Latest news NHS and Health issues – Round Up !

Latest news NHS and Health issues – Round Up !

All the latest news NHS and Health issues that we focused upon in the last 7 days!


  • Hospitals pressured to cook books, downplay debt – NHS whistleblower

A finance director turned whistleblower has said that NHS hospitals face pressure from regulators to cook their books and downplay the size of their deficits.

In anonymous evidence given to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the finance chief told MPs he and his colleagues are concerned that national regulators are pressurizing NHS providers to deceive taxpayers and government departments about their financial performance.

(Article dated 16/02/2016)

  • NHS: General practice cash crisis

The financial mess in hospitals is diverting attention away from general practice where an equally damaging crisis is being ignored, healthcare experts have argued.

Hospitals’ increasing deficit, which stood at £2bn at the end of last year, has dominated the state of the NHS debate in recent months with community doctors rarely being heard. The general practice share of the NHS budget has fallen progressively in the past decade, from a high of 11 per cent in 2006 to under 8.5 per cent now. Many practices will see further reductions over the next three years.

(Article dated 17/02/2016)

  • NHS Deficit climbs to £2.3bn for first nine months of financial year

Following a sharp rise on the £1.6bn reported by trusts after six months, regulators insisted efforts to get a grip on rising costs were beginning to have an impact. They added, however, that pressures created by rising demands for care, high costs and problems with being able to discharge medically fit patients to suitable care outside hospital remained.

The figures, covering the nine months from April 2015, also confirm the impression given by separate documents released on Thursday in response to freedom of information requests, which suggest trusts are having difficulty meeting caps on agency staff.

(Article dated 19/02/2016)


  • Junior Doctors strike and European Law

It seems as though that Jeremy Hunt and the BMA fails to take account of a legally binding judgment of the European court of justice. This states that in a situation where an employer, unilaterally and to the detriment of the employee, makes significant changes to essential elements of his or her employment contract for reasons not related to the individual employee concerned, that fact falls within the definition of redundancy in accordance with the EU rules.

The UK is precluded from adopting any measure that conflicts with directly applicable EU provisions. That being the case, it is manifestly clear that the UK government’s room for manoeuvre is restricted by the legal framework imposed upon it under directive 98/59 as interpreted and applied in the above case.

(Article dated 15/02/2016)

  • Hunt’s own officials say that 7-day NHS may not cut death rates.

Jeremy Hunt’s key argument in his demands for a seven-day service in NHS hospitals has been called into question by his own department, in a leaked report which says it is not able to prove that fuller staffing would lower the numbers of weekend-admitted patients dying.

The report also admits it will be “challenging” to meet the government’s promise to recruit 5,000 more GPs by 2020, a Conservative pledge during the election campaign, and that 11,000 new staff will be needed to run a seven-day service in hospitals.

(Article dated 15/02/2016)

  • Junior doctors: Escalating strike action may include ‘first ever full walkout’

Doctors’ unions are planning a series of “escalating” strikes over controversial plans to impose a new contract on junior doctors.

The junior doctors committee of the British Medical Association (BMA) intends to inform the NHS of a string of strikes, which would likely include the first ever full walkout by junior doctors if previous strike action fails. A full walkout by junior doctors would have a much larger impact than previous strike action, which kept emergency care in place. The union previously planned a full walkout, but later scaled back the action.

(Article dated 22/02/2016)


  • Amazing new cancer treatment giving us all hope!

A revolutionary cancer therapy that uses the body’s own immune cells to attack metastatic tumours that have spread is being hailed as a “paradigm shift” in treatment of the disease.

Patients with advanced blood cancers who were not expected to live beyond five months have shown complete remission after 18 months of follow-up checks with no signs of the disease returning, scientists have revealed.

Scientists have found ways of commandeering the natural killing capacity of T-cells to identify, memorise and attack tumour cells. One approach uses a chimaeric antigen receptor (CAR) with two sticky ends. One attaches to the T-cell and the other to a tumour cell.

(Article dated 16/02/2016)

  • Breast Cancer -Lifestyle and your Risk

With a few lifestyle adjustments, all women could reduce their breast cancer risk by about 30%, a report has found. Although great advances have been made in the treatment of breast cancer, the introduction of methods to estimate risk and prevention of the disease have been less successful. As a result, breast cancer is on the rise in the UK – and the trend is expected to continue until at least 2030.

Risk Determination and Prevention of Breast Cancer, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, has identified four critical risk-and-prevention research gaps that must be addressed if this predicted rise over the next decade is to be reversed.

(Article dated 22/02/2016)

  • Meningitis -Mother releases images of final moments of son who died

Mason Timmins was just seven-years-old when he died of the disease and his mother, Claire, has become the latest parent to try and raise awareness of the dangers of the killer. Mrs Timmins is urging parents to be vigilant with other symptoms as Mason did not have the red rash most commonly associated with the illness.

He told his mother he felt ill one morning and died less than 24 hours later. He had had the viral meningitis vaccination but contracted the bacterial disease and died in 2013. Mrs Timmins, 37, a teaching assistant from Walsall near Birmingham said: “It was very hard to deal with and still is.

(Article dated 22/02/2016)

  • Mental Health and learning disabilities -‘need commissioner’

In his latest review, Sir Stephen Bubb said the government had failed to act on recommendations he made in the wake of the Winterbourne View abuse scandal. He said the challenges ahead were “far greater than originally envisaged” with many people still needing better care. Health minister Alistair Burt said major improvements were under way.

His report – Winterbourne View – Time for Change – said many people were being kept in hospitals far from home for far too long.

(Article dated 22/02/2016)

  • Transgender patients – face ‘long waits’

Those seeking gender reassignment at one of England’s eight centres face a further wait of more than three years. Transgender people are waiting up to 18 months for an initial consultation at specialist NHS gender identity clinics.

Under NHS guidelines, an initial appointment for hormone therapy and surgery should be within 18 weeks. NHS England said centres were limited due a shortage of “suitably qualified staff” but an additional £4m funding has been put into the services. A Transgender Equality report recommended an overhaul of the system, after noting “unacceptably long” waiting times.

(Article dated 21/02/2016)


  • Emergency call: the village phone boxes saving lives

Defibrillators, that could make the difference between life and death, are being installed in decommissioned phone boxes.

Cottesmore is one of the nearly 1,900 sites in the UK which now hosts a public access defibrillator. Defibrillators are small, often briefcase-sized devices housed in yellow boxes, which can deliver an electric shock to a person in cardiac arrest, helping them to regain a normal heartbeat rhythm. And they are effective, according to St John Ambulance. If someone has a cardiac arrest and both CPR and a defibrillator are used within three minutes, the chance of survival could be as high as 70%.

(Article dated 19/02/2016)

  • Boy’s Kidney Cancer Was Caught Early Thanks To Wrong Football Boots

seven-year-old who didn’t know he had cancer was diagnosed and saved after he wore the wrong football boots. Robert Haswell was heading off to play football when his mum handed him the shoes for use on AstroTurf instead of studded ones for grass. He slipped while playing on the natural grass pitch and was taken to hospital suffering from a pain in his side, where doctors found a lump in his kidney. It was caught early enough to be successfully treated and Robert has now returned to football for the first time.

(Article dated 19/02/2016)

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