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Weekly News Round-Up: A&E and TVs

One in 10 A&E posts left unfilled

Accident and Emergency departments across the country are understaffed by almost 10 per cent on average, according to new figures.

Some 1,260 vacancies exist at the 101 of England’s 166 hospital trusts which replied to a Freedom of Information request.

The figures were published as the Department of Health prepared to announce this week how £500 million of extra funding for the nation’s A&E departments will be allocated. Read more

Nick Collins | The Daily Telegraph | 9th September 2013

Taxpayers’ £7.2m bill for TV sets in prisons

TAXPAYERS paid £7.2million for televisions in prisons over the past four years, it emerged yesterday.

The cost of letting inmates watch TV in their cells in 139 jails in England and Wales, was revealed after a Freedom of Information request.

The Prison Service had said the cost was met by inmates who pay around £1 a week. But over the period they paid just £8.6million. The shortfall was met by taxpayers. Read more

John Chapman | The Daily Express | 5th September 2013

Mary Portas admits £500,000 contract for Channel 4 series

The celebrity shopping expert Mary Portas has admitted she was paid £500,000 by Channel 4 while making her series on reviving town centres, after denying it during a combative session with MPs this month.

This year the Guardian obtained documents from a freedom of information request that revealed that film-makers working with Portas on her reality TV show lobbied government officials to direct taxpayer funds to certain high streets because they would be popular with television audiences. Read more

Randeep Ramesh | The Guardian | 10th September 2013


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