples posted on social media by medics illustrating how NHS staff shortages affect them, patients, the smooth running of important services – and, sometimes, the safety of those who are receiving care.

It is a concern shared by every organisation that represents frontline staff, by regulators such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and by NHS England, the body that oversees the service. Just as one example, in January the CQC reported that an inspection it had undertaken of Colchester hospital in Essex found patients were missing out on meals because there were too few staff on duty to feed them. Some patients were wearing dirty dressings, and others did not have their call bells answered promptly, for the same reason.

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NHS staff shortages in England could exceed 570,000 by 2036, leaked document warns

Exclusive: workplace plan sent to ministers says deficit will rise rapidly from current 154,000 if current trends continue

The NHS in England needs a massive injection of homegrown doctors, nurses, GPs and dentists to avert a recruitment crisis that could leave it short of 571,000 staff, according to an internal document seen by the Guardian.

A long-awaited workforce plan produced by NHS England says the health service is already operating with 154,000 fewer full-time staff than it needs, and that number could balloon to 571,000 staff by 2036 on current trends.

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Ofsted can be summed up in one word: inadequate | Letters

Prof Colin Richards stands by his 1990s criticism of the schools regulator, Michael Pyke says it was set up to enforce a marketised system, and other readers give their views

Twenty-six years ago, following a contentious departure from Ofsted, I wrote an article for the Guardian (The high price of inspection, 3 June 1997). Little did I realise how high that price would be in terms of teachers’ mental health, ruined careers, demoralised schools, retention crises and, in extreme cases, individuals’ suicides (Punishing Ofsted regime is driving us out of education, say school leaders, 24 March). Doubtless many schools did improve as a result of Ofsted inspections, but some did not. Some schools benefited from, and gloried in, Ofsted accolades, but many did not. In the many negative instances, both children’s and teachers’ interests were poorly served.

I finished my article with: “There has to be a better way.” I still stand by that contention, and not just through removing misleading, simplistic overall grades. A better way can be found by drawing on the previous experiences of HM Inspectorate of Schools, abolished in 1992, and on inspection systems in other jurisdictions, including Wales. That will require political goodwill, as evidenced in Labour’s education plans, and determined but humane leadership once the current cloth-eared, ideological chief inspector steps down, or is forced to do so.
Prof Colin Richards
Spark Bridge, Cumbria

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A catch-22 question for river swimmers | Brief letters

Logical black hole | King Charles III | Urinary tract infections | Boris Johnson’s parties | No 10 exceptionalism

Is there some legal or Latin term for the logical black hole whereby the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can deny a request to clean up the River Deben because not enough people swim in it, yet must surely understand that the reason more people don’t swim in it is because the water isn’t clean enough (Bathing water status rarely granted in England, analysis finds, 23 March)?
Judith Martin

• I hope the irony is not lost on French protesters that the postponed state visit was being undertaken by a man who started a new job at the age of 73 (King Charles’s visit to France postponed amid protests, 24 March).
John Hubbard
Bournemouth, Dorset

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