Friday, 22 February 2019

UK flu levels according to PHE statistics: 2018 to 2019

UK flu levels according to PHE statistics: 2018 to 2019 The latest Public Health England (PHE) report published at 2pm today, Thursday 21 February 2019, shows that seasonal flu continues to circulate across the UK.

GP consultations with flu-like illness and hospital admission rates have both decreased slightly from 23.1 per 100,000 to 21.1 per 100,000 and 6.86 per 100,000 to 5.97 per 100,000 respectively. Intensive care admission rates have also slightly decreased compared last week (0.49 per 100,000 compared to 0.55 per 100,000).

PTSD affects 'one in 13 by age of 18'

PTSD affects 'one in 13 by age of 18' One in 13 young people in England and Wales experiences post-traumatic stress disorder by the age of 18, the first research of its kind suggests.

A study of more than 2,000 18-year-olds found nearly a third had experienced trauma in childhood.

And a quarter of these then developed PTSD, which can cause insomnia, flashbacks and feelings of isolation.

Researchers say, with many young people not receiving the support they need, the study should be a "wake-up call". BBC News

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‘Paradigm shift’ in type 1 diabetes shows new drugs which could delay disease’s emergence

‘Paradigm shift’ in type 1 diabetes shows new drugs which could delay disease’s emergence Scientists may have been looking in the wrong place for a cure to type 1 diabetes after a new study claims to have found “a paradigm shift” in treatment.

Researchers have found the disease could be kept at bay in animals by clearing out defective insulin-producing cells.

Drug development has previously been focused on preserving these “beta cells” by preventing the immune system wiping them out, but US researchers say their findings turn this on its head. The Indpendent

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I've seen countless deaths in my time nursing, but I'll never forget my first

I've seen countless deaths in my time nursing, but I'll never forget my first It’s a privilege to be with someone in their final moments, and how we treat those who are dying matters

Our teachers tried teaching us about death during nursing training, but it’s impossible to prepare for your first experience of it. You can learn about the theories, about the principles of pain and symptom control, but that’s only a small element of the real experience.

The first person I saw die was an elderly man who had no family able to visit him in hospital. I was a student nurse and knew I would see death in my career. I had no idea of the impact it would have on me, however. The Guardian

NHS prescriptions price will rise 20p to £9 from April

NHS prescriptions price will rise 20p to £9 from April The cost of an NHS prescription will rise to £9 this year, the Government has announced.

Patients in England will, from April 1, have to pay an extra 20p to collect their medicines from a pharmacy.

Experts have scorned the price hike, which they say goes against the NHS's public plans and could lead to patients skimping on vital medications. The Daily Mail

Record number of operations aren't being rescheduled in time as one in 13 wait more than a MONTH

Record number of operations aren't being rescheduled in time as one in 13 wait more than a MONTH A record high number of patients are not having their operations rescheduled on time after they were cancelled at the last minute.

One in 13 patients in England did not have their operations rescheduled within the mandatory 28-day period after their surgery was cancelled on the day.

This figure, covering October, November and December, is an increase on the same period in the previous year and is the worst for 14 years.

Pressures on the NHS and a lack of beds have had a knock-on effect in hospitals across the country, experts warn. The Daily Mail

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Public acceptability of health and social care funding options Funding options for the NHS and social care in the UK

Public acceptability of health and social care funding options Funding options for the NHS and social care in the UK This working paper is part of a research project exploring funding options for the NHS and social care in the UK.

It explores the preferences of the general public with regard to the various ways of raising the additional funds that will be needed for health and social care in the UK. The researchers conducted focus groups with members of the public in all four UK countries and used the findings to design a discrete choice experiment (DCE). In the DCE, with a total of 2,756 respondents, researchers tested people’s preferences between different ways of funding health care and social care by asking them to make a series of choices between pairs of options.

The working paper presents the key findings, and draws out the policy implications. The Health Foundation

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Reframing the conversation on the social determinants of health

Reframing the conversation on the social determinants of health The Health Foundation is working with the FrameWorks Institute to develop a deeper appreciation of the ways in which people understand and think about health in order to develop more effective approaches to communicating evidence.

This briefing presents the main findings from research commissioned by the Health Foundation and carried out by the FrameWorks Institute, analysing public understanding, expert opinion and media narrative around health. It also presents findings from questions sponsored by the Health Foundation in the 2017 British Social Attitudes survey.

NHSX: new joint organisation for digital, data and technology

NHSX: new joint organisation for digital, data and technology A new joint unit, NHSX, will be created to bring the benefits of modern technology to every patient and clinician. It will combine the best talent from government, the NHS and industry.

NHSX will aim to create the most advanced health and care service in the world to diagnose diseases earlier, free up staff time and empower patients to take greater control of their own healthcare. Department of Health and Social Care 

GPs told to stop charging patients with a mental illness for debt support forms

GPs told to stop charging patients with a mental illness for debt support forms GPs in England have been told they can no longer charge a fee for paperwork to help people with mental health problems who are being pursued by creditors or debt collectors to access support.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has committed to ending charges for mental health debt forms, which can be requested as evidence by creditors when someone is in arrears and struggling to pay. The Independent

Britons urged to get flu vaccine as critical cases rise above 2,000

Britons urged to get flu vaccine as critical cases rise above 2,000 Virus has killed 200 and left many more in intensive care units over winter period

Flu has left more than 2,000 Britons needing life-or-death treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) this winter, even though the virus is circulating at unusually low levels.

Senior doctors said as many people were at risk of dying as during the pandemics of 2009-10 and 2010-11, despite the small numbers contracting the virus. The Guardian

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Figures show soaring number of homeless hospital patients

Figures show soaring number of homeless hospital patients NHS Digital figures show admissions in England rose from 1,539 in 2008/9 to 10,259 in 2017/18

Thousands of homeless people in England are arriving at hospital with Victorian-era illnesses such as tuberculosis, as well as serious respiratory conditions, liver disease and cancer, with hospital admissions for such conditions surging over a decade, the Guardian can reveal.

NHS chronic illness patients to get £3,000 a year to spend on their own care by 2024

NHS chronic illness patients to get £3,000 a year to spend on their own care by 2024 Up to 200,000 patients will be given their own NHS allowances to spend on care - including dogs.

Ministers want to massively expand the ‘personal health budgets’ scheme for patients with long-term illnesses.

They will be given allowances of approximately £3,000 a year to spend on care and equipment to manage their condition. The Daily Mail

GPs who dispense drugs from their own practice could be costing the NHS £7MILLION

GPs who dispense drugs from their own practice could be costing the NHS £7MILLION GPs who dispense drugs from their own practice could be costing the NHS more than £7million per year by choosing more expensive medications.

Experts say the NHS's reimbursement system has created a 'financial conflict of interest in treatment decisions'.

Specifically, it allows doctors to choose medicines which are costlier but are no more effective than their cheaper counterparts.

This, the researchers claim, allows some GPs to negotiate and buy drugs at lower prices but still be reimbursed the full cost by the NHS, increasing their profits. The Daily Mail

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Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Northamptonshire awards ceremony puts carers in the spotlight

Northamptonshire awards ceremony puts carers in the spotlight More than 120 people attended the annual Northamptonshire Jane Roebuck Carers Awards which brought together carers from across Northamptonshire to acknowledge and celebrate the fantastic contribution that they make to the county.

The prestigious awards ceremony, which was held at Barton Hall, Kettering, not only recognises the commitment, hard work, and selflessness of carers, but it provides an opportunity for them to enjoy an occasion which is dedicated solely to them. Northamptonshire Telegraph

Guidance: Kettering and Northamptonshire: bowel cancer screening

Guidance: Kettering and Northamptonshire: bowel cancer screening Executive summary of quality assurance (QA) visit to Kettering and Northamptonshire Bowel Cancer screening service held on 6 March 2018. Public Health England

Making the NHS a World Leader in improving the mental wellbeing of its staff and learners

Making the NHS a World Leader in improving the mental wellbeing of its staff and learners There are 1.4 million people in the NHS taking care of the health needs of patients up and down the country, their physical and emotional health is key to patient welfare.

Professor Simon Gregory, Health Education England Primary Care Lead and Clinical Director of the recently published NHS Staff and Learners’ Mental Wellbeing Commission today sets out how the NHS can rise to this challenge and be a world leader in improving the mental wellbeing of its staff and learners. Health Education England

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International comparisons of health and wellbeing in adolescence and early adulthood

International comparisons of health and wellbeing in adolescence and early adulthood Young people aged 10–24 make up approximately a fifth of the population of most high-income countries and there are strong health and economic arguments for improving their health outcomes. This report summarises how 17 key indicators of the health and wellbeing of young people aged 10–24 vary in a selection of 19 similar high-income countries both within and outside of Europe. Nuffield Trust and Association for Young People's Health

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Reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance

Reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance The widespread use of antimicrobials, particularly antibiotics, has accelerated the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in microbes. A recent report by the Health and Social Care Committee called for AMR to be a ‘top five policy priority’. This POSTnote evaluates the main reservoirs of AMR microbes arising from the use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals. Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

A teachable moment: delivering perioperative medicine in integrated care systems

A teachable moment: delivering perioperative medicine in integrated care systems This report showcases a number of innovative and award-winning programmes in hospitals across England that are improving patient care before, during and after surgery. The time preparing for, undergoing and then recovering from an operation is known as the perioperative period and the College believes that tailored care throughout this time will improve long-term outcomes for patients after surgery. Royal College of Anaesthetists

With 38 Days To Go, The NHS Is Advertising 200+ Jobs To Prepare For No-Deal Brexit

With 38 Days To Go, The NHS Is Advertising 200+ Jobs To Prepare For No-Deal Brexit NHS England is internally advertising hundreds of roles in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, HuffPost UK can reveal.

With only 38 days until Britain leaves the EU and political negotiations seemingly deadlocked, the health service is hiring people to monitor the potential stockpiling of medicines, manage the supply of “critical” drugs, and ensure information can still be shared with the EU. Huffington Post UK

Directors of cystic fibrosis drug firm in NHS standoff made £15m

Directors of cystic fibrosis drug firm in NHS standoff made £15m Patients can’t access vital drug Orkambi as Vertex Pharmaceuticals refuse to drop price

Two UK directors of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the company in a stand-off with the NHS over the high price of its breakthrough cystic fibrosis drug, made more than £15m from share options in 2017, the Guardian can reveal.

Vertex refuses to drop the price of Orkambi, a drug that treats the underlying causes of the life-shortening disease, to a level that the NHS says it can afford. Negotiations have been going on for two years and in stalemate for six months, while children and young adults with cystic fibrosis who could be helped suffer infections and irretrievably lose some of their lung function. The Guardian

Bacteria develop tougher membranes to resist antibiotics, report into superbugs finds

Bacteria develop tougher membranes to resist antibiotics, report into superbugs finds Scientists have identified how deadly bacteria resist antibiotics at a molecular level for the first time, in a discovery that could have significant implications for the development of much-needed new drugs. The Daily Telegraph

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Millions face menopause without hormone replacement therapy because of 'decades old scare stories'

Millions face menopause without hormone replacement therapy because of 'decades old scare stories' Millions of women are being forced to cope with the menopause without help, leading doctors have warned.

Prescriptions of hormone replacement therapy have plummeted by two thirds this century with experts claiming GPs are still influenced by scare stories about the side-effects of HRT published nearly two decades ago.

Despite more recent studies showing these scares were overblown, many doctors are still reluctant to prescribe the drugs. The Daily Mail

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Northamptonshire County Council finances 'remain fragile' despite break-even optimism from commissioners

Northamptonshire County Council finances 'remain fragile' despite break-even optimism from commissioners The government appointed commissioners of Northamptonshire County Council says that the authority’s finances ‘remain fragile’, even as they predict it will break even against all odds this year.

Tony McArdle and Brian Roberts were drafted in by Westminster to oversee the failing county council after it effectively declared itself bankrupt last year by ordering a section 114 notice, which prohibits news spending.

But with the in-year overspend reducing from £64.1million to £1.4million, the commissioners are confident the council will balance its book by the end of the financial year in late March. Northamptonshire Telegraph

Northampton doctor who gave drugs without a licence is free to work again

Northampton doctor who gave drugs without a licence is free to work again A doctor who was suspended while working for NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare has had his suspension revoked.

It comes after Dr Gabriel Okey worked without a licence for six weeks in 2016, including a period at HMP Bedford.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Services found he knowingly worked even though his licence had been revoked three months previously and so he had "abused his position of trust". The panel suspended him for a year in January 2018.

But a fresh tribunal has ruled that he can now return to work. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Evaluating, fast and slow: reflections from the Rapid Evaluation Conference

Evaluating, fast and slow: reflections from the Rapid Evaluation Conference Rapid evaluation should not be mistaken for ‘quick and dirty’ research, so what does it mean? Nuffield Trust

Involving NHS staff in research

Involving NHS staff in research This report looks at the different ways NHS staff are getting involved in the research process including designing studies, collecting data, and disseminating and implementing research findings. It also looks at how staff involvement in research could be improved and describes some of the barriers to active involvement, from lack funding and support through to a tendency for research opportunities to be offered to certain healthcare professions and specialties. Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute

Vulnerable Children in a Digital World

Vulnerable Children in a Digital World This report provides insight into the online world of the UK’s most vulnerable children highlights the potential online risks that different groups of vulnerable children may face online, such as pressure to be sexting, cyberbullying, cyber scams, or seeing content promoting self-harm, anorexia and suicide.

It also offers guidance on ways to support vulnerable children emphasising the introduction of specialised training and tools across all sectors to draw on the ability to identify the most likely online issues facing the highest risk children and trigger early intervention. Internet Matters.Org 

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The Daffodil standards

The Daffodil standards GP surgeries will now be able to display a 'daffodil mark' as a sign of commitment to improving end of life care, as part of a new partnership between the Royal College of GPs and the terminal illness charity Marie Curie. The mark, synonymous with the charity, is based on a new set of criteria called the Daffodil Standards – a set of eight quality improvement statements designed to support primary care teams in delivering care to patients living with an advanced, serious illness or at the end of their lives, and their loved ones. Royal College of General Practitioners 

Developing people – improving care: guidance

Developing people – improving care: guidance In 2016, this framework was introduced to help NHS and social care staff to develop four critical capabilities: systems leadership; established quality improvement methods; inclusive and compassionate leadership; and talent management. The newly published guidance provides further information to those with a deeper interest on these capabilities. NHS Improvement 

Sepsis: New rapid test 'could save thousands of lives'

Sepsis: New rapid test 'could save thousands of lives' A new rapid test for earlier diagnosis of sepsis has been developed by University of Strathclyde researchers, which they say could save thousands of lives.

A microelectrode device analyses the patient's blood, with results coming through in two-and-a-half minutes.

Current diagnosis tests for sepsis can take up to 72 hours.

The researchers hope the low-cost test could come into everyday use in three to five years. BBC News

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Hospices are facing financial ruin – here’s how can we sustain end-of-life care

Hospices are facing financial ruin – here’s how can we sustain end-of-life care For the first time ever, one of Britain’s 200 independent hospices has closed its doors.

St Clare’s in Jarrow near Newcastle had been serving its community in the northeast of England for 30 years, raising most of its annual costs of £2.2m from local charitable giving. But after a trying period of medical understaffing, concerns from independent regulator the Care Quality Commission and mounting financial problems, it has had no choice but to shut down.

St Clare’s supporters are saddened and dismayed. The local MP has raised his concerns with the prime minister. Worryingly, the closure may be a sign of much bigger problems in the sector. Senior sources familiar with hospice finances tell me that up to 50 more hospices may be in difficulties. The Independent

With councils and the NHS at loggerheads, vital services are at risk

With councils and the NHS at loggerheads, vital services are at risk Who should run local health and care services, especially public health services, is becoming an increasingly tense battleground between the NHS and local government, with serious potential consequences.

The NHS long-term plan, unveiled in January, aims to deliver the “triple integration” of primary and hospital care, physical and mental health services and health with social care. From councils’ point of view, this is a unique opportunity to fix one of the big flaws in the way the NHS was set up in 1948, with a centralised service telling local services what to do, rather than focusing on the needs of local communities. The Guardian

Health Secretary urged to stop privatisation of NHS as companies bid for £128million contracts 

Health Secretary urged to stop privatisation of NHS as companies bid for £128million contracts Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock has been urged to stop private companies from securing NHS contracts.

A total of 26 health service contracts worth more than £128 million are currently out to tender, according to research commissioned by the Labour Party.

One contract – for running the NHS 111 phones line in Kent, Medway and Sussex – is worth more than £90 million. The Daily Mail

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Doctors say they are 'too BUSY' to look after dying patients because of growing workloads

Doctors say they are 'too BUSY' to look after dying patients because of growing workloads The majority of doctors say they are too busy to provide the quality of end-of-life care they would like to.

That's the finding of a new survey done by the Royal College of General Practitioners, which quizzed 1,000 GPs across the UK.

Medical professionals blame growing workloads and funding cuts for the problem.

The research also found 62 per cent of doctors feel there's insufficient community support available to terminally ill patients and their families, because of a lack of funds. The Daily Mail

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Monday, 18 February 2019

New Corby Urgent Care operator is ‘here to build bridges’

New Corby Urgent Care operator is ‘here to build bridges’ It’s not been an easy few years for the Corby Urgent Care Centre.

The Cottingham Road 8-8 is the jewel in the crown of the town’s healthcare system that has been groaning under the weight of 10,000 new people that have made the borough the fastest growing outside of London during the past decade.

The envy of other towns, Corby UCC really works. Northamptonshire Telegraph

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Nurse at Northampton hospital gave Chinese burn to man with dementia

Nurse at Northampton hospital gave Chinese burn to man with dementia A nurse has been struck off after admitting she threatened to break the wrist of man with dementia after he lashed out at her.

Bank nurse Lenuta Botezatu was working a night shift on Benham Ward at Northampton General Hospital when an elderly patient she was taking to the toilet hit her in her chest. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Brexit: Will Brits living in the EU still get healthcare?

Brexit: Will Brits living in the EU still get healthcare? If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, reciprocal healthcare arrangements will not automatically survive. The UK is trying to reach agreements with EU governments to extend them.

For emergency treatment on holiday, UK nationals can use their EHIC card if they fall ill in another EU country, but if there is a no-deal Brexit it will no longer be valid and they will need travel insurance. BBC News

Medicinal cannabis: Why has it taken so long to get to patients?

Medicinal cannabis: Why has it taken so long to get to patients? Medicinal cannabis was legalised last year but so far, virtually no-one in the UK has been able to access it.

Now, enough cannabis to treat 30 patients for a month has arrived in the UK from the Netherlands.

Four patients with prescriptions, all to treat chronic pain, will receive cannabis-derived medicines immediately.

Specialist doctors have been able to prescribe cannabis since 1 November - so what has taken so long? BBC News

Mental health patients at risk of suicide discharged from NHS without adequate support

Mental health patients at risk of suicide discharged from NHS without adequate support Patients coping with severe mental health conditions that mean they are afraid they could harm or kill themselves are being discharged from NHS care, unprepared and without support in the community.

The Independent has heard from patients who say their mental health has deteriorated because of the discharge process, which has left them feeling powerless and damaged their faith in services meant to keep them safe.

Others grappling with addiction issues have been ejected from inpatient care and told to get clean before the NHS is able to treat their psychological issues.

NHS England losing staff in record numbers over long hours – study

NHS England losing staff in record numbers over long hours – study Research finds number of people leaving over work-life balance has almost trebled

Record numbers of burned-out NHS staff in England are quitting because they are fed up with spending too much time at work and not enough at home with their family, new research reveals.

The number of personnel leaving the NHS because of a poor work-life balance has almost trebled in the last seven years, an analysis by the Health Foundation thinktank shows. The Guardian

Suicidal children forced to wait months for a mental health referral

Suicidal children forced to wait months for a mental health referral Suicidal children are being forced to wait months for a mental health referral, the Telegraph has learnt.

Thresholds for gaining access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) have risen as budgets have been stretched to the point when children in desperate need of help are being turned away, campaigners say. The Daily Telegraph

Facebook fake news 'war room' should target anti-vaxxers

Facebook fake news 'war room' should target anti-vaxxers Myth-busting operatives in Facebook’s misinformation “war room” should be monitoring harmful public health messages as well as fake news, a leading vaccine expert has said.

Large measles outbreaks in Europe and the United States have put the issue of vaccine hesitancy at the top of the agenda, with growing concern over the role that “anti-vaxxers” play on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook has said that it is “exploring additional measures to best combat the problem”. The Daily Telegraph

Almost 300,000 more NHS operations could be carried out every year if it was more organised

Almost 300,000 more NHS operations could be carried out every year if it was more organised Almost 300,000 more NHS operations could be carried out every year if schedules were better organised and staff planned leave earlier, a review has found.

Booking time off six weeks in advance and agreeing lists of operations a month ahead could lead to 5,600 extra procedures being carried out a week.

The analysis by watchdog NHS Improvement found that making schedules more efficient would reduce the backlog of patients waiting for elective operations such as hip and knee replacements. The Daily Mail

Friday, 15 February 2019

CQC raps Lakeside surgery after patients struggle to make appointments

CQC raps Lakeside surgery after patients struggle to make appointments A GP super-practice that runs services across the Corby borough has been told that it must improve by inspectors.

Lakeside Healthcare’s Cottingham Road, Forest Gate and Brigstock surgeries have been given a ‘requires improvement’ rating by the government overseer the Care Quality Commission following an inspection that also found safety to be inadequate. Northamptonshire Telegraph

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Northampton General Hospital worker handed suspended sentence after inventing extra shifts

Northampton General Hospital worker handed suspended sentence after inventing extra shifts A healthcare assistant working at NGH has escaped a jail sentence after defrauding the NHS of £3,400.

Paul Wootton, aged 30, of West Street, Ecton, was charged with fraud and securing unauthorised access to computer material with intent.

The healthcare assistant had accessed a hospital computer and used it to claim wages for shifts that he never worked. Taken together, the non-existent shifts were the equivalent of him working for 15 months. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Combined Performance Summary: December 2018 - January 2019

Combined Performance Summary: December 2018 - January 2019 Today, NHS England published its Combined Performance Summary, which provides data on key performance measures for December 2018 and January 2019. SitRep data for Week 6 of 2019 was also released, giving a more up-to-date analysis of how the NHS is coping this winter. Here we show some of these statistics and how they compare with previous years. Nuffield Trust

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EU exit actions for medical devices and clinical consumables

EU exit actions for medical devices and clinical consumables This guidance provides information for NHS providers about the extensive planning and contingency measures that have been put in place for the healthcare system nationally and the additional actions that we are asking providers to undertake as a priority as part of the wider preparations for a ‘no deal’ EU exit. NHS Improvement

Most hip and knee replacements 'last longer than thought'

Most hip and knee replacements 'last longer than thought' Eight out of 10 knee replacements and six out of 10 hip replacements last as long as 25 years, says a large study from the University of Bristol.

This is much longer than believed, the researchers said, and the findings will help patients and surgeons decide when to carry out surgery.

To date, there has been little data on the success of new hips and knees.

But this Lancet research looked at 25 years' worth of operations, involving more than 500,000 people. BBC News

Mental health patients failed as ‘out of area’ placements rise again

Mental health patients failed as ‘out of area’ placements rise again The government has been accused of failing mental health patients as the number of people being sent far from home for treatment has risen again.

Some 710 people were being cared for “out of area”, according to latest NHS England figures for last November, with 440 of those being sent at least 100km (62 miles) away from their home and family. There are 45 people being treated at least 300km (186 miles) from home. iNews

Number of GP practices in England falls below 7,000

Number of GP practices in England falls below 7,000 The sharp drop means that almost one in six of the 8,486 GP practices listed in 2004/5 no longer exist or have merged into other practices. The average practice list has risen from 5,891 patients in 2004 to 8,533 today - a 45% rise.

The fall in practice numbers has accelerated under NHS England, analysis by GPonline reveals. Three times as many closures or mergers have occurred in the nearly six years since NHS England became operational in April 2013 compared with the years between that point and the 2004 contract.

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Governments urged to stockpile antibiotics for a future flu pandemic 

Governments urged to stockpile antibiotics for a future flu pandemic Stockpiling antibiotics to use in the event of a pandemic influenza outbreak could save billions of pounds worldwide, according to a new analysis.

In the first study to model the financial value of holding antibiotics back to use in a global flu outbreak, researchers have found that an effective drug would save the world between $3 and $4 billion (£2.3 to £3.1 billion). The official report into the 2009 swine flu epidemic found that it cost the UK alone £1.24 billion. The Daily Telegraph

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Government gives the Department of Health a £600 MILLION bailout

Government gives the Department of Health a £600 MILLION bailout The Government's Treasury department has given the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) a £600million bailout to cover 'unforeseen' costs.

Spending estimates published by the Treasury describe the money as 'reserve funding to cover one-off pressures'.

Analysts believe the DHSC was in danger of breaching its budget of almost £125bn, which could lead to a parliamentary vote on whether extra cash should be given.

The rising cost of generic drugs and preparations for Brexit are thought to have stretched the DHSC – which 'acts as guardians of the health and care framework' – more than normal. The Daily Mail

More than half of British men treated for prostate cancer were abandoned without support

More than half of British men treated for prostate cancer were abandoned without support Thousands of men are being abandoned without support after surviving prostate cancer, a study has found.

More than half of men successfully treated for the disease in Britain are left without help for the most common side-effects.

Researchers interviewed 30,000 men in the largest ever study looking at life after prostate cancer. The Daily Mail

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Thursday, 14 February 2019

Volunteers put in extra hours at Northampton General Hospital to help staff cope with winter pressures

Volunteers put in extra hours at Northampton General Hospital to help staff cope with winter pressures Northampton's hospital volunteers have gone above and beyond to help healthcare staff for this year's busy winter season.

Hospital volunteers have stepped up and offered even more of their time to support staff in the face of growing pressure on the NHS in the winter months. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Is it possible to use the digitisation of the NHS to reach the furthest first?

Is it possible to use the digitisation of the NHS to reach the furthest first? The health and care system has historically been reliant on paper for sharing information about patients. Digitisation is inevitably changing that, but what impact does that have on those who are marginalised? The King's Fund

The environment needs to be higher up the NHS agenda

The environment needs to be higher up the NHS agenda “Sustainability” is at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan. Yet although the health service is responsible for 6.3% of England’s total carbon emissions, environmental sustainability is scarcely mentioned. Nuffield Trust

Tens of thousands of Brits with asthma could be missing life-saving follow-up care - New figures

Tens of thousands of Brits with asthma could be missing life-saving follow-up care - New figures Tens of thousands of Brits who had emergency treatment for an asthma attack failed to receive the follow-up care that could save their life, according to new estimates by Asthma UK.

The charity’s report The reality of asthma care in the UK: Annual Asthma Survey 2018 included a survey of more than 10,000 people with asthma, and found that a quarter (25%) needed emergency care following a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.

But of these, nearly two thirds (64%) said they did not receive a follow-up appointment with their GP or practice nurse within two working days. This is recommended by experts and guidelines including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and in the National Review of Asthma Deaths (NRAD).

A&E waits at worst level for 15 years

A&E waits at worst level for 15 years A&E waits in England have reached their worst level since the four-hour target was introduced in 2004.

The deterioration in performance came after hospitals appeared to be coping well in the early part of winter.

During January, just 84.4% of patients were treated or admitted in four hours - well below the 95% threshold. BBC News

'Know your cholesterol like you know your Pin code'

'Know your cholesterol like you know your Pin code' People are being encouraged to know their cholesterol and blood pressure numbers as well as they know their bank Pin code - because it could save their life.

These numbers flag up early signs of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Forty health organisations have teamed up to urge more people to go for a routine NHS health check.

Doctors should also identify and treat at-risk patients better, they say. BBC News

Send patients email not letters, GPs told

Send patients email not letters, GPs told GPs in England must start routinely using email instead of sending letters to communicate with patients, the health secretary says.

Matt Hancock wants email to become the default option by 2021.

He said there was no reason why doctors could not email a test result or prescription - although people who did not use email would still be able to request letters were sent.

It comes after he ordered fax machines to be phased out by next year. BBC News

Virtual GP service allowed to expand out of London despite criticism from doctors

Virtual GP service allowed to expand out of London despite criticism from doctors A virtual GP service has been given the green light to expand to a second major city after health leaders dropped their objections.

NHS England confirmed it had found a solution to previous concerns around access to immunisation and screening programmes for GP at Hand patients and lifted its objections to it expansion.

The decision paves the wave for the service, created by healthcare technology firm Babylon Health, to launch in Birmingham.

But senior medics branded the decision "disappointing and premature" and said it was "inappropriate" to allow GP at Hand's expansion before an independent evaluation of it is published. The Independent

Government accepts 'debilitating' effects of medical implants

Government accepts 'debilitating' effects of medical implants Recognition that commercial interests had trumped patient safety follows Guardian exposé

Patients have suffered “debilitating consequences” from medical implants that doctors had assured them would be safe, the government has said in a significant acknowledgement of failings in medical device regulation.

The health and social care minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, said commercial interests had been prioritised over patient safety, and there had been other problems, including a lack of transparency and doctors’ failure to warn patients of the risks. The Guardian

Blundering hospital medics who failed to spot cancer cost the NHS £46.9million in compensation

Blundering hospital medics who failed to spot cancer cost the NHS £46.9million in compensation Hundreds of patients won compensation settlements from the NHS in the last four years after blundering hospital medics failed to spot their cancer symptoms.

The shocking figures mean that, in an average week, NHS hospitals are making three potentially-fatal diagnosis errors.

The 545 cancer mistakes cost the NHS a total of £46.9million in compensation over the last four years, with an average payout of almost £90,000 per person. The Daily Mail

NHS made to pay £250,000 in fines for making junior doctors work beyond their contracted hours

NHS made to pay £250,000 in fines for making junior doctors work beyond their contracted hours The NHS has had to pay £250,000 in fines for making junior doctors work overtime, an investigation has revealed.

Junior doctors have worked beyond their contracted terms and conditions more than 63,000 times, an average of 2.1 times per doctor, since 2015.

The figures come from the first analysis since the introduction of a controversial contract in 2016, which led to the first strike action by junior doctors in 40 years.

The true figure is likely to be higher, as some junior doctors revealed they were discouraged from reporting by senior staff over fears they would look inefficient. The Daily Mail

Prominent paediatrician slams the rate of suicide among doctors

Prominent paediatrician slams the rate of suicide among doctors A prominent paediatrician has slammed the appalling rate of suicide among doctors.

Dr Zeshan Qureshi, 33, claims doctors are twice as likely to take their own lives as a non-medic - a fact few take seriously.

Working as a paediatrician, Dr Qureshi has tragically gone to the funerals of many sick youngsters, but has also mourned the loss of colleagues who passed away from suicide. The Daily Mail

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Deal reached to keep Corby Urgent Care Centre open until 2021

Deal reached to keep Corby Urgent Care Centre open until 2021 Corby’s Urgent Care Centre will remain open without any changes to its services until at least 2021.

This morning (Wednesday) Corby CCG announced they had reached a deal with OnePrimaryCare, part of Leeds-based OneMedicalGroup, to run the Cottingham Road centre for two years from April 1 this year.

They said the service will run as before and will be uninterrupted, continuing to operate between 8am and 8pm every day of the year with patients able to walk in and be seen without an appointment. Northamptonshire Telegraph

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Juggling work and unpaid care: a growing issue

Juggling work and unpaid care: a growing issue The report finds that 2.6 million people in the UK have quit their job to care for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill, with nearly half a million (468,000) leaving their job in the last two years alone. The report findings also show that more people are caring than previously thought, with almost 5 million workers now juggling their paid job with caring – a dramatic rise compared with Census 2011 figures of 3 million. The report recommends that employers support staff with caring responsibilities to stay in the workforce through flexible working arrangements and increased Carers’ leave. Carers UK

Having HPV 'isn't rude or shameful'

Having HPV 'isn't rude or shameful' Having human papilloma virus (HPV) is not rude or shameful and is extremely common, experts say.

It comes as a survey of 2,000 women shows there are still stigmas around the infection, which can be passed on during sex and is linked to cancer.

Charities are concerned this could put women off getting smear tests.

Despite four out of every five getting HPV in their lifetime, many would worry about what their partner might think of them if they were diagnosed with it. BBC News

Thousands of fracture patients need NHS review after wrong metal plates fitted in hospital mix-up

Thousands of fracture patients need NHS review after wrong metal plates fitted in hospital mix-up Thousands of NHS patients who had fractures repaired with a metal plate need their X-rays reviewed after a hospital mix-up means some received implants which are liable to buckle.

About 5,500 patients who had plates fitted for limb fractures since February 2018 will now be reviewed, NHS Improvement and the British Orthopaedic Association said. The Independent

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How retraining refugees could help tackle NHS staffing crisis

How retraining refugees could help tackle NHS staffing crisis Work placements aim to give medically qualified migrants access to UK jobs alongside English classes

When Horani Othman fled Syria with his Kurdish family in 2012, he arrived in the UK not knowing how he would make ends meet. Sent to live in Birmingham by the Home Office immigration authorities, he and his family were granted indefinite leave to remain last year. Now Othman, 54, is keen to get his career back on track. A pilot project in the Black Country is not only giving him valuable work experience in the UK, it could offer a solution to the growing crisis in NHS staffing levels.

Latest figures show that there are more than 100,000 vacancies for doctors and nurses. Brexit threatens to exacerbate the shortages: 9% of licensed doctors in the UK come from the European Economic Area, while in the West Midlands alone, EU nationals account for 10% of all nursing staff. The Guardian

NHS ends block on smartphone GPs 

NHS ends block on smartphone GPs GP appointments by Skype will be made available across swathes of the country after health officials dropped their opposition to the plans.

The controversial "GP at Hand" model run by private company Babylon is already in operation in London, allowing NHS patients to see a doctor virtually via its app.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock is one of its patients and has repeatedly said that such access should be offered to all patients wherever they live. The Daily Telegraph

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NHS figures reveal nearly 6million appointments were missed in the first five months of 2018

NHS figures reveal nearly 6million appointments were missed in the first five months of 2018 The NHS figures, collected every month, show around 116million GP appointments were made between January and May in England - meaning around five per cent are wasted by no-shows. The Daily Mail

1.3MILLION people were fined last year for wrongly trying to claim NHS prescriptions for free 

1.3MILLION people were fined last year for wrongly trying to claim NHS prescriptions for free The number of people fined for wrongly trying to claim free NHS prescriptions topped more than 1.3 million last year.

A total of 1,379,957 penalty notices were issued across England in 2018 – which is a third more than last year and a 60 per cent increase from three years earlier.

Figures show that 1,052,430 were penalised in 2017, which was an increased from 864,366 in 2016.

The shocking statistics come amid a government crackdown on prescription fraud, which experts believe costs the NHS £256million annually. The Daily Mail

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Slow-moving care home projects means Northampton area will be 500 beds short by 2022

Slow-moving care home projects means Northampton area will be 500 beds short by 2022 Parts of Northamptonshire are facing a shortfall of as many as 500 beds for elderly people by 2022 if projects to build new care homes do not get off the ground, a report has claimed.

A report by Carterwood chartered surveyors claims they have identified nine schemes in Northamptonshire that could provide care and housing for elderly people in the next three years but as of yet show 'no indication of development'. Northamptonshire Telegraph

A critical moment: NHS staffing, trends, retention and attrition

A critical moment: NHS staffing, trends, retention and attrition This is the third annual report analysing the staff profile and trends in the NHS workforce in England. It is intended to be read as an annual update, examining changes in the overall profile of NHS staffing in 2018
.
Analysis of the NHS staff profile and trends in England in 2018 largely confirms the trends identified in our previous reports, showing an ongoing deterioration for some key staff groups.

The past year has seen modest growth of 1.8% in the total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. However, this is against a backdrop of more than 100,000 vacancies reported in total by trusts, including more than 41,000 vacant nursing posts. 

Staffing in some key areas is a problem. The number of GPs is falling, as is the number of nurses and health visitors working in community and mental health services. The Health Foundation

Can video consultations combat global doctor shortages?

Can video consultations combat global doctor shortages? Would you be happy to see your doctor online? Growing numbers of patients seem to be attracted by the convenience. And doctors are also finding it useful as health services come under pressure from growing and ageing populations.

Lydia Campbell-Hill, a 35-year-old doctor from Cornwall, England, says switching to online consultations has transformed her life. BBC News

Young people told - become a care worker

Young people told - become a care worker Young people in England are being targeted by the government in a bid to recruit thousands of more care workers.

The Every Day is Different campaign will be promoted on social media and online platforms to get the under-40s to take up jobs such as care workers, therapists and activity co-ordinators.

There are currently more than 100,000 vacancies in the sector - a figure which some warn may rise after Brexit.

It comes as a report says a lack of community staff may damage the NHS. BBC News

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More than 5,000 safety incidents recorded in hospitals as NHS faces £3bn funding gap for repairs

More than 5,000 safety incidents recorded in hospitals as NHS faces £3bn funding gap for repairs NHS hospitals are “falling apart” due to an “alarming” crisis which has seen the urgent repair bill jump to £3 billion, figures have revealed.

New analysis from The Sunday Times has revealed hospitals were waiting on some £3.06 billion in 2017-18, an increase of more than 100 per cent in three years.

There were also more than 5,500 serious safety incidents last year, with surgeries delayed or cancelled due to infrastructure problems such as burst pipes or broken heating. iNews

A&E departments working ‘beyond limits of resilience’, emergency chiefs warn as waits grow

A&E departments working ‘beyond limits of resilience’, emergency chiefs warn as waits grow The performance of A&E departments in some trusts is below levels set in last year’s record-breaking winter crisis, according to emergency medicine bosses who warn staff and bed shortages mean hospitals are “at or beyond the limits of their resilience”.

Despite milder weather and the absence of a major flu outbreak, which added to 2018’s “perfect storm” of pressures, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has said conditions in A&E are “grave indeed”. The Independent 

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Cover-up fears as hundreds of contaminated blood files 'vanish' before inquiry can see them

Cover-up fears as hundreds of contaminated blood files 'vanish' before inquiry can see them Victims of the contaminated blood scandal have raised fears of a cover-up after it emerged hundreds of "crucial" documents were removed by government officials and are now missing.

Following the start of the Infected Blood Inquiry last year a Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) found around 950 files relating to blood policy had been "checked out" by staff over a period of years.

The report was released under Freedom of Information laws to campaigner Jason Evans, whose father died in 1993 having contracted hepatitis and HIV. The Independent

NHS ageism means elderly people with depression far less likely to be referred for therapy 

NHS ageism means elderly people with depression far less likely to be referred for therapy NHS ageism means GPs are failing to properly treat depression in the elderly, research suggests. Experts said older patients were far less likely to be referred for psychological therapies, and more likely to just be given pills.

The study by University College London and the University of Bristol found that almost four in ten people over the age of 75 are suffering some signs of depression.

But the research found older patients were far less likely than younger ones to be referred for therapy, with GPs often assuming depression was a natural consequence of old age. The Daily Telegraph

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Department of Health must approve all NHS texts, tweets and emails about Brexit

Department of Health must approve all NHS texts, tweets and emails about Brexit The Department of Health has insisted on approving all texts, tweets and emails sent out by the NHS concerning Brexit.

A leaked email from the director of communications at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) revealed any 'external communication' must be cleared to ensure the public gets 'consistent and clear information'.

This comes after the NHS Blood and Transplant Authority tweeted earlier this month about blood donor sessions being moved from Dover for six months to avoid traffic disruption during Brexit. The Daily Mail

Monday, 11 February 2019

The Topol Review: Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future

The Topol Review: Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future The Topol Review, led by cardiologist, geneticist, and digital medicine researcher Dr Eric Topol, explores how to prepare the healthcare workforce, through education and training, to deliver the digital future. Dr Topol appointed a Review Board and three Expert Advisory Panels. HEE provided the secretariat team to facilitate the Review.

The Topol Review is now published and it makes recommendations that will enable NHS staff to make the most of innovative technologies such as genomics, digital medicine, artificial intelligence and robotics to improve services. These recommendations support the aims of the NHS Long-Term Plan. Health Education England

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Developing innovative volunteer services in the NHS: Key insight and learnings

Developing innovative volunteer services in the NHS: Key insight and learnings This report summarises the key Insight and Impact findings from the five hospital trusts in the first Helpforce innovators programme. In order to support continuous improvement and impact management, the trusts collected both insights data, which is predominantly anecdotal and observational, and impact data, which is designed to measure impact in a more systematic, robust way. Helpforce

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Is young people's mental health getting worse?

Is young people's mental health getting worse? Poor mental health among children and young people has been described as an epidemic and an "escalating crisis".

The number of children seeking help from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) in England, has more than doubled over the past two years.

But establishing how much of this represents an actual rise in young people experiencing problems, and how much is down to better awareness of symptoms and diagnosis, is difficult. BBC News

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Breast cancer: Scan younger women at risk, charity says

Breast cancer: Scan younger women at risk, charity says Younger women with a family history of breast cancer should receive annual screenings to pick up the disease earlier, a charity says.

Breast Cancer Now funded a study which found cancers were detected sooner when 35 to 39-year-olds at risk had annual mammograms.

NHS screening often starts at the age of 40 for women with a family history.

Experts need to balance the benefits of doing more checks against causing any undue worry or over-treatment. BBC News

Knife crime epidemic adds to over 50% rise in teen stabbings needing hospital care

Knife crime epidemic adds to over 50% rise in teen stabbings needing hospital care NHS hospitals treated more than 1,000 stabbings, glassings and other blade attacks on teenagers last year – a rise of more than 50 per cent per cent since 2013, the health service has revealed.

Last year there were 1,012 admissions for young people between the age of 10 and 19 as a result of knife attacks and assaults with sharp weapons. This is up from 656 assaults in 2012/13, and the numbers are rising, health chiefs warned. The Independent

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Concerns over birthing options as NHS shuts midwife-led centres

Concerns over birthing options as NHS shuts midwife-led centres Trusts say midwives needed in hospitals, as critics argue women’s right to choose under threat

They are places where birth balls, water pools and attentive midwives help women have their baby in a calm atmosphere without doctors intervening medically in the process of delivery.

But NHS chiefs have sparked controversy by shutting eight birth centres in England, prompting criticism that pregnant women are being denied the choice of place of birth that all have been promised. The Guardian

UK hospital admissions for addiction soar as treatment budgets fall

UK hospital admissions for addiction soar as treatment budgets fall MPs say freedom of information data reveals cuts ‘simply a false economy’

More than half of the local authorities in England have cut their budgets for alcohol and drug treatment, even though admissions to hospital for problems related to addiction are soaring, say MPs.

Liam Byrne, the chair of the cross-party parliamentary group for children of alcoholics, and Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, have both spoken of the trauma of growing up with an alcoholic father. They are among the MPs campaigning against the cuts. The Guardian

Third of antibiotics prescribed by doctors are 'unaccounted for', warns Chief Medical Officer

Third of antibiotics prescribed by doctors are 'unaccounted for', warns Chief Medical Officer A third of the antibiotics used in the NHS are prescribed despite there being no evidence of an illness requiring them, the Chief Medical Officer has said.

Dame Sally Davies warned that the struggle to contain antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is being hampered because family doctors too often hand out the drugs to “validate” that a patient is feeling unwell.

She pointed to research indicating that approximately 33 per cent of all prescriptions for antibiotics are recorded with no associated diagnosis. The Daily Telegraph

NHS could free up £100MILLION a year by cutting back on agency workers

NHS could free up £100MILLION a year by cutting back on agency workers NHS hospital regulators claim filling temporary vacancies using an internal pool of staff rather than expensive agencies would reduce the wage bill by a fifth. The Daily Mail

Friday, 8 February 2019

Health Secretary visits new assessment unit at Northampton General Hospital

Health Secretary visits new assessment unit at Northampton General Hospital  Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health, has praised staff at NGH's new assessment unit.

And the minister said he hopes other hospitals copy the Nye Bevan Unit's successful model, which aims to eliminate unnecessary A&E visits.

Mr Hancock said: "The new unit has made a big impact on A&E. It means people can get into a hospital bed, if they need it, faster than before. "I'd like to replicate this elsewhere in the country." Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Older patients spared dementia and falls by NHS tech roll-out

Older patients spared dementia and falls by NHS tech roll-out Digital checks that can prevent dementia and falls in older people, and save lives through diagnosis of sepsis, are among a range of tools being made available in hospitals across the country, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

One in eight hospital patients is affected by delirium, which can make people unsteady on their feet, increases the risk of developing dementia and can result in longer hospital stays or admission to a care home.

However, these problems can be avoided through timely and effective care, with a scheme in Salford increasing the number of patients correctly diagnosed with delirium by 34%, through the introduction of screening for all over-65s who are admitted to hospital. NHS England

Age UK’s Personalised Integrated Care Programme: evaluation of impact on hospital activity

Age UK’s Personalised Integrated Care Programme: evaluation of impact on hospital activity Nuffield Trust -Age UK’s Personalised Integrated Care Programme (PICP) aims to improve the lives of older people through practical support, underpinned by a change in the way that the health and care system works together for these people locally. This report analyses the hospital use of 1,996 older people who had received a service from PICP in eight areas in England, compares their activity to that of a carefully selected control group.  King's Fund - Health Management and Policy Alert

Involving NHS staff in research

Involving NHS staff in research The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute -This report highlights the role of NHS staff in research and explores how the full potential of their involvement could be better realised. It describes the ways NHS staff are making their mark on the research process – from designing studies, to collecting data, to disseminating and implementing research findings. It identifies some of the key reasons NHS staff get involved in research and looks at some of the barriers to active involvement. King's Fund - Health Management And Policy Alert

NHS hospitals are the fullest they have been all winter with 95% of beds occupied

NHS hospitals are the fullest they have been all winter with 95% of beds occupied NHS figures for last week have revealed hospitals in England had the fewest free beds of any week so far this winter, as a spike in norovirus, diarrhoea and vomiting has led to more bed closures. Mail Online

NHS to screen for lung cancer in trucks in supermarket car parks

NHS to screen for lung cancer in trucks in supermarket car parks Health chiefs hope £70m spend will save lives in areas with high death rates from disease

The NHS is spending £70m placing mobile scanning trucks in supermarket car parks in a bid to cut deaths from lung cancer by encouraging patients to undergo a check-up.

NHS England chiefs hope the initiative will improve Britain’s poor record on the early diagnosis of lung cancer and survival rates. Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease. The Guardian

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Higham Ferrers surgery's staff problems a factor as health watchdog rates it as 'inadequate'

Higham Ferrers surgery's staff problems a factor as health watchdog rates it as 'inadequate'  Health watchdog inspectors have rated a Higham Ferrers GP surgery as 'inadequate', highlighting staffing issues that led to poor services and morale. Higham Ferrers Surgery in Saffron Road was given a rating according to whether it is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. Though found to be 'good' in terms of being effective, it was deemed 'inadequate' in the responsive and well-led categories, and 'requires improvement' in the safe and caring criteria.  Northamptonshire Telegraph

Embedding the learning from speaking up - Health Service Journal

Embedding the learning from speaking up - Health Service Journal Moving from a blame culture to a learning culture is an integral part of Freedom to Speak Up. Dr Henrietta Hughes explains how the National Guardian’s Office is helping organisations embed learning through its case review process. Health Service Journal (HSJ)

Polypharmacy: getting our medicines right

Polypharmacy: getting our medicines right A report from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society summarises the scale and complexity of the issue of polypharmacy. NHS Networks

Assisted dying: 'I wish the law let me have him for longer'

Assisted dying: 'I wish the law let me have him for longer' Geoff Whaley has motor neurone disease and has decided to end his life rather than experience the final stages of the illness.

Assisted suicide is illegal in the UK, so he and his wife Ann have travelled to a clinic in Switzerland. They would like the UK to change its law, and have met peers and MPs to explain their views. BBC News

Children and electronic devices - how to keep young people safe

Children and electronic devices - how to keep young people safe Mobile phones should be banned from the dinner table and bedtimes as part of a healthy approach to devices, the UK's four chief medical officers have said.

Children should also take a break from screen-based activities every two hours, the guidance said. They also said technology companies must do more to keep children safe. BBC News - Health

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Cervical screening intervals should be extended

Cervical screening intervals should be extended Women would be better protected by a switch from cytology (smear) testing to screening for high risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) infection with longer intervals between examinations, suggests a study* published today in The BMJ.
UK researchers concluded that screening for HR-HPV infection works well in practice and is more sensitive than smear testing, offering greater protection against cervical cancer. On Medica

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Students paid up to £3,500 to catch potentially deadly diseases for science 

Students paid up to £3,500 to catch potentially deadly diseases for science  Cash strapped university students are being paid as much as £3,500 to be infected with dangerous tropical diseases including typhoid, malaria and pneumonia.

The UK students are among a growing number of healthy volunteers being paid to be infected with exotic bacteria and viruses for scientific research at institutions including Oxford University and Imperial College London.

The UK is a world leader in the study of infectious diseases and the experiments - known as “challenge trials” where human guinea pigs, mainly students, are “challenged” with an infectious disease - have become a popular way to progress the development of new vaccines at a fraction of the cost of field studies. The Telegraph

How is your hospital coping this winter? Performance tracker breaks down figures for local trusts

How is your hospital coping this winter? Performance tracker breaks down figures for local trusts England's worst performing hospital trusts have been named and shamed in an interactive tool.

Using only the name of a town or a postcode, the NHS Performance Tracker can reveal if hospitals are meeting health service targets.

A&E waits, patient safety incidents, the proportion of full beds and cancer waiting times are all measures included.

The handy tracker is regularly updated with the latest NHS figures, released every week during the winter by officials. Mail Online

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Air ambulance saves Corby couple twice in six years

Air ambulance saves Corby couple twice in six years A Corby couple say they owe everything to the air ambulance after being airlifted to hospital twice in six years. Stacey and Conor Price, of Boughton Road, are so grateful to the charity they’ve agreed to be the faces of the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance valentine fundraising campaign. Northamptonshire Telegraph