Wednesday, 18 January 2012

NHS funds boy's op in Germany

NHS funds boy's op in Germany: A Northamptonshire boy gets his cancer treatment in Germany paid for by the NHS after it cancels two appointments. BBC Northamptonshire

Two thirds of ambulances stranded outside Northampton A&E

Two thirds of ambulances stranded outside Northampton A&E:

TWO-THIRDS of the ambulances assigned to cover the south of the county were stranded outside A&E at Northampton General Hospital on another busy day for the overloaded emergency department, a patient has claimed. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Current policy on specialists’ role in NHS reforms inadequate

Current policy on specialists’ role in NHS reforms inadequate:

Specialists in Commissioning: Looking Beyond Current Policy discusses the views of GPs and specialists on current policy on specialists in Clinical Commissioning Groups. The paper calls for policy to be more inclusive and flexible to allow both groups of doctors to develop positive relationships to enable integrated care across the primary-secondary healthcare boundaries.

The paper proposes a transformation of the traditional relationship between GPs and specialists in the NHS, which has increasingly been limited by professional and policy constraints and requirements, rather than necessarily by an ethos of common purpose and benefit for patients and the public. NHS Networks

New NHS Pension Scheme calculator published

New NHS Pension Scheme calculator published:
The new NHS Pension Scheme calculator published today is in response to the NHS pensions ‘heads of agreement’. The employee contributions calculator enables NHS Pension Scheme members to calculate how much their contributions will increase, if at all, on a monthly basis, on both a gross and net of tax relief basis.
View the NHS Pension scheme calculator.
A ‘heads of agreement’ was reached with the Trades Unions, employers and DH involved in the NHS scheme specific discussions, as announced in Parliament on 20 December. Department of Health

Lords welfare defeat headed off

Lords welfare defeat headed off: The government averts a House of Lords defeat over its plans to replace the Disability Living Allowance. BBC News

CSOs need CCG support to survive - Hakin

CSOs need CCG support to survive - Hakin: NHS commissioning support organisations will need to demonstrate they have clinical commissioning groups prepared to buy from them if they are to survive after April 2013, the Department of Health has said. E-Health Insider

Newly qualified nurses must have proper support, says government advisor

Newly qualified nurses must have proper support, says government advisor: A senior government advisor on NHS education and training has spoken of her concern at some trusts disinterest in training and called for newly qualified nurses to be properly supported. Nursing Times

Everyone needs to support stigma campaign

Everyone needs to support stigma campaign: As the Time to Change campaign was praised by the Deputy Prime Minister today, Mental Health Network director Steve Shrubb said it was vital for us all to support it NHS Confederation

NHS education and training set to go local - The Guardian

NHS education and training set to go local - The Guardian:

The Guardian
NHS education and training set to go local
The Guardian
The Foundation Trust Network, the trade association for public providers of healthcare in England, has been working hard to ensure that workforce policy embraces a localist agenda, which puts providers in the driving seat. The government has accepted ...

and more »

Dixon warns commissioning groups at risk of being 'emasculated' - Pulse

Dixon warns commissioning groups at risk of being 'emasculated' - Pulse:

British Journal of Healthcare Computing
Dixon warns commissioning groups at risk of being 'emasculated'
Pulse
By Gareth Iacobucci | 17 Jan 2012 NHS Alliance chief Dr Michael Dixon has called on the Government to 'put its full weight' behind GP commissioning to prevent the policy being a failure. In his new year address to GPs, Dr Dixon questioned the ...
Hospital service cuts hard to justify, say expertsPharma Times

all 25 news articles »

Risk to patients left with no GPs out of hours

Risk to patients left with no GPs out of hours: Patients are being put at risk because up to a quarter of out-of-hours GP shifts are unfilled in some parts of the country, according to latest figures. The Daily Telegraph

Breast implant scandal 'inevitable' due to MHRA failings: Lancet

Breast implant scandal 'inevitable' due to MHRA failings: Lancet: The breast implant scandal was "an inevitable result" of "paralysis" at the healthcare regulator, according to the editor of The Lancet, who has accused it of having a "do nothing" attitude. The Daily Telegraph

Implant danger extends to all medical devices

Implant danger extends to all medical devices:

The scandal of substandard breast implants placed in thousands of British women is symptomatic of a wider regulatory failure affecting all medical devices, an expert on patient safety said yesterday.The Independent

Timetable announced for vote on pensions proposals

Timetable announced for vote on pensions proposals: The Royal College of Nursing today announced the timetable for the members’ vote in which they will decide whether they wish to accept or reject the Government’s “final” pensions proposals.

PIP breast implants – latest from the NHS

PIP breast implants – latest from the NHS:

Women concerned about French-made PIP breast implants can find all the latest NHS information about the issue on this page.

Worries about the implants have emerged since news of a major investigation into them in France was widely covered in the media in December 2011.

It is thought that around 40,000 women in the UK have the implants, with about 95% of them having been provided privately for purely cosmetic reasons.

What’s the problem?

The French implants caused global concern after it was revealed they contained industrial silicone rather than medical-grade fillers and that they may be more prone to rupture and leakage. Initially reports also linked the implants to a rare form of cancer known as ALCL. This cancer link has been now been firmly discounted by medical experts here and in Europe.

What type of implants are involved?

The implants involved are called Poly Implant Prosth├Ęse (PIP) and were made, starting in 2001, by a French company of the same name.

The marketing, distribution and use of the PIP implants was suspended in March 2010 after regulators found that the manufacturers were using silicone intended for industrial use, and not medical-grade silicone fillers. It is reported that the company used a cheap type of silicone gel intended for making mattresses.

Do the implants have to be removed early?

Most breast implants need to be removed or replaced after 10-15 years.

An expert committee was set up recently to examine the specific risks associated with PIP implants. It concluded that as yet there was not enough evidence to recommend their early removal.

However, the committee said the NHS would remove and replace the implants without charge if patients that the NHS had operated on remained concerned. The government expects the private sector to follow suit.

NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who led the expert review group, said: “On the basis of the information we have, we do not think it is necessary to recommend the routine removal of these implants.

“But we understand that some women will be very concerned so we support the government’s position that the NHS will support removal of PIP implants if the patient has concerns and, with her doctor, she decides that it is right to do so.”

How many people are affected?

More than 300,000 PIP implants have been sold globally in 65 countries over the past 12 years. Europe was a major market but more than half of the implants went to South America.

In the UK, 40,000 women are thought to have the implants. Private clinics fitted 95% of these for women seeking cosmetic breast augmentation. The remaining 5% were fitted on the NHS.

The NHS provides breast implants only where there is clinical need. For example, women who have a mastectomy (breast removal surgery) as part of treatment for breast cancer are often offered implants as part of reconstructive surgery.

What happens if I got a PIP implant through the NHS?

Women who received a PIP implant from the NHS will be contacted to let them know they have one.

If you are worried, you should book a consultation with your specialist or GP. They will offer clinical advice on the best way forward. This could include an examination using scans, such as MRI, to look for any signs that the implant may have ruptured.

The NHS will support removal and replacement of PIP implants if a woman and her doctor decide that it is the right thing to do. The secretary of state has made clear that patients' concerns must be put first.

What if I got a PIP implant privately?

The following private clinics have said they will replace PIP implants free if clinically necessary: Holly House, Highgate Hospitals, Make Yourself Amazing, Ramsay Health Care, Spire Healthcare, BMI Healthcare, Nuffield Healthcare and HCA International.

If a private clinic that provided PIP implants no longer exists or refuses to help, then, so long as you are entitled to NHS services, the NHS will cover the cost of the removal of PIP implants if your doctor agrees. However, the NHS will not replace implants unless it is clinically necessary.

What’s the evidence around the saftety of PIP implants?

During December 2011 UK media had originally focused on a possible link between PIP implants and a rare type of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). This arose after a French woman with PIP implants developed the cancer and died. However, after reviewing the evidence, the expert group conducting the review agreed that there was no link with cancer.

More recently, attention has focused on the rupture rate of the implants, and whether the unapproved gel filling of PIP implants could have a toxic effect.

The review has specifically looked at these issues, and found:

  • From the “patchy” data available, the review panel was not able to tell whether the rupture rate for PIPs is higher than for other types of implant.

  • From the implants that have been tested there appears to be no risk of dangerous toxic effects in the event of a rupture.

  • The review group said it could not be certain that the manufacturer did not change the content of the implants, so could not completely rule out the possibility that some might contain toxic substances.

What is a rupture and what are the signs?

A rupture is a split that occurs in the implant’s casing. A rupture can be caused if:

  • the implant’s shell gets weaker over time

  • the implant is damaged during the operation

  • there is a flaw in the implant

  • the breast is injured

If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, you should discuss them with your GP, who will refer you to a specialist:

  • lumpiness of the breast

  • lumpiness or swelling in the area around the breast

  • change in shape of the breast

  • deflation of the breast

  • redness

  • tenderness of the breast

  • swelling of the breast

  • pain or sensitivity

Links To The Headlines

No Routine Removal For PIP Breast Implants. Sky News, January 6 2012

NHS will remove implants free of charge for their patients but private clinics must pay for operations themselves, Government says. Daily Mail, January 6 2012

Government will pay for women who had breast implants on NHS to have them removed. The Daily Telegraph, January 6 2012

Clinics 'should remove implants'. BBC News, January 6 2012

NHS Choices