Friday, 21 February 2020

Northampton student nurse who will do 'everything in his power' for equality shortlisted for diversity award - Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Northampton student nurse who will do 'everything in his power' for equality shortlisted for diversity award A young man who will do ‘everything in his power’ for equality in his role as a student nurse has been nominated for a diversity award.

Solomon Jones, who is ‘born and bred Northampton’, is halfway through his four-year Open University course.

The 22-year-old has worked as a healthcare assistant and an apprentice nurse for nearly two and half years, but has actually been employed by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) for four years. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Health visitors’ fear for children’s wellbeing due to relentless service cuts

Health visitors’ fear for children’s wellbeing due to relentless service cuts Public health budget cuts have left health visiting services unable to offer the minimum level of support in many areas

Many health visitors across England have been robbed of their ability to protect vulnerable families by devastating cuts to public health budgets. That is the headline finding of an annual survey of health visitors in England, published by the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), alongside calls to ring-fence new funding for the profession.

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Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems

Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems We all have mental health and we can all experience mental health problems, whatever our background or walk of life. But the risks of mental ill-health are not equally distributed.

The likelihood of our developing a mental health problem is influenced by our biology, and by the circumstances in which we are born, grow, live and age.

Those who face the greatest disadvantages in life also face the greatest risks to their mental health. Mental Health Foundation

Evaluation of the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme: final evaluation report

Evaluation of the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme: final evaluation report Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) is an approach to joining up health and social care, and other services where appropriate. This report outlines the findings of an independent evaluation of IPC and finds that whilst IPC costs more than standard care, it resulted in positive patient experience and increased social care quality of life. Centre for Health Economics, University of York

    Walk-in GP services divert more patients from A&E but may not be cost-effective

    Walk-in GP services divert more patients from A&E but may not be cost-effective An analysis of the impact of GP-led health centres - around 250 of which were set up between 2008 and 2012 following a review by Lord Ara Darzi under former prime minister Gordon Brown - found that GP services divert significant numbers of patients away from A&E. GPonline

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    NHS 'took 18 months to help after suicide attempt'

    NHS 'took 18 months to help after suicide attempt' Poor treatment and aftercare for people who self-harm or attempt suicide is putting their lives at risk, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says.

    Many patients treated in A&E for self-harm do not receive a full psychosocial assessment from a mental health professional to assess suicide risk.

    Simon Rose, who has attempted suicide many times, told BBC News it once took 18 months to receive aftercare.

    NHS England said reducing suicide rates was an "NHS priority".

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    Coronavirus: Britons on Diamond Princess cruise ship to disembark and fly home

    Coronavirus: Britons on Diamond Princess cruise ship to disembark and fly home An evacuation flight for Britons trapped on a coronavirus-hit cruise ship in Japan has been delayed by a day, the British embassy has said.

    About 70 UK nationals who have spent 16 days in quarantine on the liner had expected to fly home on Friday.

    But the flight is "logistically complicated" and will now leave on Saturday, the embassy says.

    The group are expected to land in Wiltshire before being quarantined at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral. BBC News

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    The poster project spreading 'happiness and kindness' to NHS staff

    The poster project spreading 'happiness and kindness' to NHS staff Artist Andy Leek is best known for his posters spreading positive, motivational messages in cities around the world.

    In his latest project, his notes directly address NHS staff workers.

    Over 600 of the posters have appeared in staff rooms and breakout areas around the UK. BBC News

    NHS hails next generation of surgical robots to help treat bowel cancer

    NHS hails next generation of surgical robots to help treat bowel cancer Next generation surgical robots have been hailed by doctors as “a leap forward in surgical precision” in the UK.


    Western General Hospital in Edinburgh was first to use the new Versius robotic arm technology in Europe, followed by Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust in Buckinghamshire.

    The tool is used to perform minimal access surgery – also known as keyhole or laparoscopic surgery – and could reduce patient recovery times and pain. ITV News

    Patients at risk in ‘crumbling’ mental health wards, NHS leaders warn

    Patients at risk in ‘crumbling’ mental health wards, NHS leaders warn Patient safety is at risk in “crumbling” NHS mental health hospitals starved of the money needed to improve dilapidated buildings, new data has revealed.

    Hundreds of vulnerable mentally ill patients are still being cared for in 350 old dormitory-style wards, 20 years after the NHS was told to provide all patients with en-suite rooms.

    A lack of funding to refurbish hospitals has also meant too many wards still have ligature points that patients can use to try to harm themselves. The Independent

    Hospitals wrongly medicating thousands of dementia patients

    Hospitals wrongly medicating thousands of dementia patients Almost two-fifths of NHS hospitals are medicating dementia patients with anti-psychotic drugs rather than offering alternative therapies, it has emerged.

    Experts have warned the trend is concerning and goes against guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) which says alternatives should be tried to help prevent patients becoming agitated and confused in hospital. The Independent

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    UK’s expensive visa fees 'could deter NHS staff and scientists'

    UK’s expensive visa fees 'could deter NHS staff and scientists' High cost of entry under immigration overhaul will put off applicants, says thinktank

    The UK’s “sky-high” visa fees could deter vital NHS staff and the “brightest and best” scientists that Boris Johnson wants to attract with his new immigration policy, experts have warned.

    Nurses, lab technicians, engineers and tech experts who currently flock to the UK from the EU may not be able to afford to do so if the prime minister’s proposed immigration overhaul becomes law.  The Guardian

    Scientists discover new antibiotic that kills bacteria resistant to all known drugs

    Scientists discover new antibiotic that kills bacteria resistant to all known drugs Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic that can kill even the toughest superbugs that have become resistant to all other known drugs, a new study reveals.

    Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers ran about 6,000 molecules through their artificial intelligence program, searching for those that could kill E. coli.

    Of all those, the AI picked out exactly one that appeared most effective against the bacteria and didn't structurally resemble any of the 1,700 FDA-approved compounds included in their library. The Daily Mail

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    Thursday, 20 February 2020

    Concerns raised about health effects of Northamptonshire's high radon levels and air quality

    Concerns raised about health effects of Northamptonshire's high radon levels and air quality Concerns have been raised about the poor quality of indoor air in Northamptonshire, particularly the effects on children who are on average spending just over an hour a day outside.

    Respiratory problems among children may be exacerbated by indoor air pollution in homes, schools and nurseries, according to the study, published last month. Northamptonshire Telegraph

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    What are health inequalities?

    What are health inequalities? Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people. There are many kinds of health inequality, and many ways in which the term is used. This means that when we talk about ‘health inequality’, it is useful to be clear on which measure is unequally distributed, and between which people. The King's Fund

    What does the 2019 NHS Staff Survey truly tell us about how staff needs are being met?

    What does the 2019 NHS Staff Survey truly tell us about how staff needs are being met? Chronic excessive workload in the NHS is causing staff stress and illness, and results in health care professionals quitting the service and patients not getting the quality of care they expect. Such workloads have become like the pattern in the wallpaper we no longer see. But we must acknowledge, address and continue to address this issue. It can’t be right that a sector focused on promoting the health and wellbeing of our population is putting at risk the health and wellbeing of 1 in 20 of its national workforce (increasing to 1 in 9 if we also include social care). The King's Fund

    Improving health by tackling market failure

    Improving health by tackling market failure This long read explores what market failure is, its relevance for health, and how the government might intervene to improve the population’s health.

    We look at two examples: the success of reducing smoking and how we might use a market failure approach to tackle obesity. The Health Foundation

    1 in 5 Mental Health Patients Don't Feel Safe in NHS Care

     1 in 5 Mental Health Patients Don't Feel Safe in NHS Care A new survey published today by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman found that one in five people did not feel safe while in the care of the NHS mental health service that treated them.

    Over half of people with mental health problems in England also said they experienced delays to their treatment, while four in ten (42%) said that they waited too long to be diagnosed.

    Sharp rise in lung disease deaths over past 27 years

    Sharp rise in lung disease deaths over past 27 years Numbers of people dying or experiencing disability due to chronic respiratory diseases over the past three decades have risen sharply, according to an analysis of data from 195 countries. OnMedica

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    Number of people with dementia in Europe to almost double by 2050

    Number of people with dementia in Europe to almost double by 2050 The number of people with dementia in Europe is set to almost double by 2050, on the basis of current trends across the continent, concludes a report from Alzheimer Europe.

    The report, which draws on recent studies and population trends data, charts changes in the prevalence of the disease for 37 countries. It shows that nearly 10 million people were living with dementia in 2018, a figure that is projected to rise to just under 19 million by 2050─equivalent to 3% of the total population of Europe OnMedica

    Coronavirus: Britons on Diamond Princess cruise ship to be flown home

    Coronavirus: Britons on Diamond Princess cruise ship to be flown home Britons stranded on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan will be able to board an evacuation flight home on Friday, the foreign secretary has said.

    Only those who are showing no signs of illness will be able to travel, and they will be quarantined on their return to the UK, it is understood.

    Those who have tested positive will remain in Japan for treatment. BBC News

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    'I want Matt Hancock to look at this photograph': Mother releases picture of her cradling stillborn baby who died because of NHS maternity failings

    'I want Matt Hancock to look at this photograph': Mother releases picture of her cradling stillborn baby who died because of NHS maternity failings A tear rolling down her cheek, Stephanie Broadley holds her baby son Beau for the first and final time.

    Beau had been stillborn minutes before the photograph was taken, after avoidable mistakes by midwives at the hospital in Grimsby.

    The 28-year-old from North East Lincolnshire has released the picture to highlight what she says is the failure to learn from mistakes in maternity services and she called on health secretary Matt Hancock to take urgent action. The Independent

    Woman plays violin while undergoing brain surgery – video

    Woman plays violin while undergoing brain surgery – video A musician played the violin while surgeons operated on her brain to remove a tumour at King’s College hospital in London. The medical team asked Dagmar Turner, 53, to play the instrument to ensure parts of the brain that control delicate hand movements and coordination were not damaged during the millimetre-precise surgery. Turner was diagnosed in 2013 with a brain tumour after suffering a seizure during a symphony. The Guardian

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    The facemask that can spot tuberculosis: Gadget being tested by the NHS

    The facemask that can spot tuberculosis: Gadget being tested by the NHS Bacteria expelled from the patient's mouth is collected in the 'world-changing' mask, designed by researchers at the University of Leicester and the University of Pretoria. The Daily Mail

    Wednesday, 19 February 2020

    Isolation 'pods' for anyone who goes to Northampton General Hospital with coronavirus symptoms

    Isolation 'pods' for anyone who goes to Northampton General Hospital with coronavirus symptoms Two 'pods' for anyone who goes to Northampton General Hospital (NGH) with symptoms of coronavirus have been set up opposite the emergency department.

    A hospital trust spokesman said NHS 111 pods mean patients can be kept isolated and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E, as per national guidance.

    “Over the coming weeks, many people may need to self-isolate at home for a period to reduce this virus' spread," the spokesman added. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

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    NHS staff morale improves but too many facing abuse

    NHS staff morale improves but too many facing abuse NHS staff say they are now happier and more likely to recommend their organisation as a place to work than last year, but too many still experience unacceptable abuse from patients and the public.

    569,000 NHS employees across 300 separate organisations responded to this year’s NHS Staff Survey, with the results showing staff morale has improved across the NHS.Staff also reported that the quality of care in the NHS has improved over the last year, with more than seven in 10 saying they would recommend their organisation to their family and friends for treatment, a proportion that has increased every year for the past five years. NHS England

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    The health of the nation: a strategy for healthier longer lives

    The health of the nation: a strategy for healthier longer lives This report aims to help set the UK on a clear path to achieve the government's goal "for everyone to have five extra years of healthy, independent life by 2035." It proposes policy and cross-sector collaboration to narrow the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest. All Party Parliamentary Group for Longevity

      Training in Addiction Psychiatry: Current Status and Future Prospects

      Training in Addiction Psychiatry: Current Status and Future Prospects This report looks into addictions psychiatry provision and how we can support and reinvigorate the decreasing number of training posts across the UK. Royal College of Psychiatrists

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      Children facing uncertain future, experts warn

      Children facing uncertain future, experts warn No country offers a child both the chance of a healthy upbringing and an environment fit for their future, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

      Experts say climate change and harmful advertising encouraging fast-food consumption and under-age drinking are putting children at risk.

      The UK was ranked among the top 10 countries in the world for the overall health and wellbeing of children.

      However, it fell behind in safeguarding the environment for their future. BBC News

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      Heart doctors 'held back stent death data'

      Heart doctors 'held back stent death data' Doctors working on a clinical trial for treatment of heart disease held back key data, Newsnight has been told.

      The Excel trial tested whether stents were as effective as open heart surgery at treating patients with a heart problem called left main disease.

      The data suggested more people fitted with stents were dying after three years.

      It was eventually published - but only after treatment guidelines that partly relied on the trial had been written. BBC News

      Care provider Hft to shut services due to 'underfunding'

      Care provider Hft to shut services due to 'underfunding' A care charity that provides services for about 90 adults in Oxfordshire says it will shut them by the end of May.

      Hft, which runs several services in Milton, near Didcot, said running them was leaving it with a £5,000 shortfall every week.

      Its chief executive said that was the result of "chronic underfunding of adult social care". BBC News

      Work visa shake-up: What the new migration system means for the NHS, social care, hospitality and construction

      Work visa shake-up: What the new migration system means for the NHS, social care, hospitality and construction Ministers have warned businesses they have less than a year to prepare for the new immigration system to be put in place.

      The Home Office is launching a campaign of outreach to ensure that firms are prepared to lose access to a pool of lower-skilled EU migrants.

      The department says: "UK businesses will need to adapt and adjust to the end of free movement, and we will not seek to recreate the outcomes from free movement within the points-based system. As such, it is important that employers move away from a reliance on the UK's immigration system as an alternative to investment in staff retention, productivity, and wide investment in technology and automation." iNews

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      Thousands of patients potentially harmed by undelivered NHS mail

      Thousands of patients potentially harmed by undelivered NHS mail Safety inquiry launched after private contractor failed to send 28,563 confidential letters in IT bungle

      The NHS has launched a patient safety inquiry after a private contractor failed to send more than 28,000 pieces of confidential medical correspondence to GPs, the Guardian can reveal.

      NHS bosses are trying to find out if any patients have been harmed after 28,563 letters detailing discussions at outpatient appointments were not sent because of a mistake by Cerner, an IT company. The Guardian

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      Tuesday, 18 February 2020

      St Andrew's Healthcare: Overhaul for 'failings' mental health charity

      St Andrew's Healthcare: Overhaul for 'failings' mental health charity A mental health hospital charity which made "repeated and systemic failings" in its leadership is to overhaul its current services.

      Several concerns were raised at St Andrew's Healthcare, based in Northampton, following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

      The charity will replace its facility at Fitzroy House, which could hold 110 patients, for a smaller service.

      Chief executive Katie Fisher said its current model of care was "wrong". BBC Northampton

      Record number of people visit Northampton's A&E for help with mental health crises

      Record number of people visit Northampton's A&E for help with mental health crises More people than ever went to Northampton's A&E last year asking for help with their mental health.

      Northampton General Hospital was visited 1,870 times in 2018/19 by people suffering from a mental health episode.

      It compares to 1,214 people in 2016/17, a jump of more than a third in just two years. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

      First Patients Begin Gene Therapy Treatment For Blindness As Part Of NHS Long Term Plan

      First Patients Begin Gene Therapy Treatment For Blindness As Part Of NHS Long Term Plan The first patients have received a revolutionary new gene therapy that can restore eyesight as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Babies born with an inherited retinal disorder, known as Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), have poor sight which swiftly deteriorates, with many ultimately losing their vision completely in childhood. NHS England

      The health, safety and wellbeing of shift workers in healthcare environments

      The health, safety and wellbeing of shift workers in healthcare environments The guidance explores: how shift work can impact on health, safety and wellbeing; what can employers and employees do; and the importance of partnership working on shift working patterns. NHS Employers

        Advancing population health management

        Advancing population health management Population health management (PHM) – the use of data to identify specific groups within a population that may have similar characteristics and similar needs, and develop targeted interventions to meet those needs – was a notable theme of the NHS Long Term Plan. But it’s something that clinical commissioners have been doing for some time. This report brings together PHM stories from ten different areas of England – led by clinical commissioners – to demonstrate the progress that has been already been made in advancing this approach to healthcare, and what more will need to be done. NHS Clinical Commissioners

          Rescue plan 'considered' for virus cruise Britons

          Rescue plan 'considered' for virus cruise Britons The Foreign Office is "considering all options" for Britons trapped on a quarantined cruise liner in Japan struck by coronavirus - including flying them home.

          Some of the 74 UK passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess said they felt "forgotten", as other countries flew citizens home.

          The ship was quarantined on 3 February. BBC News

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          Rapid tests to help tackle Glasgow's HIV outbreak

          Rapid tests to help tackle Glasgow's HIV outbreak New HIV tests that provide results in minutes have been introduced in Glasgow to help tackle the worst outbreak of the infection in decades.

          Drug users sharing needles are in the group most affected by the surge of HIV cases in Scotland's biggest city.

          Previously, test results could take up to two weeks to come back from the laboratory and it could be difficult to trace people to tell them the outcome. BBC News

          Transgender patients self-medicating over NHS waits

          Transgender patients self-medicating over NHS waits Transgender patients are choosing to self-medicate with hormones bought online from unregulated sources due to waiting times to see NHS specialists, the BBC has learned.

          In many areas, some patients wait over two years to be seen, new figures show. England's target time is 18 weeks.

          One woman said she was so low it felt like a choice between self-medicating or suicide.

          NHS England said it had increased investment to respond to rising demand. BBC News

          Women As Young As 35 Are Being Denied NHS IVF Because Of Their Age. This Is The Impact

          Women As Young As 35 Are Being Denied NHS IVF Because Of Their Age. This Is The Impact Data analysed by HuffPost UK reveals one-in-nine CCGs in England that offer IVF is imposing its own age restrictions on women under 40.

          “I won’t ever get to experience carrying a child. I won’t get to have my baby that I grow and that I feel move, and that’s really hard.”

          These are the words of Steph Coath, a 38-year-old woman who is unable to access NHS IVF because of her age.

          Despite official recommendations stating women should be eligible for IVF up to the age of 42, Steph’s local clinical commissioning group (CCG) has decided it will only offer treatment to women under 35. Huffington Post UK

          Female domestic abuse survivors '44 per cent more likely' to die from any cause

          Female domestic abuse survivors '44 per cent more likely' to die from any cause Women who have been subjected to domestic abuse are 44 per cent more likely to die from any cause than the wider population, a new study has found.

          Researchers at the University of Warwick and Birmingham discovered domestic abuse survivors are at increased risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

          The study stresses the prevalence of domestic abuse – noting an estimated one in three women have experienced it globally and one in four women in Britain have suffered it. The Indepdendent

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          Take action now to avoid worse winter NHS crisis next year, hospitals chief inspector warns

          Take action now to avoid worse winter NHS crisis next year, hospitals chief inspector warns Action must be taken now if the NHS is to avoid an even worse winter crisis next year, the chief inspector of hospitals has warned.

          The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said the use of corridors to treat sick patients in A&E was “becoming normalised”, with departments struggling with a lack of staff, poor leadership and long delays leading to crowding and safety risks. The Independent

          The great vape debate: are e-cigarettes saving smokers or creating new addicts?

          The great vape debate: are e-cigarettes saving smokers or creating new addicts? The US is cracking down on vaping while the UK is promoting e-cigarettes as an aid to giving up smoking. Where does the truth lie? By Sarah Boseley

          Gone With the Smoke is already no more than a distant whiff of bubblegum-flavoured vapour. The vape shop and lounge, one of many in San Francisco, has been forced to close. So have Vapor Den (“eclectic lounge & hipster go-to”) and Happy Vape. From late January, it became illegal to sell e-cigarettes and e-liquids in San Francisco. Even online sales to addresses within the city limits have been stopped. Stores outside the city that dispatch e-cigarettes to an SF postcode will face prosecution. The Guardian

          Monday, 17 February 2020

          Locked away: the national scandal you may have missed

          Locked away: the national scandal you may have missed | John Harris The way the NHS, local authorities and private providers treat our most vulnerable people should shame us all.

          Adele Green is a mother of four, who lives in the Northern suburbs of Bristol. I spoke to her last week about her son, Eddie, who is now 20 years old, and living in hospital in Doncaster, 180 miles from his family.

          That may seem unbearable enough, but it pales into insignificance next to what Eddie has suffered elsewhere. Variously diagnosed with autism, dyspraxia, ADHD and more, he is now officially understood as having a learning disability with complex needs. As a child who liked cycling and dancing, and had the same caring nature he still displays, he moved through an array of educational placements before, in late 2012, he ended up at a now-defunct residential school near his home. As his mother told me last week, soon after arriving “he had a really big meltdown – it was something he couldn’t cope with, from being at home to being somewhere completely different”.

          Eddie was moved to a so-called assessment and treatment unit (ATU) in Northampton, run by St Andrew’s HealthcareThe Guardian

          Smaller hospitals: deserving of support at every level

          Smaller hospitals: deserving of support at every level Smaller hospitals provide care to nearly half the population of England and are often the linchpin of rural communities. Yet their position is precarious despite recent pledges to tailor operating models to meet their needs more equitably. Nuffield Trust

          ‘Our NHS people matter’ – five years of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES)

          ‘Our NHS people matter’ – five years of the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) As the fifth annual Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) data report is published, Yvonne Coghill, Director of the WRES Implementation Team at NHS England, looks at race equality progress over time. The King's Fund

          Give GPs the right to NHS salaries in switch from system of independent contractors

          Give GPs the right to NHS salaries in switch from system of independent contractors Historic GP ‘partner model’ should be phased out in England to tackle workforce crisis, provide better care and ‘let doctors be doctors’

          A new IPPR report calls for general practitioners to become salaried employees of the NHS, rather than independent contractors, known as partners, who run their own GP practices. This move would overturn the historic model of general practice that has been in place since 1948.

          The think tank’s researchers argue that this shift, to be phased in, would enable the NHS in England to deliver better access to and quality of primary care in the community. It would also help to address the workforce crisis in general practice, they say. Institute for Public Policy Research

          Coronavirus: Schools to be advised not to close over suspected cases

          Coronavirus: Schools to be advised not to close over suspected cases Schools do not need to close or send staff and pupils home if there is a suspected case of coronavirus, new guidance is to recommend.

          Public Health England will say no restrictions or special control measures are needed while tests are carried out on a suspected case.

          If a case is confirmed, health protection teams will speak to the head teacher and action will be taken.

          PHE is expected to issue the new guidance later. BBC News

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          How safe are breast implants?

          How safe are breast implants? Breast enlargement is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries worldwide. There are millions of satisfied patients, so just how safe are implants? BBC News

          Mumps: Why adults might still need the MMR jab

          Mumps: Why adults might still need the MMR jab Health experts are warning young adults are at risk of developing mumps because many of their age group missed out on getting two doses of the MMR jab as children.

          Latest figures show cases of mumps in England have reached their highest level in a decade.

          So why is mumps a risk, and how effective is the MMR vaccination? BBC News

          NHS hospitals have only a few weeks left to get rid of their fax machines and are in 'desperate need of new systems'

          NHS hospitals have only a few weeks left to get rid of their fax machines and are in 'desperate need of new systems' With an NHS ban on fax machines due to come into force next month, Dean Kirby asks why this outdated technology is still in use on the wards.

          In an NHS hospital somewhere in the UK, a doctor is standing over to a fax machine waiting for a patient's medical records to arrive from a GP surgery.

          The machine finally whirrs into life - only to be halted midway through delivering its life-saving message because of a paper jam.

          This isn't a scene from a 1980s TV medical drama. It is happening right now in hospitals across 21st century Britain. iNews

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          Watchdog warns of maternity risks at scandal-hit hospital – despite minister’s claim wards are safe

          Watchdog warns of maternity risks at scandal-hit hospital – despite minister’s claim wards are safe An NHS hospital at the centre of a maternity inquiry is still putting babies and mothers at risk, the care watchdog has warned – contradicting claims by a minister to the Commons that the unit was a safe place to give birth.

          Bosses at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust have been told by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to take action after it warned of safety risks following inspections at the end of January and earlier this month. The Independent

          A drug can stop HIV infection – so why isn't it available on the NHS in England?

          A drug can stop HIV infection – so why isn't it available on the NHS in England? Major studies have shown that the prophylactic PrEP effectively ends the threat of contracting HIV. But gay men and other users are currently left to self-source it online

          In August 2017, George was living in Glasgow when he received a call from his partner in South America. They had remained together despite the distance, a physical rather than emotional separation. George answered, and the voice on the other end of the phone dissolved into tears.

          “He had just been diagnosed with HIV,” says George. “I was worried about him. I was worried for myself and my future health. And I was worried about what my family would think.” The Guardian

          Our personal health history is too valuable to be harvested by the tech giants

          Our personal health history is too valuable to be harvested by the tech giants | Eerke Boiten Action to prevent deeper access to our private lives and data is more essential than ever

          Health data paints a rich picture of our lives. Even if you remove your name, date of birth and NHS number to “anonymise” yourself, a full health history will reveal your age, gender, the places where you have lived, your family relationships and aspects of your lifestyle.

          Used in combination with other available information, this may be enough to verify that this medical history relates to you personally and to target you online. Consequently, whenever the NHS shares health data, even if it is anonymised, we need to have confidence in who it goes to and what they can do with it. The Guardian

          BAME trainee doctors in 'climate of fear' over racism

          BAME trainee doctors in 'climate of fear' over racism Many black, Asian and minority ethnic trainee doctors are experiencing a “climate of fear” at medical schools amid a failure to address widespread racism, according to the British Medical Association.

          Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chairman, said the schools’ inadequate response to racism had left many BAME medical students afraid to speak out. The Guardian

          Judges rule that doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to brain-damaged baby

          Judges rule that doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to brain-damaged baby A couple who want doctors to keep providing life-support treatment to their brain-damaged baby have lost another legal battle.

          Karwan Ali and Shokhan Namiq, who live in Manchester, had appealed after a High Court judge concluded that four-month-old Midrar was brain stem dead and said doctors could lawfully stop treating him. The Daily Telegraph

          Friday, 14 February 2020

          CEO paid up to £220000 needed to manage new group that will merge Northampton and Kettering hospitals

          CEO paid up to £220000 needed to manage new group that will merge Northampton and Kettering hospitals The group model that will soon see the management departments of two Northamptonshire hospitals merged, is now recruiting its first ever group Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

          Northampton General Hospital and Kettering General Hospital will keep their own A&E, maternity and paediatric services, but other services, as well as HR, strategy and finance departments will be merged. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

          Worst January for people waiting longer than four hours in A&E

          Worst January for people waiting longer than four hours in A&E Responding to NHS England's monthly performance statistics, Tim Gardner, Senior Policy Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:

          ‘Today's figures show NHS performance on the main waiting time targets is close to record lows. Despite the lack of a cold snap and flu being less severe than feared so far, this was the worst January for people waiting longer than four hours in A&E since records began. Performance against the 18 week target for non-urgent operations hit an all-time low. The Health Foundation

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          Research and analysis: HPV vaccination uptake in men who have sex with men (MSM)

          Research and analysis: HPV vaccination uptake in men who have sex with men (MSM) Report presenting human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake (initiation and completion) in gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Public Health England

          Coronavirus: No change in outbreak despite China spike, WHO says

          Coronavirus: No change in outbreak despite China spike, WHO says Coronavirus cases are not rising dramatically outside China despite a spike in Hubei province, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

          The only exception was on a cruise liner docked in Japan, where 44 new cases were reported, bringing the total there to 218.

          There was also no major shift in the coronavirus's pattern of mortality or severity, according to the WHO. BBC News

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          Mumps cases hit decade high in England

          Mumps cases hit decade high in England Health officials are urging people to have both parts of the MMR vaccine after cases of mumps in England reached their highest level in a decade.

          Outbreaks in universities and colleges raised the number of cases of the painful viral illness to 5,042 in 2019 - four times the number in 2018.

          Most were in young adults who missed out on the MMR jab. BBC News

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          Government to allow more NHS staff to prescribe medicines as ministers relax rules post-Brexit

          Government to allow more NHS staff to prescribe medicines as ministers relax rules post-Brexit The government is aiming to relax rules to allow more NHS staff other than doctors to prescribe drugs to patients.

          It is part of new legislation presented to Parliament on Thursday, which will also seek to soften regulations governing the UK’s £74bn life sciences sector to make the UK more competitive post-Brexit.

          Ministers hope to give more midwives, physiotherapists, paramedics and other staff the power to prescribe what the Department of Health and Social Care described as “low risk medicines” which it said could help reduce unnecessary GP appointments. The Independent

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          Safety watchdog launches probe into NHS maternity delays causing deaths and brain damage

          Safety watchdog launches probe into NHS maternity delays causing deaths and brain damage A national investigation into maternity safety across England has been launched amid fears delays in delivering babies are causing deaths and leaving children with permanent brain damage.

          Safety watchdog, the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has said it will examine delays in delivering babies where there are suspicions the baby is in difficulty. It will make national safety recommendations for the whole health service. The Independent

          Review launched into East Kent NHS trust after baby deaths

          Review launched into East Kent NHS trust after baby deaths Government’s decision comes amid reports of at least seven preventable deaths since 2016

          The government has announced an independent review into maternity services at an NHS trust where a number of babies have died.

          “Immediate actions” have also been promised and an independent clinical team has been placed “at the heart” of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. It comes amid reports that at least seven preventable baby deaths may have occurred at the trust since 2016, including that of Harry Richford. The Guardian

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          Homeopaths banned from practising quack autism 'treatment' by Government

          Homeopaths banned from practising quack autism 'treatment' by Government A Government watchdog has warned homeopaths that they must stop practising so-called treatments for autism, but the NHS director wants the 'quack' practitioners struck off completely.

          The Society of Homeopaths have been given a three month deadline to withdraw advertising for bogus 'cures' for autism.

          The Professional Standards Authority today said it would only renew the societies accreditation on those grounds. The Daily Mail

          Thursday, 13 February 2020

          Dad 'cannot speak' to autistic son at mental health unit

          Dad 'cannot speak' to autistic son at mental health unit A father whose autistic son is at a mental health unit in England has said he has not been able to see or speak to him for three years.

          Wayne Erasmus said his son Huw, 31, moved without notice from a unit in Carmarthen to Birmingham and then on to St Andrew's Healthcare in Northampton.

          The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised concerns and criticised repeated failings in St Andrew's leadership.

          St Andrew's said it had new leaders in place committed to making improvements. BBC News

          Supporting a healthy childhood: the need for greater investment in services in England

          Supporting a healthy childhood: the need for greater investment in services in England This briefing highlights that investment in services that would give children a good chance of having a healthy childhood has been severely lacking, with cuts commonplace. Today’s unhealthy and adversely affected children risk becoming tomorrow’s unhealthy and adversely affected adults. The briefing has two key recommendations: the development of a cross-government ‘healthy childhood strategy’, and a commitment in the March 2020 budget to reversing cuts to local authority children’s services and public health budgets in England. British Medical Association

            Realising the neighbourhood NHS: delivering a new deal for primary care

            Realising the neighbourhood NHS: delivering a new deal for primary care This report calls for general practitioners to become salaried employees of the NHS, rather than independent contractors, known as partners, who run their own GP practices. This move would overturn the historic model of general practice that has been in place since 1948. It argues that this shift, to be phased in, would enable the NHS in England to deliver better access to, and quality of, primary care in the community and would also help to address the workforce crisis in general practice. Institute for Public Policy Research

            Britain's race to contain the coronavirus

            Britain's race to contain the coronavirus There were 12 days between Steve Walsh leaving a business conference in Singapore and finding out he had been infected with the new coronavirus. When he was tested, he did not even have any symptoms.

            But it was still enough to set in train a series of events that have left health officials battling to stop the disease - now named Covid-19 - from spreading across the UK. BBC News

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            East Kent baby deaths: Scale of deaths at trust 'not clear cut'

            East Kent baby deaths: Scale of deaths at trust 'not clear cut' The boss of an NHS trust at the centre of concerns about preventable baby deaths has claimed the scale of the failings is not clearly defined.

            Susan Acott, chief executive of East Kent Hospitals Trust, said there had only been "six or seven" avoidable deaths at the trust since 2011.

            However, the BBC revealed on Monday that the trust previously accepted responsibility for at least 10.

            Ms Acott said some of the baby deaths were "not as clear-cut". BBC News

            Children with arthritis 'facing delays to diagnosis'

            Children with arthritis 'facing delays to diagnosis' Delays diagnosing and treating children with arthritis are leaving them in pain and at a higher risk of lifelong damage, a national charity has warned.

            Arthritis is commonly thought to affect only older people, but 15,000 children have the condition in the UK.

            Versus Arthritis says many children are not getting help soon enough.BBC News

            NHS trust withdraws ‘dangerous’ advice to women on how to achieve a ‘normal birth’

            NHS trust withdraws ‘dangerous’ advice to women on how to achieve a ‘normal birth’ An NHS trust has been criticised for advising pregnant women to stay at home for as long as possible during labour to increase the chances of a “normal birth”.

            University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust also suggested mothers should avoid having epidurals or inductions and should try to have a home birth.

            The advice has been described as “shocking” by experts, who said the guidance was contrary to evidence and could be “dangerous” for mothers and babies. The Independent

            One in six appendectomies on children are unnecessary new research shows

            One in six appendectomies on children are unnecessary new research shows Hundreds of children are having needless operations to remove their appendix, researchers have warned.

            One in six children who had surgery actually had a healthy appendix taken out, according to their study.

            An estimated 1,600 youngsters are having appendicectomies unnecessarily each year in the UK, it found. The Daily Mail

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            Wednesday, 12 February 2020

            Make sure A&E is what you need as Northamptonshire hospitals 'under extreme pressure'

            Make sure A&E is what you need as Northamptonshire hospitals 'under extreme pressure' Northamptonshire's hospitals are under extreme pressure and people need to make sure they definitely need to go to A&E before just turning up.

            That is according to Kate Holt, the chief executive of Healthwatch Northamptonshire, an independent organisation which supports the NHS in the county and stands up for patients. Daventry Express

            Number of people with diabetes in Northamptonshire reaches record 42,000

            Number of people with diabetes in Northamptonshire reaches record 42,000 New analysis released this week by Diabetes UK shows that the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Northamptonshire has jumped from 40,486 to 42,112 since last year.

            In the UK 3.9 million people are currently living with a diagnosis of diabetes, and 90 per cent of those with type 2. Northamptonshire Telegraph

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            Inspectors scold Northampton care agency for gaps in knowledge on how to keep patients safe

            Inspectors scold Northampton care agency for gaps in knowledge on how to keep patients safe A Northampton agency that cares for people in their homes has been scolded by the healthcare watchdog for it's weak understanding of what to do if someone in their care choked.

            Lighthouse Care Agency looks after people in their homes by helping them with eating and cleaning - but the CQC says they are unconvinced staff would know what to do if a patient began choking. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

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            What the quality of work means for our health

            What the quality of work means for our health Social, economic, commercial and environmental conditions are the strongest determinants of people’s health. This includes people’s access to homes that are safe, stable and warm; the availability of an adequate financial safety net; access to healthy, affordable food; and the quality of their work. This long read presents new analysis exploring changes in one of these wider determinants of health: the labour market. This includes the quantity and quality of employment over the last ten years, the implications of these changes for health, and what they mean for public policy. It is the first in a series addressing changes in the wider determinants of health and what they mean for health inequalities. The Health Foundation

              Reducing variation in lung cancer care

              Reducing variation in lung cancer care The UK Lung Cancer Coalition has published advice for clinicians, commissioners and policy-makers to help ensure that consistent and equitable treatment and care options are being offered to patients who present with similar profiles, regardless of where they live.

              Coronavirus officially named Covid-19, says WHO

              Coronavirus officially named Covid-19, says WHO The World Health Organization says the official name for the disease caused by the new coronavirus is Covid-19.

              "We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

              It comes after the death toll from the virus passed 1,000. Tens of thousands of people have been infected.

              Dr Ghebreyesus called on the world to fight the new virus as aggressively as possible. BBC News

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              Health inequality greater than previously thought, report finds

              Health inequality greater than previously thought, report finds Women are living nearly ten years longer in poor health than previous estimates, while men are living an extra seven years, according to a report based on new NHS data launched by the health secretary on Wednesday.

              The new analysis means that men on average are being diagnosed with their first significant long-term condition at 56 and women at 55. In the poorest areas, women are getting their first significant long-term illness at just 47 and men at 49 years old. The Guardian

              Tuesday, 11 February 2020

              Storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos to be reconsidered

              Storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos to be reconsidered The government is seeking views on reviewing the current 10-year storage limit for eggs, sperm and embryos, to give more people the opportunity to start a family. Department of Health and Social Care

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              Prioritising health in our future relationship with the EU

              Prioritising health in our future relationship with the EU Following the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK now has until the end of this year to define its future relationship with the EU. The Brexit Health Alliance is concerned that the safety and health of patients and citizens could be overlooked during the negotiations over the next eleven months and has produced a briefing and summary to highlight why time is of the essence and health must be a priority in the future relationship negotiations. Brexit Health Alliance

                Super-spreaders: Why are they important?

                Super-spreaders: Why are they important? Super-spreading, where individual patients pass on an infection to large numbers of people, is a feature of nearly every outbreak.

                It is not their fault but can have a significant impact on how diseases spread.

                There are reports of super-spreading during the new coronavirus outbreak, which has centred on Wuhan, in China.

                Briton Steve Walsh, who had been in Singapore, has been linked to four cases in the UK, five in France and possibly one in Majorca. BBC News

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                Child sexual abuse: Just 16% say NHS mental health services meet needs for adult survivors

                Child sexual abuse: Just 16% say NHS mental health services meet needs for adult survivors Just 16 per cent of child sexual abuse victims say NHS mental health services meet their needs, according to a new report demanding ministers act urgently over insufficient funding for adult survivors.

                The All-Party Parliamentary Group on adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse – led by the Labour MP for Rotherham, Sarah Champion – heard from nearly 400 victims from across the country in its inquiry.

                It found that male survivors wait an average of 26 years before disclosing their abuse and that one in five did not report abuse to the police due to fear of further violence from perpetrators. The Independent

                Matt Hancock’s local hospital faces inquiry on fingerprinting claim

                Matt Hancock’s local hospital faces inquiry on fingerprinting claim West Suffolk hospital admits regulator did not approve tactics used in hunt for whistleblower

                Misleading claims by bosses at the health secretary Matt Hancock’s local hospital that the NHS and regulators approved a controversial decision to fingerprint doctors in a hunt for a whistleblower are to be investigated.

                In an urgent inquiry the accuracy of a statement by West Suffolk hospital will be examined after the Guardian revealed in December it had demanded fingerprints and handwriting samples from staff.

                Don't trust apps that claim to spot skin cancer: Two miss the disease up to 21% of times

                Don't trust apps that claim to spot skin cancer: Two miss the disease up to 21% of times Smartphone apps cannot be relied on to spot skin cancer, experts have warned.

                Popular apps used as 'early warning systems' for suspicious moles do not pick up all cancers, according to a paper published in the British Medical Journal.

                Experts from the universities of Birmingham and Nottingham said regulation of the apps - which take pictures of moles and tell people whether they are at risk - do 'not provide adequate protection to the public'. The Daily Mail

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                Monday, 10 February 2020

                Northampton General Hospital leads the way with artificial intelligence in UK-first for cancer patients

                Northampton General Hospital leads the way with artificial intelligence in UK-first for cancer patients Radiotherapy patients at Northampton General Hospital are the first in the UK to be benefitting from the use of artificial intelligence for treating head and neck cancer.

                This software learns how treatment plans have been generated for up to a hundred previous patients treated at NGH.

                It then predicts the best possible plan for a new patients with head and neck cancer. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

                It’s the Year of the Nurse, but will 2020 see nursing student numbers recover?

                It’s the Year of the Nurse, but will 2020 see nursing student numbers recover? The previous Conservative government hoped that removing the nursing bursary in 2017 would mean universities would offer more training places, eventually leading to 10,000 more nursing students. Instead the number of nursing applications dropped, while acceptances remained broadly static. The new Conservative government has restored elements of the bursary, but will this be enough to address the decrease in applications of recent years? The King's Fund

                Secretary of State makes new regulations on Coronavirus

                Secretary of State makes new regulations on Coronavirus In light of the recent public health emergency from the novel Coronavirus originating from Wuhan, Secretary of State has made regulations to ensure that the public are protected as far as possible from the transmission of the virus. Department of Health and Social Care

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