Thursday, 23 May 2019

Northamptonshire health boss reveals plans for the future

Northamptonshire health boss reveals plans for the future Toby Sanders has a big job. As chief executive of Northamptonshire’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups he has responsibility for an annual budget just shy of £1bn and it’s his role to make sure the health services in the county are performing well and meeting the needs of our ever growing and ever ageing population.

Appointed in November last year after a successful seven years in the same role in West Leicestershire, the new chief executive has plans to shake up the county’s healthcare system in line with the NHS’s new 10-year plan that was published earlier this year. Northamptonshire Telegraph

Nurse at Northampton GP surgery cautioned by police after prescribing Class C drug to wife

Nurse at Northampton GP surgery cautioned by police after prescribing Class C drug to wife A Northampton nurse is facing possible sanctions after admitting to doling out medication in a "cavalier" manner without proper authority on several occasions.

Kyle Hastings, who works at St Luke's Primary Care Centre in Duston, has been facing a Nursing and Midwifery Council panel over incidents dating between 2016 and 2017 involving misuse of prescriptions. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Kettering General Hospital out of 'special measures' after CQC inspection

Kettering General Hospital out of 'special measures' after CQC inspection A hospital criticised for its safety standards has been taken out of special measures after two years by inspectors, but remains as "requires improvement".

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said all areas of Kettering General Hospital have been rated "good" or "requires improvement". BBC Northampton

What does NHSX have to learn from other countries’ experiences of digitisation in health systems?

What does NHSX have to learn from other countries’ experiences of digitisation in health systems? What are the fundamental challenges facing policy-makers who want to see the widescale adoption of effective digital technology in the health and care system? The King's Fund

Joining the dots: connecting behavioural insights to improvement, and to our humanity

Joining the dots: connecting behavioural insights to improvement, and to our humanity Behavioural insights – often referred to as ‘nudging’ – are lessons from psychology, cognitive science, social science and behavioural economics that shine a light on how we make choices. At their core is the recognition that we are not always consistent nor rational in our choices and behaviour. Rather, our behaviour is determined by a fallible brain that is greatly influenced by the context in which our choices are made. The Health Foundation

Social care: Free at the point of need - The case for free personal care in England

Social care: Free at the point of need - The case for free personal care in England Adult social care is one the most important public services in the UK. For hundreds of thousands of people it provides vital care and support – in their homes or in a residential setting – to ensure that they can maintain their independence, dignity and quality of life as they age. This may involve receiving help with basic tasks such as getting up or eating, or 24-hour support for people with complex needs such as dementia.

But unlike its sibling service – the NHS – social care has been consistently undervalued. This can be seen in the different principles which underpin the two services: whilst the NHS is free at the point of need, social care is means tested, with only those on low incomes entitled to receive statutory support. As a result, approximately half of all people formally receiving social care, privately finance at least part of their care – and this figure has been growing. Institute for Public Policy Research
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Hospital 'abused' vulnerable adults in Durham

Hospital 'abused' vulnerable adults in Durham The abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable adults at a specialist hospital has been uncovered by the BBC's Panorama programme.

Undercover BBC filming shows staff intimidating, mocking and restraining patients with learning disabilities and autism at Whorlton Hall, County Durham.

Experts said the culture was deviant at the privately-run NHS-funded unit with evidence of "psychological torture".

A police investigation has been launched and 16 staff suspended. BBC News

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Cannula sleeves: 'Simple solution for dementia patients'

Cannula sleeves: 'Simple solution for dementia patients' When singer Sharon Wallace volunteered at a hospice in her local area, she noticed how small things can make a huge difference.

"It can be heartbreaking when you see people affected by dementia," she said. "They're often in another world, but music can really help," she told the BBC.

She also noticed how some of the residents with dementia could be quite fidgety. BBC News

NHS warning: Drivers wearing lanyards 'risk injury'

NHS warning: Drivers wearing lanyards 'risk injury' NHS staff are being warned not to wear their lanyards when driving or travelling in cars because of the risk of injury if an airbag goes off.

It comes after an NHS worker, who crashed while driving home, suffered a perforated bowel from keys attached to her lanyard. BBC News

Three-quarters of food bought in UK hospitals is unhealthy, audit shows

Three-quarters of food bought in UK hospitals is unhealthy, audit shows NHS staff, patients and visitors shun nutritious snacks in favour of crisps, sweets and cakes

Researchers have called for radical restrictions on junk food in UK hospitals after an audit of NHS health centres found that people overwhelmingly bought unhealthy snacks and drinks on the premises.

Three-quarters of the best-selling snacks in hospital cafes and canteens were rated as unhealthy, along with half of the most popular cold drinks, according to a report by the audit’s authors.  The Guardian

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Ten million in rural areas now lack basic services like GP surgeries, hospitals and nursing homes

Ten million in rural areas now lack basic services like GP surgeries, hospitals and nursing homes Huge swathes of rural Britain have become ‘healthcare deserts’ where millions struggle to access GP appointments and hospital treatment, nurses have warned.

The ten million people who live in the English countryside are served by grossly inadequate healthcare, they say. And with GP practices, community hospitals and nursing homes closing, things are getting worse.

While other parts of the NHS are turning to revolutionary online systems and app-based healthcare, patchy mobile service and substandard broadband means this is a pipedream in many rural areas. The Daily Mail

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Northampton General Hospital to improve care for the armed forces community

Northampton General Hospital to improve care for the armed forces community Northampton General Hospital has been named a Veteran Aware hospital in recognition of its commitment to improving NHS care for veterans, reservists, members of the armed forces and their families.

The accreditation, from the Veterans Covenant Hospital Alliance (VCHA), acknowledges the hospital’s pledge to train specific staff on veteran needs - as well as making veterans, reservists and service families aware of charities beneficial to them such as mental health services. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Adult social care needs to be 'more integrated' when unitary takes over control in Northampton

Adult social care needs to be 'more integrated' when unitary takes over control in Northampton A report has recommended that health services for adult social care in Northamptonshire needs to be more ‘integrated’ when the new unitary authorities are created in 2021.


Tackling loneliness and giving greater assistance to the black and mixed ethnicity (BAME) community are also highlighted as key things to tackle in the report, which has been written up by councillors on the overview and scrutiny committee of Northampton Borough Council. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Hundreds of under-75s die from stroke and heart disease in Northamptonshire

Hundreds of under-75s die from stroke and heart disease in Northamptonshire Hundreds of under-75s have died from stroke and heart disease in Northamptonshire in recent years as progress in reducing death rates for the conditions slows, new figures show.

The trend reflects the findings of a British Heart Foundation report, which reveals deaths from cardiovascular diseases in the UK among under-75s have risen for the first time in more than 40 years. Daventry Express

Improving access out of hours: Evaluation of extended-hours primary care access hubs

Improving access out of hours: Evaluation of extended-hours primary care access hubs Could schemes aiming to increase the availability of primary care health care access out of hours improve the overall quality of services and patient experience in outer east London? The Nuffield Trust was commissioned by Barking, Havering and Redbridge CCGs to evaluate the impact of access programmes in these boroughs.

Action needed to spot and stop sepsis, say nurses calling for national early-warning system for children

Action needed to spot and stop sepsis, say nurses calling for national early-warning system for children Health care staff and the public must be educated on the signs of sepsis to save tens of thousands of lives lost each year, nursing staff will say today.

Between 1,000 and 4,000 under-fives die of sepsis every year in the UK, according to the UK Sepsis Trust. Yet there is not currently a universal, nationally validated system to identify deterioration in child patients. Royal College of Nursing

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Under the skin: listening to the voices of older people in influenza immunisation

Under the skin: listening to the voices of older people in influenza immunisation This report finds that attitudes of older adults to influenza immunisation are a significant factor in influencing the vaccination rates amongst this group. It argues that efforts to increase the vaccination coverage rates among the older population needs to move beyond associating age with vulnerability and towards presenting immunisation as a positive and healthy lifestyle choice. International Longevity Centre UK

Fit for the future: a vision for general practice

Fit for the future: a vision for general practice This report outlines RCGP's vision for the future of general practice and it is informed through consultation with GPs, health professionals and patients, alongside research commissioned from The King's Fund. It makes the case for longer face-to-face GP consultation times and wider skill-mix within general practice. Royal College of General Practitioners

Care of every patient held in long-term segregation to be reviewed

Care of every patient held in long-term segregation to be reviewed Health secretary ‘moved and appalled’ after report identifies dozens of people spending prolonged periods in isolation

The care of every patient stuck in segregation will be independently reviewed, the health secretary has announced, after a report suggested many vulnerable people were being failed.

Matt Hancock said he had been “deeply moved and appalled” by stories of people with autism and learning disabilities spending prolonged periods in isolation in mental health units, and vowed to improve their treatment. The Guardian

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NHS nurse who offered a Bible to a cancer patient loses appeal after tribunal ruled she was 'rightly sacked for religious fervour'

NHS nurse who offered a Bible to a cancer patient loses appeal after tribunal ruled she was 'rightly sacked for religious fervour' A nurse who offered a bible to a cancer patient and encouraged him to sing The Lord is My Shepherd was fairly dismissed, a court has ruled.

Sarah Kuteh was given the sack from her job at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, in 2016 for repeatedly talking to patients about her faith and handing out a bible, in breach of Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) rules. The Daily Telegraph

Heart failure missed in thousands of women because doctors assume it's a 'man's disease'

Heart failure missed in thousands of women because doctors assume it's a 'man's disease' Women are less likely than men to be diagnosed with potentially fatal heart failure because of unconscious bias among doctors, new research suggests.

A major study analysing more than 93,000 patients over four years found women were nine per cent less likely to receive a diagnosis and 13 per cent less likely to get the right prescription. The Daily Telegraph

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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Merger proposed for Northamptonshire's two health commissioning groups

Merger proposed for Northamptonshire's two health commissioning groups The two organisations that commission Northamptonshire’s health services could join together.

The move has been put to the governing bodies of both the Nene Clinical Commissioning Group and the Corby Clinical Commissioning Group by their joint chief executive Toby Sanders who joined the trusts in November.

Corby is the smallest CCG in the country and commissions services specifically for the Corby area. Northamptonshire Telegraph

Parity of esteem: delivering physical health equality for those with serious mental health needs

Parity of esteem: delivering physical health equality for those with serious mental health needs This report gives an overview of the work the RCN is doing to address the mortality gap between people with serious mental illness and the rest of the population as well as our work towards establishing parity of esteem between mental and physical health. Royal College of Nursing

Interim report: Review of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with a mental health problem, a learning disability and or autism

Interim report: Review of restraint, prolonged seclusion and segregation for people with a mental health problem, a learning disability and or autism This report gives the interim findings from our review of the use of restrictive interventions in places that provide care for people with mental health problems, a learning disability and/or autism. Care Quality Commission

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15-minute minimum consultations, continuity of care through 'micro-teams', and an end to isolated working: this is the future of general practice

15-minute minimum consultations, continuity of care through 'micro-teams', and an end to isolated working: this is the future of general practice It states that by 2030 face-to-face GP consultations will be at least 15 minutes, with longer for those patients who need it.

Recent research showed that the UK offers some of the shortest GP consultations amongst economically-advanced nations at 9.2 minutes – with another study finding that the average GP consultation involved discussion of two and a half health problems.

It's estimated that the number of people with a single chronic condition increased by 4%, and with multiple chronic conditions by 8% per year between 2003/4-2015/16 – and that patients with long-term conditions account for around 50% of all GP appointments.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "It is abundantly clear that the standard 10-minute appointment is unfit for purpose. It's increasingly rare for a patient to present with a just single health condition, and we cannot deal with this adequately in 10 minutes. Royal College of General Practitioners

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The hospital helping families with baby loss

The hospital helping families with baby loss Losing a baby is devastating enough, without having to go through this experience just feet away from people giving birth. A hospital in the Midlands now hopes to take action by building a safe haven for families enduring the loss of their babies. BBC News

Stress from poverty 'over-medicalised'

Stress from poverty 'over-medicalised' More than 70 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were issued in England in 2018 - and low-income areas had some of some of the highest prescription rates.

BBC Radio 4's PM programme meets some of those interviewed for a new study, Poverty, Pathology and Pills, warning against "over-medicalising poverty". BBC News

Artificial intelligence diagnoses lung cancer

Artificial intelligence diagnoses lung cancer Artificial intelligence is better than specialist doctors at diagnosing lung cancer, a US study suggests.

The researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois and Google hope the technology could boost the effectiveness of cancer screening.

Finding tumours at an earlier stage should make them easier to treat. BBC News

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MPs call for action over medicinal cannabis on NHS

MPs call for action over medicinal cannabis on NHS MPs have expressed frustration over the NHS failure to issue prescriptions to patients in need of medicinal cannabis, despite the law being changed six months ago.

In a lengthy backbench debate last night, Conservative MP Sir Mike Penning called for urgent action in the case of severely epileptic children, for whom medicinal cannabis has helped to reduce their seizures. iNews

More than 500 people told to get HIV tests after visiting dentist in Hertfordshire town

More than 500 people told to get HIV tests after visiting dentist in Hertfordshire town Hundreds of patients at a Hertfordshire dental surgery have been told to take HIVtests after their appointments.

The Dentality @ Hoddesdon practice sent letters to 563 patients who underwent dental scaling practice warning them about exposure “to a blood-borne virus such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV”.

Public Health England (PHE) said a dedicated phone line has been set up to help patients access further information and book a blood test. The Independent

When survival is a popularity contest: the heartbreak of crowdfunding healthcare

When survival is a popularity contest: the heartbreak of crowdfunding healthcare A growing number of Britons are turning to online fundraising for essential treatment in a desperate, ‘Dickensian’ attempt to get around NHS shortfalls. But does it work?

Heather Bellamy’s March appointment at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in King’s Lynn didn’t go well. She had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia five years before, in December 2014; now, her doctor explained gently, she had run out of options on the NHS. Bellamy, 48, would be starting a chemotherapy drug called azacitidine that could extend her life expectancy from two months to six. Her doctor asked if she had a bucket list. “I felt crushed,” she remembers.

Speaking one month on, Bellamy – a senior practice nurse and a mother of four from Downham Market in Norfolk – isn’t chasing her dreams of bungee jumping or swimming with dolphins. Instead, she is fundraising online for an experimental cancer drug, enasidenib, which has been approved by the US authorities but is not available on the NHS.

It’s normalising the idea that, to get essential health services, you need to compete with all these other people. The Guardian

Nurses say too many patients are being subjected to 'do not resuscitate' orders without families being told

Nurses say too many patients are being subjected to 'do not resuscitate' orders without families being told Nurses have warned that too many hospital patients are being subjected to “do not resuscitate orders” without relatives being told - with one describing finding her own great-aunt in such circumstances.

The Royal College of Nursing yesterday heard repeated warnings that “failures to communicate” meant families were left shocked to discover such decisions had been taken about their loved ones. The Daily Telegraph

Nurses call for prostitution to be decriminalised, after RCN vote 

Nurses call for prostitution to be decriminalised, after RCN vote Nurses are calling for prostitution to be decriminalised, saying it is a matter of “fundamental human rights”.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is to start actively lobbying the Government to change the law following a vote at the union's conference in Liverpool.

Members said it would help protect women and give them more rights, saying prohibition only served to isolate vulnerable people. The Daily Telegraph

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33 trusts have excess deaths, eminent professor claims

33 trusts have excess deaths, eminent professor claims More than 30 NHS trusts recorded more deaths than expected last year, an eminent hospital death rates professor has claimed.

Official data last week named the 11 health service-ran organisations across England that recorded excess deaths in 2018.

But Professor Sir Brian Jarman, who helped expose the Mid-Staffordshire hospital scandal, has claimed the true figure is much higher.

He recalculated the NHS Digital data for MailOnline and found a further 22 trusts run by the health service fall into the excess deaths category. The Daily Mail

Monday, 20 May 2019

Northamptonshire health chief takes on additional role

Northamptonshire health chief takes on additional role The chief executive of the county’s mental health trust is taking on an additional leadership role at a Leicestershire NHS Trust.

Angela Hillery, who has led Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to an outstanding CQC grading, says her new role as chief executive of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust will not impact on her commitment to NHFT. Northamptonshire Telegraph

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23 Northampton GP surgeries with 'unsafe' levels of air pollution

23 Northampton GP surgeries with 'unsafe' levels of air pollution A new report was released into the pollution levels on the doorstep of the UK's GPs and Hospitals.

Listed here are all of the Northampton GPs and Hospitals that recorded a higher than recommended level of "fine matter particulate", which WHO says should not be above 10ug/m3 (micrograms per metre cubed). Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Clicks and mortar: Technology and the NHS estate

Clicks and mortar: Technology and the NHS estate Developments in technology are affecting the NHS estate in different ways. In future, these changes could lead to an estate that is better for patients and staff, smarter and more integrated.

Technology is likely to result in a different NHS estate, rather than a smaller one, with space being used or configured in different ways. 

To maximise their impact, technology and the estate should be brought together as part of wider plans for change. This means developing an overarching vision for how health and care will be delivered in the future and being clear about the role of technology and the estate in delivering it. The King's Fund

Many vulnerable children with learning disabilities are stuck in mental health hospitals for too long in poor conditions

Many vulnerable children with learning disabilities are stuck in mental health hospitals for too long in poor conditions Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, is today publishing a new report, ‘Far less than they deserve: Children with learning disabilities or autism living in mental health hospitals’. The report shows how too many children are being admitted to secure hospitals unnecessarily – in some cases are spending months and years of their childhood in institutions when they should be in their community. It warns that the current system of support for those with learning disabilities or autism is letting down some of the most vulnerable children in the country.

The report also finds shocking evidence of poor and restrictive practices and sedation, with some children telling the Children’s Commissioner of how their stay in mental health hospital has been traumatic, and parents too often left feeling powerless to do anything to intervene.

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Improving children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing

Improving children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing The LGA's Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Peer Learning Programme looked at how to prioritise early help and free up acute care for the most vulnerable in order to achieve change; supporting councils and their local partners to learn from each other, and from other councils across the country. Eight councils and their partners took part in two learning days and a visit to another council, gaining further knowledge and understanding on how to tackle their local issue. Local Government Association

The prevalence and persistence of ethnic and racial harassment and its impact on health: a longitudinal analysis

The prevalence and persistence of ethnic and racial harassment and its impact on health: a longitudinal analysis Around one in ten ethnic minorities in England has reported experiencing ethnic and racial harassment in a public place and almost double this number has reported feeling unsafe or avoiding public places, both of which are associated with poorer mental health, according to this report. It highlights the need to consider harassment and discrimination in the provision of mental health services. Institute for Social and Economic Research

    Staff shortages 'abusing good will of nurses'

    Staff shortages 'abusing good will of nurses' The good will of nurses in England is being abused by politicians who have failed to get to grips with a desperate shortage of staff, nurse leaders say.

    Royal College of Nursing general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair will call for safe staffing levels to be enshrined in law in a speech on Monday.

    There are currently nearly 40,000 nurse vacancies - one in nine posts.

    However, the government says it is committed to increasing the number of nurses in training. BBC News

    How going hungry affects children for their whole lives

    How going hungry affects children for their whole lives Food poverty is on the rise in rich countries. And all the evidence suggests that the impact can last for years afterwards. The Independent

    NHS England loses 6,000 mental health nurses in 10 years

    NHS England loses 6,000 mental health nurses in 10 years Recruitment and training crisis ‘hits the most vulnerable in society’, says Royal College of Nursing

    The number of mental health nurses in England has slumped by more than a tenth over the past decade, new figures have revealed. This is despite commitments from both Theresa May and her predecessor, David Cameron, to boost resources for mental health services, which many medical professionals say are now in crisis.

    The total mental health nursing workforce has decreased by 10.6% since 2009, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The Guardian

    Adults with eating disorders 'face appalling NHS failings'

    Adults with eating disorders 'face appalling NHS failings' Report warns of long waits and obstacles to treatment after big rise in hospital admissions

    Adults with life-threatening eating disorders face huge waits for vital NHS care and must overcome “appalling failings” to get help, leading psychiatrists have warned.

    A report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists highlighted the gap in support available for those over 18, saying that while services for teenagers and children have received
     an injection of £135m, investment in adult services has failed to keep up. The Guardian

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    G4S ambulance staff suspended after leaving accidental voice message telling a patient they could beat him 'to a pulp'

    G4S ambulance staff suspended after leaving accidental voice message telling a patient they could beat him 'to a pulp' Two G4S ambulance crew have been suspended after accidentally leaving a voicemail for a patient suggesting they could “beat the f***” out of him and get away with it.

    The ambulance had been sent to collect the man on May 8 to take him to William Harvey hospital in Ashford, Kent for an MRI scan on his lower abdomen following a stomach rupture, it was reported. The Daily Telegraph

    UK's spiralling obesity crisis could lead to liver disease boom

    UK's spiralling obesity crisis could lead to liver disease boom The ever-increasing number of Britons who have type 2 diabetes are more than twice as likely to develop aggressive liver disease, a major study has found.

    The review of nearly 19million people said those with diabetes should be monitored closely because of their raised risk of life-threatening liver disease.

    The study, led by experts at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Glasgow, suggests the UK’s spiralling obesity crisis could lead to a spike in cases of liver cancer. The Daily Mail

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    One in four doctors come from countries that are 'banned from working for the NHS'

    One in four doctors come from countries that are 'banned from working for the NHS' One in four new NHS medics come from countries that are 'banned' from working for the health service, figures have revealed.

    The NHS' Code of Practice lists 97 nations that 'should not be actively recruited from' because they receive aid or suffer from a shortages of medics.

    But an investigation has shown certain NHS trusts have used agencies to recruit staff from these prohibited nations, which include Egypt, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

    And the number of doctors joining the NHS from these countries has doubled in the past two years, the figures show.  The Daily Mail

    Friday, 17 May 2019

    What can the NHS learn from learning health systems?

    What can the NHS learn from learning health systems? Drawing on a seminar held at the Nuffield Trust and on evidence and experience from the UK and internationally, this briefing identifies opportunities for local organisations and systems to make better use of health data, and recommends ways that national policy could promote the collaboration and greater use of analytics which underpin the 'learning health system' concept. We focus on lessons for the NHS – but many of the same actions could be taken across the wider health and care system.

    The NHS misses its new target for planned elective care

    The NHS misses its new target for planned elective care I no longer understand the strategy for elective care in England.

    For most of the past 20 years the approach was fairly straightforward. The priority was to improve access to planned elective treatments like routine hip and knee surgery. A new target was created to treat the majority of patients within 18 weeks of referral to place greater focus on this goal. And the target mattered: NHS hospitals would be fined if patients waited too long for care, and the term ‘waiting list initiatives’ entered the NHS lexicon as hospitals paid staff a premium to provide extra clinics or operating sessions over evenings and weekends to speed up access to treatment. The King's Fund

    Nearly 7 in 10 LGBT people say they have been sexually harassed at work

    Nearly 7 in 10 LGBT people say they have been sexually harassed at work Nearly 7 in 10 (68%) lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people report being sexually harassed at work, according to new research published by the TUC on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia today (Friday).

    The report – the first major study into LGBT sexual harassment at work in Great Britain – found that:
    • More than 2 in 5 (42%) LGBT people who responded to the survey said colleagues made unwelcome comments or asked unwelcome questions about their sex life.
    • More than a quarter (27%) reported receiving unwelcome verbal sexual advances.
    • Two-thirds (66%) said they did not tell their employer about the harassment, and quarter of those said they didn’t report because they were afraid of being ‘outed’ at work.

    National survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS

    National survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS This report includes analysis of the innovation and research needs at local level across all Academic Health Science Networks. There were some differences in regional priorities but common themes emerged which reflected wider challenges facing the NHS and align with the priorities of the NHS Long Term Plan. These include: a need for innovation and research addressing workforce challenges; delivery of mental health services and providing care for patients with mental health needs, particularly in children and young people; integrating services to provide effective care for patients with complex needs – including multimorbidity and frailty; and use of digital and artificial intelligence technology. Oxford Academic Health Science Network

    Urgent action needed to address growing opioid crisis

    Urgent action needed to address growing opioid crisis Governments should treat the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis and improve treatment, care and support for people misusing opioids. Overdose deaths continue to rise, fuelled by an increase in prescription and over-prescription of opioids for pain management and the illicit drugs trade, according to a new OECD report.

    Addressing Problematic Opioid Use in OECD Countries examines how, over the past few years, the crisis has devastated families and communities, especially in North America. It documents that deaths are also rising sharply in Sweden, Norway, Ireland, and England and Wales.

    Between 2011 and 2016, in the 25 OECD countries with available data, opioid-related deaths increased by more than 20%. In Canada, for example, there were more than ten thousand opioid-related deaths between January 2016 and September 2018, with rates increasing from 8.4 per 100,000 people to 11.8 over this period. Opioid abuse has also put a growing burden on health services through hospitalisation and emergency room visits. OECD

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    Bowel cancer rates rising 'among young adults'

    Bowel cancer rates rising 'among young adults' More young people under 50 are being diagnosed with bowel cancer, two studies of the disease in European and high-income countries have found.

    Although total numbers of cases in young people remain low, the studies highlighted a sharp rise in rates in 20 to 29-year-olds.

    Researchers are not clear why this is happening, but say obesity and poor diet could be factors.

    Experts urged doctors not to ignore symptoms in young people. BBC News

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    Cancer: Breakthrough treatments to target drug resistance

    Cancer: Breakthrough treatments to target drug resistance The world's first drugs designed to stop cancer cells becoming resistant to treatment could be available within the next decade, scientists have said.

    A £75m investment to develop the drugs has been announced by the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).

    Chief executive Prof Paul Workman said cancer's ability to adapt to drugs is the biggest challenge in treatment.

    The new drugs could make cancer a "manageable" disease in the long term and "more often curable", he said. BBC News

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    £10m investment in junior doctors’ rest areas

    £10m investment in junior doctors’ rest areas Doctors’ leaders have welcomed the announcement that the government is investing £10m across England in providing better rest facilities for doctors, which they said would make doctors safer – for patients as well as themselves. OnMedica

    Big tobacco secretly bankrolling anti-NHS think tank whose bosses donate thousands to Tory leadership contenders, an investigation reveals

    Big tobacco secretly bankrolling anti-NHS think tank whose bosses donate thousands to Tory leadership contenders, an investigation reveals A secretive think tank which called for the NHS to be scrapped while its heads pour millions into the Conservative Party – and its MPs’ – coffers is being funded by big tobacco, an investigation has found.

    British American Tobacco is one of the groups funding the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a free market think tank which is notoriously close-lipped about its donors.

    The IEA has been an outspoken critic of public health measures for tackling smoking, obesity and harmful drinking, and past funders include organisations affiliated with gambling, alcohol, sugar and soft drinks industries. The Independent

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    Britons get drunk more often than 35 other nations, survey finds

    Britons get drunk more often than 35 other nations, survey finds Meanwhile, cocaine use among people in England tops the same global list

    Drinkers in the UK get drunk more than any other nation in the world, findings from a global survey suggest.

    Britons reported getting drunk an average of 51.1 times in a 12-month period – almost once a week – the report featuring 36 countries found. The Guardian

    UK should consider 'no jab, no school' policy, Italian study says

    UK should consider 'no jab, no school' policy, Italian study says British experts dissent, saying compulsion ‘may work in some countries but it is not for us’

    The UK should consider a “no jab, no school” policy for all small children, researchers have said after finding that current immunisation rates will not keep measles outbreaks at bay.

    The research comes from Italy, which brought in mandatory vaccination before primary school in 2017 because of low immunisation rates and measles outbreaks. France did the same in 2018. Populist politicians have opposed mandatory vaccination, saying parents should have freedom to choose. The Guardian

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    NHS IT blunder leaves 'a million' at risk of lethal meningitis strain

    NHS IT blunder leaves 'a million' at risk of lethal meningitis strain More than a million people could be at risk from a deadly strain of meningitis due to an NHS IT blunder, it has emerged.

    A system designed to alert GPs when a patient should be invited for a vaccination was not switched on for years due to fears of “alert fatigue”. The Daily Telegraph

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    UK urged to show leadership in fight against three big infectious killers 

    UK urged to show leadership in fight against three big infectious killers Health secretary Matt Hancock is being urged to ensure the fight against the world's three biggest infectious disease killers remains a global focus in a meeting with international counterparts this week.

    Mr Hancock is attending this week's G7 meeting of health ministers in Paris where the elimination of AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis will be one of just three items on the agenda. The Daily Telegraph

    The 11 NHS trusts with excess deaths across England

    The 11 NHS trusts with excess deaths across England NHS Digital, which released the report, collected figures from all 130 hospital trusts between January and December last year.

    Data showed around 3,600 more patients died than predicted after spending time in hospitals ran by the 11 trusts.

    The NHS argues the statistics are only a 'smoke alarm'. However, four of the trusts were also named and shamed last year.

    One of them - Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - has been on the worst offending list every year since 2011. The Daily Mail

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    One in 20 NHS doctors are dependent on alcohol, survey finds

    One in 20 NHS doctors are dependent on alcohol, survey finds Thousands of doctors are turning to alcohol amid the unprecedented pressure that is buckling the NHS, research suggests.

    Scientists who quizzed hundreds of consultants found around one in 20, or five per cent, would be classified as dependent on alcohol.

    Almost one in ten, or eight per cent, displayed clear signs of a binge-eating disorder - a common way to combat emotional distress.

    The study comes amid an NHS crisis, with a record 4.23 million-long waiting list for routine hospital treatment spiral to record levels. The Daily Mail

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    Thursday, 16 May 2019

    National health servers: delivering digital health for all

    National health servers: delivering digital health for all This research considers how technology could be adopted quicker and more widely by the NHS to improve the care that patients receive and to drive better health outcomes. The report tracks the patient journey, from prevention and diagnosis in the community, into primary and secondary care, through into management of long-term conditions. It sets out proposals for future development of technology in the NHS, which impact across the patient journey. Social Market Foundation

    Rough sleeping grant: testing community based models of access to health services

    Rough sleeping grant: testing community based models of access to health services he Health and Social Care Secretary has announced that £1.9 million will be given to councils by Public Health England to help improve the health of rough sleepers.

    The funding will be awarded to projects that improve access to health services and continuity of care for people with mental ill-health and substance misuse problems who are sleeping rough or at risk of returning to rough sleeping.

    Applications for funding are now being accepted up until 5 July 2019 and successful projects will be announced in the summer. Department of Health and Social Care

      The social impact of participation in culture and sport

      The social impact of participation in culture and sport This report finds that opportunities to reap major benefits in criminal justice, education and health are being missed by the failure of government to recognise and harness social impact. It argues that the full health impacts of cultural programmes are far from being reached in social prescribing and recommends that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport should encourage sporting organisations to take part in social prescribing schemes which can go beyond physical health benefits to include social impacts, such as tackling loneliness. House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

        Severe morning sickness: 'I asked if pregnancy was worth it'

        Severe morning sickness: 'I asked if pregnancy was worth it' More than 5,000 women from across the UK have shared their experience of extreme pregnancy sickness with BBC News.

        For Hannah Dalton, pregnancy meant not being able to drink fluids for eight months without throwing up, going into hospital 27 times for intravenous drips and living off ice lollies and anti-sickness medication.

        Hannah, 30, from Thundersley, Essex, had hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), the severe pregnancy sickness the Duchess of Cambridge experienced during her three pregnancies.

        She was bedridden for six months, ended up in a wheelchair and, at her worst, her body started to shut down.

        Privately-run mental health units putting young people at risk

        Privately-run mental health units putting young people at risk Poor care in privately-run child and adolescent mental health units is putting vulnerable young people at risk, a Sky News investigation has found.

        Patients, parents and whistleblowers have shared their experiences of privately-run facilities paid directly by the NHS to care for some of the most challenging mental health patients, including those with serious eating disorders and engaged in persistent self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

        One former patient told us she had experienced "brutal" physical restraints and had been able to inflict life-threatening self-harm while in a privately-run unit.

        Brexit the 'one thing' slowing down international GP recruitment

        Brexit the 'one thing' slowing down international GP recruitment Brexit is the ‘one thing’ slowing down international GP recruitment, according to one of recrutiment agencies targeting overseas doctors as part of the NHS England scheme.

        Head Medical, an agency approved by NHS Employers to carry out the international GP recruitment drive, has told Pulse that ‘the fear of the unknown’ from Brexit has been putting off overseas doctors from coming to work in the NHS. Pulse

        Dementia risks: Mediterranean diet and exercise can help stave off condition, WHO says

        Dementia risks: Mediterranean diet and exercise can help stave off condition, WHO says Moving more, eating better but binning cigarettes and health supplements are some of the best ways to lower your odds of dementia, according to the first global guidelines on preventing the condition.

        After a major review of current evidence on the impact of lifestyle on dementia, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has concluded that the condition is “not a natural or inevitable consequence of ageing”.

        Dementia affects 50 million people worldwide, costs $818bn (£633 billion) annually to treat and diagnoses are likely to triple by 2050, the review said. The Independent

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        'There is a stigma in training': the battle to find mental health workers

        'There is a stigma in training': the battle to find mental health workers Recruitment figures for psychiatrists and nurses are poor, although there are signs that things may be starting to shift

        At first glance the recruitment and retention statistics for the mental health workforce look grim. Vacancies for mental health nursing – the largest staff group in the sector – account for more than 20% of all unfilled nursing posts in England, while around 9% of UK consultant psychiatric posts remain unfilled. In September 2018, MPs were told that 2,000 mental health staff in England alone were quitting every month. There is little doubt then that the government is way off meeting its target to create another 21,000 new posts in mental health by 2021.

        But look a little closer and there are indications that things are starting to shift and that the skilled workforce, so crucial to the delivery of mental health care – which is at the heart of the government’s NHS long term plan – is showing signs of growth.

        Why is it that people experiencing mental illness don’t deserve the best and brightest doctors? The Guardian

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        NHS to fund drug that prolongs lives of children with muscle-wasting disease

        NHS to fund drug that prolongs lives of children with muscle-wasting disease Spinraza to be made available to spinal muscular atrophy patients

        A drug that could prolong the lives of children with a rare muscle-wasting disease has been approved by the NHS in England after lengthy negotiations with the manufacturer over the high price.

        Spinraza could help between 600 and 1,200 children and adults in England and Wales who have the genetic condition spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). It affects the nerves in the spinal cord, making muscles weaker and causing problems with movement, breathing and swallowing. It can shorten the life expectancy of babies and toddlers. The Guardian

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        Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK may be unnecessarily taking drugs

        Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK may be unnecessarily taking drugs Hundreds of thousands of patients with underactive thyroids are being prescribed a drug that offers no benefit, research suggests.

        The drug levothyroxine is offered to people with thyroid problems to treat symptoms such as depression, feeling cold, tired and having muscle aches.

        More than 32 million prescriptions for the hormone replacement drug were issued by NHS England last year, but experts have now said it is unnecessary and does not help relieve symptoms. The Daily Mail

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        Wednesday, 15 May 2019

        Mental health 'must be considered more' as part of diabetes care

        Mental health 'must be considered more' as part of diabetes care Two diabetes specialists are encouraging healthcare professionals to become “facilitators, not fixers”, as a way of empowering people with long-term conditions.

        Dr Charles Fox and Dr Anne Kilvert, consultants from Northampton General Hospital, run a specialist diabetes counselling and empowerment course for healthcare professionals, which focuses on training participants to work with people to identify ways of improving their own diabetes care. The Diabetes Times

        Consultation outcome: The proposed reorganisation of local government in Northamptonshire

        Consultation outcome: The proposed reorganisation of local government in Northamptonshire The Secretary of State has carefully considered the responses to this statutory consultation and other relevant information.

        He has now made a decision on implementing the locally-led proposal from Northamptonshire councils to abolish the 8 existing councils in Northamptonshire and replace them with 2 new councils of North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire. Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

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        NHS figures reveal mental health spending postcode lottery

        NHS figures reveal mental health spending postcode lottery NHS data showing how much local areas across England are planning to spend on mental health services over the next year has revealed significant variation, according to analysis by the mental health charity Mind.

        Mental health services have been underfunded for decades, resulting in poor quality services and long waiting times for treatments. In 2016, the NHS committed to investing £1.6bn in these services by 2020/21, and a further £2.3bn a year by 2023/24 as part of its Long Term Plan.

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        Active ageing

        Active ageing This report, written in conjunction with care home provider Anchor Hanover, highlights the costs of physical inactivity in older people to the NHS and estimates that by 2030, this could be as much as £1.3bn. It also outlines the human cost of inactivity in later life, illustrating how inactivity not only contributes to poorer physical health, but also cognitive decline, reduced emotional wellbeing and loneliness. Demos

        Frail elderly 'failed by care deserts'

        Frail elderly 'failed by care deserts' The system for looking after frail older people in England is falling apart, with what are being dubbed "care deserts" emerging, a charity says.

        An analysis carried out for Age UK indicates about 30% of areas now have no residential care beds.

        The situation is even worse for nursing homes - needed for the most frail - with more than 60% having no places.

        Recruiting staff and keeping services running were proving a real challenge some areas, the charity said. BBC News

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        Doctors used as 'guinea pigs' in opioid painkiller promotion

        Doctors used as 'guinea pigs' in opioid painkiller promotion "Everybody said, 'It's fantastic going to New York. It's like being on a film set.' So, that was very exciting for me."

        Dr Cathy Stannard was one of a group of UK pain specialists flown to New York in the early 2000s.

        They had stayed in a smart hotel, eaten in upscale restaurants and attended Broadway shows, she told BBC Radio 4's File on Four programme - all courtesy of a pharmaceutical company.

        The trip had been presented as an educational package, an opportunity to meet "international thought leaders" from the world of pain management, she said.

        She had known the company footing the bill manufactured opioid painkillers.

        But she had not known that, around that time, some pharmaceutical companies would monitor the prescribing rates of the individual doctors who attended such paid-for trips, deliberately targeting those they thought they could influence. BBC News

        What do patients really think about NHS staff?

        What do patients really think about NHS staff? What do patients really think of the NHS – and those who work for it? As language experts, that was the question my colleague Gavin Brookes and I set out to answer when NHS England tasked us with making sense of comments patients leave online. It was no easy task – we collected a total of 228,000 comments from the NHS Choices website, coming in at a huge 29 million words. Our findings have now been published in the BMJ and as a book. The Independent

        NHS compensation payouts for injuries and misdiagnosis double in five years

        NHS compensation payouts for injuries and misdiagnosis double in five years NHS compensation payouts for delayed diagnosis, accidental harm or deaths have doubled in the past five years - topping £655m.

        In 2013-14, £327m was administered for treatment delays, failures and misdiagnosis, in 1,406 cases.

        There were 1,789 cases in 2017-18, meaning the number of cases where damages were paid has increased, but at a slower rate to the spiralling costs.

        Among these cases were 1,100 patients who suffered a delay or failure in treatment and 679 who were misdiagnosed or suffered a delay in being diagnosed. The Independent

        Mental health services in crisis are abandoning patients to meet targets

        Mental health services in crisis are abandoning patients to meet targets | Jay Watts Vulnerable patients are being ‘off-rolled’ at a rate unheard of five years ago, thanks to the relentless focus on outcome

        Off-rolling has recently become a buzzword in the world of education. It refers to the removal, by various means, of students from schools’ records who are deemed too complicated or who don’t make the statistics look good. However, it’s not just education. Off-rolling is common in mental health services and disproportionally affects those most vulnerable and marginalised.

        Off-rolling takes three main forms. The first is prematurely discharging patients from secondary mental health services such as community mental health teams. Traditionally, one could expect better care if one had moderate to severe mental health difficulties, as opposed to mild problems, as funding was based on clinical need. However the relentless obsession with targets and outcome privileges services that give good optics.

        Patients can find their behaviour framed as attention-seeking or manipulative, based more on discrimination than fact. The Guardian

        Green therapy: how gardening is helping to fight depression

        Green therapy: how gardening is helping to fight depression A growing movement is promoting the role gardening can play in patient recovery and rehabilitation

        Sydenham Garden feels out of step with its surroundings in urban south London. Fringed by houses on most sides, with a school on its doorstep, it is hard to imagine that this small patch of green space is bringing a new lease of life to people struggling with their mental health.

        The site, run by the Sydenham Garden charity trust, is just under an acre and boasts a wellbeing centre with gardens, a nature reserve and activity rooms. Therapeutic gardening sessions are held weekly, and are run by experienced staff, who are in turn supported by a team of volunteers. The Guardian

        'Deaths of despair' rising among middle-aged Britons, report warns

        'Deaths of despair' rising among middle-aged Britons, report warns Deaths from suicide, drug and alcohol overdoses are rising among middle-aged Britons, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has warned as it launches a major five-year study into social inequality.

        The think tank said the increase in such fatalities, dubbed “deaths of despair”, may be linked to a process of "cumulative disadvantage for less-educated people".

        Such deaths, which include drink-related liver disease, among 45-54-year-olds in England continued to rise between 1993 and 2017. The Daily Telegraph

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        NHS threatening millions with fines for validly claiming free prescriptions, investigation finds

        NHS threatening millions with fines for validly claiming free prescriptions, investigation finds The NHS is harassing millions of vulnerable patients by threatening them with fines for validly claiming free prescriptions and dental treatment, an investigation has found.

        MPs last night called for urgent reform after a National Audit Office (NAO) report revealed there has been a significant increase in the sending of Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) over the last five years.

        The forms are intended to crack down on patients fraudulently claiming to be exempt from the standard £8.80 prescription charge, such as those aged 60 or over and children under 16. The Daily Telegraph

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        Doctors are advised to CUT their hours to get a larger pension

        Doctors are advised to CUT their hours to get a larger pension Doctors have been advised to cut their hours so they get a bigger pension – triggering fears of a new NHS staffing crisis with ‘unimaginable consequences’.

        The British Medical Association has issued guidance for NHS consultants explaining how reducing their hours could lead to an increased pension under new tax rules.

        Critics said the way the tax system incentivises doctors to work less was ‘complete lunacy’ and will increase staff shortages and waiting times. The Daily Mail

        Health Secretary orders review of the health impact of air pollution

        Health Secretary orders review of the health impact of air pollution The Government's Department of Health and Social Care will produce an in-depth review of how bad air pollution is for people's health, it has announced.

        Health Secretary Matt Hancock has commissioned the investigation which will reveal the true dangers of dirty air and how they will affect people in the future.

        His announcement comes just two months after Public Health England – also a government department – released its own report on how to improve air quality. The Daily Mail

        Monday, 13 May 2019

        Body image: How we think and feel about our bodies

        Body image: How we think and feel about our bodies The report sets out the individual, family and cultural influences that are coming together to mean that we often have a gnawing and debilitating sense of dissatisfaction with our own bodies. We also identify the heightened risks of mental health problems that too often accompany poor body image. Mental Health Foundation

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        Heart and circulatory disease deaths in under 75s see first sustained rise in 50 years

        Heart and circulatory disease deaths in under 75s see first sustained rise in 50 years The number of people dying from heart and circulatory diseases before they reach their 75th birthday is on the rise for the first time in 50 years, according to our analysis of the latest national health statistics.

        The figures show an upward trend in deaths since 2014, with 42,384 people dying from conditions including heart attack and stroke in the UK before the age of 75 in 2017, compared to 41,042 three years earlier. British Heart Foundation

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        New funding for rough sleepers living with mental illness and substance misuse

        New funding for rough sleepers living with mental illness and substance misuse Adults who are sleeping rough and living with mental illness and substance misuse will benefit from £1.9 million funding to improve their access to vital healthcare. Department of Health and Social Care

        Mental health cut-off: Why sling me out of CAMHS at 18?

        Mental health cut-off: Why sling me out of CAMHS at 18? Kirsty was being treated by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) up until the age of 18.

        She's one of 25,000 young people in England that make the move to adult mental health services every year.

        But many young people struggle to make a smooth transition and can end up going months or even years without the treatment they need.

        NHS England says it plans to address the issue by extending young people's mental health care until the age of 25. BBC News

        Rising levels of knife crime are having a negative effect on NHS - iNews

        Rising levels of knife crime are having a negative effect on NHS Rising levels of knife crime are having a “ripple effect” across the health service, leading to cancelled operations and strains on the ambulance service, a leading surgeon said.

        Figures published last month showed police in England and Wales recorded 40,829 offences involving knives or sharp objects in 2018, the highest number since comparable data started in 2010/11. iNews

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        Leading US drug companies conspired to inflate prices of common medicines by up to 1,000%, prosecutors say

        Leading US drug companies conspired to inflate prices of common medicines by up to 1,000%, prosecutors say Leading drug companies including Teva, Pfizer, Novartis and Mylan conspired to inflate the prices of generic drugs by as much as 1,000 per cent, according to a far-reaching lawsuit filed on Friday by 44 states. The Independent

        Investigation into learning disabilities services run by major NHS contractor after police brought in over ‘abuse’ of patients

        Investigation into learning disabilities services run by major NHS contractor after police brought in over ‘abuse’ of patients An investigation has begun into a major care provider after police were called in over alleged psychological and physical abuse of patients with learning disabilities at one of its homes.

        The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said inspectors would be reviewing these and similar services run by the NHS contractor Cygnet Health Care across the country – and appealed for anyone with concerns to come forward. The Independent

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