Weekly News Desk 2
English language checks for foreign nurses
Nurses and midwives coming to Britain from the EU will now need to prove they are fluent in English, under new rules. Until now, checks have only been applied to nurses outside the EU. It means any nurse who is unable to show they have sufficient language skills will need to have an English language assessment. The move by the Nursing and Midwifery Council brings the profession in line with doctors, who are already vetted in this way for patient safety. The risk of a doctor not being fluent in English was highlighted by a lethal mistake made by Dr Daniel Ubani, a German doctor doing an out-of-hours shift who gave a lethal dose of a painkiller to patient David Gray in 2008. (article dated 19 January 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35341354
The latest on Fertility Treatments
A private UK fertility clinic is offering couples a new form of IVF treatment that lets conception occur in the womb rather than in the lab.
Doctors hope that making fertilisation more natural will mean healthier pregnancies. The Complete Fertility clinic in Southampton is first in the UK to use the AneVivo device method. It is a tiny tubular capsule that is loaded with the sperm and egg before being placed into the uterus. (article dated 19 January 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35344195
Restricting carers’ work hours in Wales
Zero-hours contracts for home carers in Wales could be restricted to improve recruitment and care standards. The Welsh government also wants to ensure staff are paid the minimum wage and firms pay for time spent travelling to clients. It comes as research shows a link between employment terms and conditions and the quality of care delivered. Health Minister Mark Drakeford said sustainable social care was dependent on a stable workforce. (article dated 19 January 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-35344815
UK lagging behind in reducing Stillbirths
Almost half of the 2.6 million deaths of unborn babies each year could be prevented with improved care, UK-led research shows.
In the last 15 years Britain has recorded a stillbirth rate of 2.9 per 1,000 births – which leaves the country 21st out of 186 nations.
But it is the annual rate of reduction at just 1.4%, which puts the UK in the bottom third of the table in 114th place for progress on stillbirths. By comparison, Britain’s near neighbours The Netherlands have improved their figures by 6.8%. (article dated 19 January 2016) http://news.sky.com/story/1625281/britain-falling-behind-on-reducing-stillbirths
48-hour Junior Doctor’s strike called off
A 48-hour junior doctors’ strike due to start on 26 January 2016 in England has been called off by the British Medical Association as talks continue between the doctors’ union and the government about the disputed junior doctor contract in England. The BMA said the move did not mean a deal had been reached. A planned strike on Wednesday 10 February could still go ahead if the negotiations stall.
That stoppage is considered to be potentially the most disruptive as it is a complete walk-out, as opposed to emergency cover still being provided. (article dated 19 January 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35352911#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
The End of our World Prediction
Humans are facing one of the most dangerous centuries yet as progress in science and technology becomes an ever greater threat to our existence, warns Professor Stephen Hawking.
He said that, “although the chance of a disaster to planet Earth in a given year may be quite low, it adds up over time and becomes a near certainty in the next thousand or ten thousand years”.
The physicist added that colonising space was a necessity given the increasingly high chance of a disaster on planet Earth, in stating that, “by that time, we should have spread out into space and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race.” (article dated 19 January 2016) http://www.theweek.co.uk/stephen-hawking/55031/stephen-hawking-book-reveals-anguish-of-his-two-marriages?utm_content=buffer6cf73&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Clinical Care via Skype for Stroke Patients
The IT team at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust have worked with Microsoft to introduce Skype for Business as a user-friendly way of providing telemedicine for the treatment of stroke patients. These individuals rely heavily on treatment being administered as swiftly as possible to ensure the best chance of recovery. Consultants are now able to assess stroke patients much faster and can undertake assessments even when they are off-site or outside of normal working hours. (article dated 14 January 2016) http://enterprise.microsoft.com/en-gb/roles/it-leader/brighton-nhs-treats-stroke-patients-with-skype-for-business/#.VqEmU6EGEHs.twitter
Quicker action needed in the fight against Diabetes
The NHS and Department of Health has been criticised by MPs for being, “too slow” to act in preventing and treating diabetes.
A report by the Public Accounts Committee says variations in the care of both type 1 and 2 diabetes mean the annual cost to the health service will continue to rise. For people aged 16 and over the bill currently stands at £5.5bn a year. (article dated 22 January 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35374588
Tax avoidance Scandal of GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare, suppliers of equipment and testing services to the NHS, is notorious for tax avoidance abroad, and has now been exposed as also paying barely any corporation tax in the UK despite making hundreds of millions of pounds each year out of trading with the NHS. (article dated 22 January 2016) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/ge-healthcare-us-healthcare-giant-makes-fortune-from-nhs-but-pays-hardly-a-penny-in-tax-a6828446.html
The exciting latest in a cure for Alzheimers
Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – the structures responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s.
If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions – amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques. (article dated 18 March 2015) http://www.sciencealert.com/new-alzheimer-s-treatment-fully-restores-memory-function
The latest in the ongoing Blood Scandal that started many years ago
The Government hopes to increase the amount of money on offer for those affected by the blood contamination scandal by a further £100m, public health minister Jane Ellison has said. Thousands of people were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV through NHS blood products in the 1970s and 80s. Ms Ellison said the money would come from the Department of Health’s budget, and she apologised again to victims. (article dated 21 January 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35371248#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
Clear NHS Plan to Tax the sugar; improve health
By 2020, the NHS aims to impose a 20% tax on all sugary drinks and foods in all hospital cafes to help target the growing problem of obesity and health related issues. The levy could raise £20-40million per year to the NHS spending pot, to be used to improve the health of NHS workers. (article dated 18 January 2016) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35340752