Healthcare News UK

Crohn's sufferer challenges decision to refuse her funding for eggs to be frozen

Guardian Healthcare - Tue, 08/04/2014 - 19:01
Elizabeth Rose wants NHS to fund fertility treatment before she undergoes chemotherapy, which she fears will leave her infertile

A Crohn's disease sufferer is challenging what she claims is an "unlawful" decision to refuse her funding for her eggs to be frozen before she undergoes chemotherapy.

A judge at the high court in London heard on Tuesday that a judicial review action brought by artist Elizabeth Rose, 25, from Margate, Kent, was "exceptionally urgent".

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Categories: Healthcare News UK

Community and mental health IT hots up

EHI News - Tue, 08/04/2014 - 01:00
Community and mental health trusts in London and the South are "working like fury" to pick new suppliers and replace their RiO electronic patient record systems by October next year.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

Charity launches autism social network

EHI News - Tue, 08/04/2014 - 01:00
Autism West Midlands has launched the UK's first social networking site for people with autism.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

NHS's psychiatric stresses | @guardianletters

Guardian Healthcare - Mon, 07/04/2014 - 20:59

Congratulations to Sir Richard Thompson, President of the Royal College of Physicians, on his frank diagnosis of the NHS and for telling it as it is (Report, 5 April). His description of overworked clinicians "running around like scalded cats" vividly sums up the sense of pressure doctors are facing in the NHS. And he rightly highlights the fact that the NHS is under-doctored, under-nursed, under-bedded and under-funded.

Like physicians, psychiatrists are under pressure to deliver quality care with a minimum of resources. They witness the distress of patients and carers who are sent long distances to receive care because they are unable to access local services. Children as young as 12 are being left on adult psychiatric wards which is completely unacceptable. And the decline in old age psychiatry as a result of "ageless services" means older people with mental health issues are not receiving the specialist care they need.

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Categories: Healthcare News UK

This May Hurt a Bit: diagnosing the NHS on stage

Guardian Healthcare - Mon, 07/04/2014 - 18:15
The NHS saved director Max Stafford-Clark's life after he had a stroke. His wife Stella Feehily explains how she repaid the debt in her new play

The 12th of July has always produced a feeling of dread in me. I grew up in Ulster, in the seaside town of Bundoran near the border, and I still remember the influx of holidaymakers we would have on that date all seeking to escape the north on the biggest marching day of the year, and the violence it could trigger.

In 2006, the 12th fell on a Wednesday and marked the beginning of a heatwave in London, where I now live. It was also the day my husband, the theatre director Max Stafford-Clark, had a stroke that would change both of our lives for ever. I still shudder when I recall the knock on the door that evening.

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Categories: Healthcare News UK

Older people in NHS care suffering in silence, says health service ombudsman

Guardian Healthcare - Mon, 07/04/2014 - 10:37
Dame Julie Mellor believes over-65s either fear a backlash if they raise issues or don't like making fuss

Older people might be "suffering in silence" under NHS care because they are reluctant to complain about the care they receive, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman for England has said.

Dame Julie Mellor believes over-65s either fear a backlash if they raise issues or don't like making fuss, meaning watchdogs are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of serious failings.

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Categories: Healthcare News UK

Bill needs push to sweep away 'inflexible' healthcare regulation framework

Guardian Healthcare - Mon, 07/04/2014 - 08:30
The draft law commission bill's publication goes some way towards the regulatory transformation that we need but it is not there yet

The publication this month of the draft law commission bill, regulation of health and social care professionals, was a key milestone for patients, the public, and the healthcare regulators whose frameworks it will revolutionise.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), of which I am the chief executive and registrar, is hampered by a framework that has not adjusted to the modern age.

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New mothers lack lifesaving advice, says Netmums survey

Guardian Healthcare - Mon, 07/04/2014 - 00:02
Only a quarter of respondents remembered receiving advice on spotting conditions that could kill them or their baby

Almost half of new mothers 47% are not made aware within 24 hours of giving birth of how to spot dangerous conditions that could kill them or their baby, a poll suggests.

Only 24% of respondents to the Netmums survey said that they could remember receiving information about warning signs, despite guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) which say they should have the information within 24 hours of giving birth.

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Gay conversion therapy should have no place in NHS, says health minister

Guardian Healthcare - Sun, 06/04/2014 - 16:11
Norman Lamb calls for assurances from NHS England that GPs are not referring people for treatment

Gay conversion therapy is abhorrent and has no place in a modern society, according to the health minister Norman Lamb, who has asked for assurances from NHS England that GPs do not make any referrals for such treatment.

"It is based on the completely false premise that there is something wrong with you if you happen to be gay," said Lamb, the minister for care and support. "I certainly want to do what I can, as a Liberal Democrat, to eradicate this."

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So now it's seven a day? Here's my easy alternative: just stop eating rubbish | Alex Renton

Guardian Healthcare - Sun, 06/04/2014 - 06:14
Nanny Britain's fruit and veg regime will never work while the list includes fruitcake and sugar-laden drinks

My children are apple-cheeked and glossy-haired, strong and slender as willow wands. Not a filling in their heads, either. All the same, we had a family council on diet last week. A study by the epidemiologists of University College, London found that the five-a-day diet is inadequate. Seven or even 10 portions of fruit and veg is more like it and might reduce our chances of early death by 42% or more. Odds worth having: so I asked them to audit their intake.

My daughter confessed that while she has a banana most breaks, she didn't like the school lunch fruit salad. She is probably getting four a day, tops. My son said he easily ate five a day. You don't count chips, I countered, because they are made from potatoes (he did know that) and a potato, being largely starch, does not make the NHS five-a-day lists. I think his score is perhaps three as bad as mine.

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The state must cede power the right way | Observer editorial

Guardian Healthcare - Sun, 06/04/2014 - 00:04
The latest row over free schools demonstrates the pitfalls of indiscriminate decentralisation. Now it's time to focus on the needs of those who use public services

Debates about reforming public services tend to be couched in jargon such as "contestability" and "co-design" rather than the simple language of better health, education and care. But at heart, there are two basic prescriptions politicians turn to: investing more money and telling frontline services what to do with it; and giving power away. Which is in favour has less to do with ideology and more with circumstance. Only 10 years ago, there was a political consensus that extra investment in health and education was what was required. Now, with budgets being slashed, it's perhaps no surprise that giving power away is back in vogue.

For the right, it's about breaking down centralised control via market forces, with private and voluntary sectors competing to provide services. The left's favoured version is democratic devolution to the community level, enabling more people to get involved in shaping and running their local services. Everyone's seemingly a winner: politicians get to set out an agenda without saying exactly what they would do. Social innovators, freed from government bureaucracy, get to transform their communities. Members of the public get better-quality schools, hospitals and care homes.

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Categories: Healthcare News UK

Who deserves a new liver? Anyone who needs one | Barbara Ellen

Guardian Healthcare - Sat, 05/04/2014 - 20:05
Denying life-saving treatment to those who have brought illness on themselves amounts to ethical means-testing

How heartening that people with alcohol-related liver disease are to be considered for liver transplants. NHS's blood and transport service (NHSBT) associate medical director, James Neuberger, said: "We're transplanting humans, not angels." Neuberger's comment concerned the ongoing debate about whether people deserve costly treatment when they have brought their health problems on themselves.

This debate has been rattling on in the same way for so long, I'm mildly surprised that all the judgmental bigots and droning misanthropes haven't died of boredom by now. More seriously, does anyone truly believe that there should be what amounts to ethical means-testing on someone's suitability for medical help?

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Categories: Healthcare News UK

The best ways to fund the NHS | @guardianletters

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 21:00

Michael Meacher claims (Letters, 2 April) that our proposals "kick away" free NHS care at the point of service. Quite the opposite: they reinforce this principle. As the Guardian reported on Monday, Solving the NHS Care and Cash Crisis proposes various hypothecated health taxes to tackle the £30bn black hole in the NHS budget. Introducing dedicated health taxes is not a madcap, rightwing idea the move was actively considered by a previous Labour shadow cabinet. Our proposals would include a £10 a month payment from all non-exempted adults, collected with the council tax, to support individualised health MOTs and continuing personal support for healthy living. People may not like paying more taxes for an effective NHS, but we would argue that Britain has little choice, precisely so we can preserve the principle of free at the point of use and clinical need.
Norman Warner House of Lords
Jack O'Sullivan Oxford

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Categories: Healthcare News UK

Patient care under threat as overworked doctors miss vital signs, expert warns

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 20:05
Sir Richard Thompson says frontline staff are looking after so many patients they can miss signs that affect chances of survival

Care of hospital patients is under threat because overworked frontline doctors are looking after so many sick people that they are missing vital signs of illness that could affect chances of survival, one of Britain's most senior doctors warns today.

Hospital doctors are running around "like a scalded cat" trying to look after up to 70 elderly patients at a time, far more than the maximum of 20 regarded as necessary to ensure they receive proper attention, the president of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Richard Thompson, told the Guardian.

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Sir Richard Thompson makes rare and frank diagnosis of NHS

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 19:18
Royal College of Physicians president says A&E treatment target is crazy and overworked medics run around like scalded cats

Sir Richard Thompson is not one of the medical world's quote-happy doctors who enjoy exposure and shoot from the lip when, ever willing, they talk to journalists. He gives few interviews and his speeches rarely attract column inches.

Some of the ideas the president of the 30,000-strong Royal College of Physicians outlined when talking to the Guardian this week such as scrapping what he calls the "crazy" and "ridiculous" four-hour treatment target for A&E patients and giving £3bn of the £11.4bn foreign aid budget to the NHS are clearly never going to happen, under this or any other government.

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RCN hailed for leading on Positive and Safe programme

Royal College of Nursing - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 15:53
Following yesterday’s launch of the Department of Health’s Positive and Safe programme, the RCN has been widely praised for bringing about this new approach.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

There's no financial, ethical or clinical justification for NHS charges | Jacky Davis

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 14:29
The health industrial complex has been eyeing up the NHS budget for years. Building the myth that it is 'outdated and unaffordable' is just the first step

Simon Stevens, until recently a vice-president of the US health giant United Health and ersthwhile Blairite health adviser to New Labour took over this week as the NHS chief executive. It can hardly have been by chance that his arrival coincided with two new reports recommending the introduction of up-front charges for NHS care one from the King's Fund, the other from an unholy alliance between the former Labour health minister Lord Warner and the rightwing thinktank Reform.

Both reports start from the unchallenged but erroneous assertion that the NHS is "unsustainable", and are padded out with a plethora of platitudes about more care in the community and the merging of health and social care services. But at their heart are radical recommendations for the introduction of upfront charges for the NHS. In the case of Reform, this would be a "suggested" £10 "membership fee" a month.

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Nursing workforce morale at all-time low

Royal College of Nursing - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:22
Following the Government’s recent decision on NHS staff pay, which has shocked and angered nursing staff across the UK, the RCN has written to MPs across the political spectrum asking them to support its efforts in contesting the decision.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

Rationing NHS care: why we need a serious debate | David Lock

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:21
Healthcare reform is urgently needed but politicians unwilling to make unpopular changes are wasting money, says David Lock

The NHS is not spending our tax money effectively. There is a wide professional consensus that too much is being spent on hospital buildings it cannot afford, and it is failing to reduce spending on drug treatments that do not work. But many local NHS leaders are too frightened to try and persuade the public of the case for change. Reforms are delayed for fear of upsetting politicians who seek re-election.

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