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NAPC Bulletin 17 April 2012
News From NAPC
A Coalition meeting took place last Thursday to discuss, among other issues, the conference to be held next Tuesday at Cavendish Conference Centre. Book your free place at this important event now as only a few places are remaining. The Secretary of State, Andrew Lansley, along with Dame Barbara Hakin and the Chairman of the NHS Commissioning Board will be speaking and listening to your views and comments.
This event represents an important opportunity to feed your views into the Coalition which is committed to representing your interests and acting assertively on your behalf.
NAPC responded to the Department on a number of issues, including a draft paper on a Code of Conduct for CCGs. The response can be found on NAPC’s website.
Patient Scans Sent To Australia
Patient at some of the country’s top NHS hospitals are having their scans sent to Australia to be examined. Patients being treated during out of hours in Britain are having their conditions diagnosed by clinicians 10,000 miles away.
The NHS trusts that runs University College London Hospital said it was a positive change and replaced a system where a trainee radiologist would receive a phone call at home during out of hours.
New Test For Alzheimer’s
Scientists have developed a new test which detects changes in the brain that can help to identify people who are likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease before the symptoms appear.
The new method, using a drug to highlight toxins in the brain, was presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in New Orleans.
The research used the drug, florbetaben, as a tracer during a PET scan of the brain to show up the toxic amyloid plaques. For the study, almost 200 participants nearing death, which included both people with suspected Alzheimer’s disease and those without known dementia, and who were willing to donate their brain, underwent MRI and florbetaben PET scans.
Some 60 healthy volunteers also underwent the brain scan. The study found that florbetaben was able to detect the plaques in both living and dead patients.
Wider Treatment Range Needed For Mental Health Patients
A leading think tank called for an end to the NHS’ stranglehold over counselling services for mental health patients.
The Centre for Social Justices said rules imposed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence prevented the NHS from deploying a much fuller range of treatment options for patients, which were available in the private and voluntary sectors.
Leave Patients On Trolleys
The College of Emergency Medicine has said that doctors and managers in the NHS should leave patients on trolleys in hospital corridors to ease pressure on overstretched accident and emergency departments.
Doctors say the demands being placed on A&E units are so great that the ‘boarding’ of patients in corridors outside wards was necessary.
Pharmacists And Nurses To Prescribe Controlled Drugs
A change in legislation means that pharmacists and nurses will soon be able to prescribe controlled drugs.
From April 23, qualified independent pharmacists and independent nurses will be able to prescribe schedule 2, 3, 4 and 5 controlled drugs, such as morphine, prescription strength co-codamol and diamorphine.
Protest Against Failure to Curb Obesity Surge
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the body that represents every doctor in the country, launched an unprecedented attack on the Coalition government’s failed strategy to tackle and obesity epidemic in the UK.
The Academy at the weekend demanded ‘bold and tough’ measure to put an end to the role of ‘irresponsible marketing’ by major food and drinks firms in fuelling the crisis. It called upon the Secretary of State, Mr Lansley, to drop the government’s ‘inherently flawed’ approach, which trusts the industry to voluntarily cut calories, reduce portion sizes and advise the public on health eating.
Junk Food Bad For Mental Health
Spanish scientists have found that junk food is not only bad for waistlines, it is also bad for mental health.
Research has established that people who indulged in a lot of fast food were 51 per cent more likely to develop depression, compared with those who ate a little or none.
New Battle To Curb Dementia
The World Health Organisation has warned that globally dementia could claim four victims every second. Researchers in Britain are determined to find better treatments and improve diagnoses.
The number of people struck down is expected to triple in 40 years, but hopes are high that the tide can be turned in Britain because experts are studying the disease are among the best in the world.
The government has already promised to double funding for research as part of its national dementia strategy.
Dentists Could Spot Oral Cancer In Twenty Minutes
A revolutionary technique could allow dentists to diagnose oral cancer in under 20 minutes.
Currently, biopsy testing for a suspicious lesion means mouth tissue has to be taken using a scalpel, then sent off to a laboratory for analysis.
Patients have an average survival rate of 50 per cent, but if cancer is detected early more than 90 per cent live longer than five years.
Lung Cancer Rates Continue To Rise In Women
Cancer Research UK published figures last week showing that rates of lung cancer are continuing to rise in British women, with more than 18,000 cases diagnosed in 2009.
There were 39 cases of lung cancer for every 100,000 women in 2009, compared with 22 per 100,000 in 1975.
Cases of the disease have peaked and are now falling among men.
Chemicals In Plastics May Increase Diabetes Risk
Scientist in Sweden have found that phthalates, chemicals which are found in plastics, cosmetics and toys may be linked to higher risk of diabetes.
Researchers analysed data from 1,000 people aged over 70, of whom 114 developed diabetes, finding that people with modest levels of phthalates in their blood were twice as likely to develop diabetes.
Social Services Let Elderly Down Badly
Age UK has warned that almost 800,000 vulnerable elderly people are being badly let down by socials services as they struggle to cope with life in their own homes.
GPs Missing Early Signs Of Parkinson’s Disease
Doctors are failing to diagnose early stage Parkinson’s Disease in thousands of people because they do not know the warning signs, according to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.
Professor Ray Chaudhuri, a consultant neurologist at King’s College, London, said this meant that most diagnoses were made in the late course of the disease, when the brain had already deteriorated considerably.
Pay Off Fears Force NHS To Drop Flexibility
The government has been forced to sacrifice a principle of its White Paper to avoid a potential multi-million pound increase in a redundancy bill for NHS administrative staff.
Samsung Plans To Launch Cut Price Generic Drugs
Samsung plans to launch generic version of biological medicine by 2015 at half the current prices in the West, as it gears up to challenge US and European drug companies with its offshoot, Samsung BioLogics.
French Pharma Companies Feel Side Effects Of Tougher Scrutiny
Tougher regulatory measures in France are starting to affect the market for drug companies, such as Sanofi.
Afssaps, the regulator that authorises drugs, has been restructured to limit the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.Tougher regulatory measures in France are starting to affect the market for drug companies, such as Sanofi.
Afssaps, the regulator that authorises drugs, has been restructured to limit the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.
Army Of Volunteers To Join Fight AgainstParkinson’s
Parkinson’s UK is searching for 3,000 volunteers to take part in a £1.6 million research project aimed at finding a cure for the debilitation neurological condition.
Tracing Parkinson’s, as the project is known, hopes to identify elusive biomarkers, including indicators in the blood. These could help to develop simple tests, which could be used to help diagnosed the disease. Despite the efforts of researchers worldwide, no biomarkers have yet been identified for Parkinson’s disease.
Kieran Breen, director of research and innovation at Parkinson’s UK, said: ‘Finding a cure is like building a gigantic jigsaw, but we still have a number of the pieces missing. This vital new study will help us to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge.’