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NAPC News 25 April 2012
Patient Reported Outcome Measures – Surgery Satisfaction Improves
The latest on patient reported outcome measures show some improvement in the proportion of people who considered their condition had improved following surgery. Patients were surveyed before undergoing surgery for one of four common procedures and again in subsequent months.
Under the PROMS system, they were asked three sets of questions, one of which was specific to the procedure they had, and two related to more general measures.
The latest monthly figures showed that from April to November 2011, 96.7 per cent of patients, who were asked a series of specific questions about their hip replacement reported their condition had improved. This compared to 95.7 per cent over the full 12 months of 2010/11.
On similar condition specific measures, 92.8 per cent of knee replacement patients reported being better, compared to 91.4 per cent the previous year. When it came to varicose vein surgery, 83.9 per cent of patients said they felt better, compared to 83.3 per cent previously.
However, when asked to rate their health more generally before and after the procedure, on average only 70 per cent of patients said they felt better.
PROMS figures were first collected in 2010/11.
Thousands Of Patients Still Forced To Endure Mixed Sex Bathrooms
The press today claimed that thousands of hospital patients still faced the indignity of having to share bathrooms and showers with the opposite sex.
A survey of more than 60,000 patients by the Care Quality Commission found that 15 per cent had been made to share mixed-sex bathrooms and showers.
Postcode Lottery Fear Over Arthritis Care
A survey by Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance has found that some health authorities are spending less than a pound a day on helping patients with arthritis, while others spend three times that amount.
Research found that NHS Hartlepool spend £764 per patient with arthritis and other joint problems in 2009/10 compared with £275 in NHS Peterborough.
Cancer Patients Missing Out Because Of Lack Of Testing
Cancer patients are missing out on effective treatments because only half are offered the latest genetic tests, a survey of specialists sponsored by Merck Serono suggests.
Three quarters of the 100 British oncologists who took part in the online poll said they were having to overcome barriers to the use of targeted medicines.
Fertility Treatment May Double Leukaemia Risk
French researchers told a conference in London yesterday that fertility boosting drugs could more than double the risk of subsequent offspring developing childhood leukaemia.
Scientists calculated that the use of the drugs was associated with a 2.6 fold increase in the risk of developing the most common form, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and a 2.3 fold rise for a rarer type, acute myeloid leukaemia.
Taking Time Off Work May Make Bad Back Worse
Staying off work with a persistent aching back may make the condition deteriorate, because optimism and positive action are the key to improvement, research suggests.
A study of 315 patients found that, after six months, 64 were still suffering, although there was no obvious cause such as a slipped disc and their doctors had expected them to have recovered.
Those who worried about their backs and were unhappy at work were more likely to have persistent problems, the research found/
Children Who Eat At The Family Table Are Healthier, Cleverer And Slimmer
New research by American scientists has found that eating together as a family leads to healthier children who are less likely to be overweight.
They found families that regularly ate together reaped numerous benefits, including increased intake of fruit, vegetables, fibre, calcium rich foods and vitamins. In addition, those who ate as a family united tended to consume less junk food, such as fizzy drinks and takeaways.
Fruit And Vegetables Can Make Hay Fever Worse
Eating certain fruits, vegetables and spices can cause problems for hay fever sufferers, as four in ten have food allergies, a study has found.
The charity, Allergy UK, has found that food allergies can exacerbate hay fever symptoms, meaning some people suffer all year round. Others develop typical food allergy symptoms such as an itchy mouth, swelling of the lips and even difficulty breathing,
Research conducted by the charity has found that four in ten hay fever sufferers also develop symptoms to nuts, fruit, vegetables or spices.
Lindsey McManus, of Allergy UK, said: ‘Fifteen years ago, oral allergy syndrome was considered unusual, but now it is increasingly commonplace. The condition is caused by the proteins in some fruit, nuts, vegetables and spices triggering a cross-reaction in someone with hay fever.
Early Milk Feeds May Benefit Premature Babies
Premature babies who are small for their age may benefit from being given milk at an earlier stage, new research suggests.
Researchers at the University of Oxford looked at 404 infants who were born below 35 weeks of gestation in the UK and Ireland. Infants were first given milk tow or six days after their birth and gradually moved off intravenous feeds.
Publishing their findings in the journal, Pediatrics, the study authors revealed that infants who were given milks feeds earlier did not face an increased risk of a severe bowel problem called necrotising enterocolitis. They concluded that delaying milk feeds did not appear to be beneficial and might even compromise premature babies’ growth.
‘Early introduction of enteral (milk) feeds in growth-restricted preterm infants results in earlier achievement of full enteral feeding and does not appear to increase the risk necrotising enterocolitis’, they wrote.
Controversial Breast Treatment To Be Withdrawn
An injectable dermal filler will no longer be used in breast augmentation procedures, following concerns that the product might make it harder to detect breast tumours.
Manufacturer, Q-Med, insisted that Macrolane itself was safe, but said it might interfere with the reading of mammograms during breast screening procedures. For that reason, Q-Med said that Macrolane would no longer be available for use in breast augmentation until consensus for best practice in breast radiology examination following Macrolane treatment had been reached.
Women who have already received Macrolane should not be concerned as no action is needed, other than routine follow-up consultations, the manufacturer added.
The decision has been welcomed by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Astra In Deal To Buy US Group
AstraZeneca has agreed a $1.26bn deal to buy Californian biotechnology group, Ardea Biosciences, which develops drugs targeted at particular cells in the body.
David Brennan, AstraZeneca’s chief executive, announced the deal before expected investor protests at the company’s Annual General Meeting tomorrow.
Mandate Must Not Be A List Of Instructions
The Department of Health and the NHS Commissioning Board are preparing for a likely clash, according to the Health Service Journal, over the contents of the first set of instructions for the independent new body, which were issued last weekend.
The NHS Commissioning Board will take over full responsibility for the NHS’s £80bn commissioning budget from April 2013. A Department of Health consultation on its first mandate is due to begin in June or July this year and will set the service’s funding and what it should deliver during that year and, very probably beyond.
It is understood that the Board fears that the government will load the NHS with a list of instructions and targets, while it is arguing for a short, ‘high level’ document which should included mainly ‘aspirations’ for improvements in outcomes. It is also likely to call for expectations of improvement in NHS outcomes framework indicators not to be set unrealistically high.
A source close to the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, said his office would resist pressure to ‘load it up with lots of non-outcomes based indicators, but recognised there were likely to be calls for requirements from across government and from interest groups. The source also said that as well as setting priorities, the DH would use the mandate to make sure the Commissioning Board was not ‘taking too much power’, for example by requiring it to pass a certain level of funding to CCGs rather than retaining it.
CCGs Will Be Subject To AfC Pay Agreement
Clinical commissioning groups will be subject to the Agenda for Change pay agreement, the Department of Health has confirmed.
The move, which will avoid spiralling redundancy costs, could dash the hopes of some commissioners who had expected greater workforce freedoms.
Redundancy costs could have soared beyond the previously estimated £800m had CCG staff not been subject to Agenda for Change. Clauses in the contracts of 35,000 primary care trust administrative and managerial staff would have allowed them to claim redundancy payments if they turned down a new job while CCGs were outside the pay framework.
Groups must now comply with national pay deals, fixed terms and conditions and automatic incremental pay rises for staff.