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NAPC News 8 June 2012
Linking Leaders is a forum, a network, national and local events and a professional contacts source. It is a place for people who want to change the face of health care to come together and make it happen.
Linking leaders are running a cross-professional networking event next Friday, 15 June form 4-9 pm in Baker Street, London W1.
The theme is: ‘So you think you’re patient-centred?’ Take the opportunity to explore the topic with our excellent speakers – Joe McEwan form Innocent Smoothies and Mike Chester, award winner for his work on patient engagement. You will have the opportunity to meet people outside your normal circle and take part in some exciting and inspiring discussion. It’s free to join and a great opportunity to take your personal development into your own hands.
If you are thinking of attending, please RSVP at:http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/linkingleaders2.
Patients To Mark GP Surgeries Out Of 10
GP practices are to be given a TripAdvisor style mark out of 10, voted for by their patients, in an attempt by ministers to improve standards.
Lord Howe, a minister for health, said that the government wanted to ‘make it easier for patients to find the best NHS care for them.’
£100m For Better Elderly Care Is Used To Prop Up Existing Services
Over £100 million of taxpayers’ money set aside to improve care for the elderly and disabled has been spend by councils simply propping up the existing system, a report has shown.
NHS Trusts handed £648 million from their budgets to councils in the past year to bring health and social care systems together.
The government is too focused on encouraging ‘breakthrough’ drugs in British science at a cost of incremental innovation, according to a warning by the head of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, ahead of negotiations over a new NHS pricing deal.
Edinburgh Hit By Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak
A major outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Edinburgh has claimed the life of a man in his 50s, as health authorities disclosed they were dealing with more than 40 confirmed or suspected cases. 12 patients were in intensive care yesterday.
Tests have been carried out on cooling towers belonging to businesses, including North British Distillery, Macfarlan Smith pharmaceuticals, Aegon Insurance and Burton Foods.
Paul Walsh, CEO of Diageo, which part owns the North British Distillery, commented: ‘This is a tragic situation. We will cooperate in every way we can.
Half Of Endometrial Cancers Linked To Increase In Obesity
Cases of endometrial cancer are often linked to rising rates of obesity, scientists have said. According to researchers at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, half of all cases of the disease are linked to obesity, which now affects 25 per cent of UK adults. Endometrial cancer affects the lining of the womb and is the most common type of womb cancer.
The College’s Scientific Advisory Committee has produced a new impact paper, which points out that many MRI scanners that are used to assess endometrial cancer cannot accommodate morbidly obese patients. Furthermore, surgery, which is the standard treatment for the disease, can be problematic and risky in obese women.
The paper calls for doctors to receive extra training in operative techniques to minimise complications and hospital stays for such patients.
Social Enterprises Risk Contracts Axe
Social enterprises set up by former NHS staff must improve their commercial skills or risk losing their contracts in the next two or three years, the Department of Health has said.
Bob Ricketts, Director of Provider Transition, gave the warning as the Department prepares to launch a major review of all barriers to a ‘fair playing field’ in the market for NHS funded healthcare.
The social enterprises which have been spun out from the NHS are responsible for delivering community services worth £900m each year. Together with charity providers they have argued that NHS procurement practices prevent them competing fairly with major outsourcing companies and other private providers.
Mr Ricketts, however, said that tough economic conditions and a lack of commercial acumen were the main problems facing social enterprises, not the configuration of the market. Commercial and marketing skills among these providers were ‘highly variable’, ranging from the very poor to the excellent, he commented, and far too many were still not developing business skills or being business like.
Mr Ricketts went on to warn that many of the social enterprises formed by former NHS staff would face ‘re-procurement’ of their core contracts in the next two or three years. If they did not show that they were transforming services, containing costs and differentiating themselves in their markets they were likely to encounter real problems around the competitiveness of their offer.
Healthcare market analyst firm, Laing and Buisson, has forecast a wave of contract tenders in 2013/14, combined with the government’s planned extension of any qualified provider, competition could see the private sector take a fifth of the £8.5bn NHS community services market by 2016.
Giving Zinc To Sick Infants Taking Antibiotics Cuts Fatalities
Giving zinc to newborns being treated with antibiotics for serious infections appears to save lives, according to a study carried out in India.
Published online in the Lancet, last week, the study compared more than 700 infants under 4 months old, who had pneumonia, meningitis or sepsis; half got zinc and half got placebo. The zinc group had 40 per cent less ‘treatment failure’, by which the authors meant anything from death to decision to switch antibiotics because standard one were not working.
The Pain Game
As football teams gather in Poland and Ukraine for the opening of Euro 2012 on Friday, Fifa’s Chief Medical Officer has warned that anti-inflammatory painkillers are so widely used by players, it has reached the level of ‘abuse’.
The commonest anti-inflammatory drugs are aspirin and ibuprofen, which can be bought over the counter, but there are many stronger varieties such as diclofenac and naproxen available on prescription only.
Is Autism Linked To The Environment
Researchers at Idaho State University in the US have found sings of autism among fish swimming in water contaminated with psychoactive medicines. The discovery suggests that there could be an environmental trigger for the illness in some people.
Fish were tested in the water that contained carbazepine, used to control seizures, and antidepressants, Prozac and venlafaxine.
Child CT Scans Can Raise Cancer Risk
Researchers have warned doctors to ensure that CT scans carried out on children are clinically justified, after a government funded study found that exposure to ionising radiation during such scans could triple the risk of under-15s developing brain cancer or leukaemia later in life.
Young Cannabis Users Do Not Realise Dangers To Health
Cannabis smoking poses a 20 times greater risk of lung cancer per cigarette than tobacco smoking, yet most users of the drug are unaware of its dangers, a report said this week.
The reason why cannabis is more dangerous than tobacco, per cigarette, is thought to be related to the way it is smoked. Cannabis smokers inhale more deeply and inhale longer than tobacco smokers.
Two long term studies of the drug involving more than 100,000 people in Sweden and the US found no increase in deaths. Unlike tobacco, cannabis does not contain nicotine and so is not addictive.
Exercise Does Nothing To Cure Depression
A British study of 286 people with mild or severe depression has found no evidence that exercising brought significant benefit to those advised to do so as part of their treatment.
Researchers from Bristol University and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at Exeter University, compared two groups: those given ‘usual care’ alone, which often meant antidepressants, and those given usual care and an exercise programme.
The trial found those assigned to the exercise programme were slightly less depressed than those on ‘usual care’ along, but this difference was not significant enough to be statistically valid..
The results were published this week in the British Medical Journal.