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Found 136 results
  1. News Article
    The drug giant behind weight loss injections newly approved for NHS use spent millions in just three years on an “orchestrated PR campaign” to boost its UK influence. As part of its strategy, Novo Nordisk paid £21.7m to health organisations and professionals who in some cases went on to praise the treatment without always making clear their links to the firm, an Observer investigation has found. Among the vocal champions of the Wegovy jabs was a clinical expert who gave evidence to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and others who publicly praised the so-called “skinny jabs” as a “gamechanger”. The revelations come as the Danish drug giant is investigated by the UK’s pharmaceutical watchdog after it was found to have breached the industry code seven times in relation to a “disguised promotional campaign” of another of its weight loss drugs via online webinars for healthcare professionals. Prof Allyson Pollock, professor of public health at Newcastle University, said Novo’s campaign was “not unusual” in the drugs industry and called for measures to improve trust. “The public really aren’t being made aware enough about the potential for bias and over-claiming,” she said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 March 2023
  2. News Article
    Demand for private GPs has soared as patients seek out face-to-face appointments with doctors at short notice. Spire Healthcare, one of the UK’s largest private healthcare providers, saw 32,000 GP appointments booked with it last year – up from 23,000 in 2021. The hospital company, which runs 125 GPs, said revenues from its private doctor appointments rose by 46% in 2022. It said demand was soaring as patients look for “fast access to longer face-to-face appointments with a GP”. On the surge in demand, Spire Healthcare boss Justin Ash told The Telegraph: “Clearly there is a well known problem of GPs being under pressure, the 8am scramble [for appointments] is a thing. People want to be able to book online and they want to be able to book at short notice.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 4 March 2023
  3. News Article
    There are 625,000 people on a hospital waiting list in Scotland. That figure is the highest on record and equivalent to one in nine of the population. Backlogs have soared since the Covid pandemic and more people faced with long waits are seeking private treatment. An opinion poll commissioned by BBC Scotland suggests one in five of those who replied said they - or one of their family - had paid for private medical care in the past 12 months. Most (73%) said they would have preferred to use the NHS. Linda Fyfe, from South Ayrshire, was among those not prepared to wait for NHS treatment when she needed a hip replacement. Within months Linda went from living with the "bearable" pain in her right hip to being unable to comfortably move more than 100 yards. The 75-year-old said the pain changed her whole lifestyle and she could not wait between 12 and 18 months for an operation on the NHS. The retired social work administrator was quoted £14,000 to go private in the UK but this was more than she could afford. She opted to have the same procedure done in Lithuania for about half the price. The Kaunas clinic that treated Linda said it sees about 10 people a month from Scotland and more from across the UK."I made the right decision. I couldn't have gone another year or 18 months and it might even have taken longer. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 March 2023
  4. News Article
    An acute trust and its integrated care system have said they risk missing the imminent waiting list target, after struggling to get as many patients treated in the independent sector as they hoped. University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust and Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS have found that some patients who had earlier been referred to independent providers, had then, while waiting for IS treatment, got sicker or became high risk to such an extent that they needed to be referred back to UHNM. Other patients have declined being transferred to the independent sector, board meetings heard. Phil Smith, chief delivery officer at Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent Integrated Care Board, told its meeting last week he needed to “flag an escalated risk” to meeting the target, after deterioration in activity “linked to industrial action, linked to the willingness of patients to be treated in the independent sector and the independent sector’s ability to treat patients”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 22 March 2023
  5. Content Article
    “Yes.” This was the dismaying response of consultant breast surgeon, Mr Hemant Ingle, when asked at a talk, hosted by the Centre for Health and the Public Interest (CHPI), whether he thought another scandal on the scale of that caused by Ian Paterson could unfold today. Disgraced breast surgeon Paterson is currently serving a 20-year sentence after unnecessarily operating on over 1,200 patients at NHS and private hospitals in the West Midlands area between 1997 and 2011. Three months into my first year of General Practice Specialty Training, I sat in that auditorium utterly stunned at Mr Ingle’s candour. Was it pessimism or devastating realism? Having watched the appalling events unfold in a screening of the ITV documentary ‘Bodies of Evidence: The Butcher Surgeon’, we were honoured to be joined by a panel of experts, including Debbie Douglas, one of the indescribably courageous patients who helped to expose Paterson. Over the next hour, the panel unpacked the factors deemed to have enabled Paterson’s actions, his potential motives and the consequences of the subsequent inquiry for society at large. It made for disturbing listening. Having trained entirely within the public sector, as all new medical graduates must do in the UK, I was completely ignorant to the circumstances within private hospitals which had catalysed Paterson’s reign of terror. I had no idea that private hospitals bore no responsibility for the patients treated within their walls, that doctors working in such hospitals often had no requirement to adhere to otherwise national guidance on healthcare provision, that private hospitals may have no facility to provide adequate emergency treatment to those suffering medical complications after procedures performed on their own premises. Before that evening, I had never before heard a patient state so heartbreakingly that they struggled to trust medical professionals. That disquieting symposium was not my first exposure to the sinister side of medicine. Seeking supplementary education in a field strikingly neglected in my own core undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, I had, just a few weeks before the CHPI event, joined a webinar hosted by the British Society of Sexual Medicine (BSSM). One of the presenters was a patient who had experienced first-hand the pernicious effects of vaginal mesh insertion. Whilst her story had a positive outcome, other vaginal mesh patients have not been so fortunate. Thousands of women continue to suffer from chronic pain, fatigue and urinary dysfunction, amongst countless other symptoms. Through subsequent investigations, it has emerged that vaginal mesh manufacturers had significant financial links to clinicians, researchers and Royal Colleges, and that side effects and complications were widely under-reported. Campaigns such as Sling The Mesh, founded by Kath Sansom, ensure that this landscape is changing, but it should not have come to this. I’m not sure how to feel any more. I’ve spent a lot of time with doctors over the last eleven years. At sixth form, I would send countless unsolicited emails to consultants at local hospitals, pleading for the chance to observe their surgeries, to shadow their ward rounds. Throughout university, I scribbled down every word of juniors, registrars, consultants, hoovering each crumb of knowledge that might make me the best doctor that I could be. Since I graduated in 2020, and started working as a Foundation Year Doctor in London, these professionals have become my peers, my colleagues, my 'bosses'. Whilst of course, some have been more personable, more welcoming, than others, I have thankfully never had the misfortune of encountering a character like Paterson. In Ipsos' 'Global Trustworthiness Index', most recently released in October 2021, doctors were ranked highest in 28 countries, with over 70% of UK respondents believing us to be the most reliable of all professionals. This was the mindset in which I trained; I felt comfortable and worthy of such an accolade. I want to be the person that patients can rely on at their most vulnerable, that relatives feel they can approach with any worry, large or small. To hear now that, for entirely good reason, the implicit confidence that the public had in their medical professionals is no longer a guarantee, made me feel rather unsteady. How do I feel about being part of a profession in which such deceit can go unchallenged? Do I want to be associated with 'experts' who fail to acknowledge the legitimate anxieties of their patients? I'm not going to leave medicine. Fortunately, the Patersons of the world are hugely outnumbered by respectable, conscientious, genuine, caring doctors – those that do earn the premier spot in an Ipsos poll. However, I do think that I have been naïve. Whilst Paterson’s actions are deplorable, a single ‘rogue’ surgeon can be dealt with. This is not to downplay the absolute devastation and anguish that he has caused his patients and their loved ones, and not to diminish the fact that his ousting took far too many attempts from those bold enough to question him, and not nearly enough support from those who should have held him accountable. It is the systemic failures which allowed Paterson to operate unmonitored, which enabled vaginal mesh surgeries to continue unchecked, which permitted side effects to go unrecorded, that I find so unsettlingly insidious. Whether these repeated failures in the healthcare system are underpinned only by financial motives, by greed, as seems the most obvious explanation, we may never know, and perhaps finding reason should not be our priority. As a doctor, my duty is to advocate. Fortuitously for themselves and those whom they are now able to advise and support, both Debbie Douglas and the patient featured in the BSSM webinar are intelligent, well-spoken, confident women. Others affected by the scandals mentioned here, and countless more that are not, may not be so well-equipped. Those who are perhaps older, less educated, who do not speak English as a first language, with other medical conditions rendering them less able to campaign, rely on others to do so on their behalf. This is only one piece of the jigsaw – in order for patients to request help, they must know who is able to help them, and must feel secure and empowered to ask for assistance. Similarly, doctors must feel emboldened in discussing issues with appropriate colleagues. This is not necessarily easy. A conversation after the CHPI panel discussion highlighted how GPs in particular, often mistakenly viewed as lesser doctors, may feel pressured to maintain respect for themselves within the medical profession and, thus, be reluctant to escalate patient concerns for fear of ridicule from secondary or tertiary care. It goes without saying that such anxiety should never alter the care we provide to patients. However, this perceived imbalance of medical aptitude, resulting in such a discrepancy in the level of esteem to which medical professionals are held, is just one example of a saddening toxic facet of the medical world. This is also reflected in the response to whistleblowers, both in the moment and through the lasting effect on a professional’s career, as exemplified by Mr Hemant Ingle speaking of the hospital that previously employed both himself and Paterson: “They don’t like me, of course they don’t”. Only by changing this mindset, and curating a more supportive, protective, transparent culture, where healthcare professionals of all levels and types can freely voice concerns, can we ever hope to avoid such disasters in the future. So, in real terms, what should I do as a training GP? Put simply, I must abide by the GMC’s ‘Duties of a Doctor’. Firstly, I must remain aware and knowledgeable of current biomedical and medicolegal affairs to ensure that I do not inadvertently, even if innocently, reassure or dismiss patient concerns through ignorance. Attending regular knowledge update courses and accessing appropriate journal articles are more formal avenues of learning, but I should supplement these by keeping abreast of health news in popular media, such that I may pre-empt problems with which patients may present. This is all with the understanding that I must never act beyond the limits of my competence and must never allow fear of criticism to prevent me from seeking advice, whether this is from more senior colleagues, supervisors or specialist doctors. For my patients, and indeed for colleagues who may come to me with their own queries, I should reciprocate by remaining approachable and sympathetic. My interactions with colleagues and patients alike should take place in a partnership model – while of course there are many times when hierarchy can be appropriate, I aspire to be the doctor who equips her patients to become experts in their own health and to advocate for themselves. I will strive to communicate with patients in formats appropriate to each individual. Once a patient has chosen to trust me, I must be mindful of the fact that trust can just as easily be lost as gained. I shall keep patient safety at the fore by following GMC guidance on raising and acting upon concerns, reporting any adverse effects of medication or treatment that are divulged to me, obeying my duty of candour if I believe a patient to have been placed at risk, not allowing any conflicts of interest to influence patient care, and acting with overarching honesty and integrity. Yes, another Paterson-level scandal could, and will almost certainly, unfold again. However, if I aspire to achieve each aim outlined above, I will indeed become the kind of doctor that sixteen-year-old me held in such high regard. Until we fix the system, all I can do is my best.
  6. News Article
    Healthcare leaders have been warned by nearly 200 doctors that plans to give more work to private hospitals will “drain” money and staff away from NHS services, leaving the most ill patients at risk. In a letter seen by The Independent, almost 200 ophthalmologists urged NHS leaders to rethink plans to contract cataract services to private sector hospitals, as to do so “drains money away from patient care into private pockets as well as poaching staff trained in the NHS”. The doctors have called for “urgent action” to stop a new contract from being released, which would allow private sector hospitals to take over more cataract services. Professor Ben Burton, consultant ophthalmologist and one of the lead signatories of the letter, said, “What is needed is a long-term sustainable solution rather than a knee-jerk reaction which risks the future of ophthalmology as an NHS service. The long-term solution will be achieved by investing in NHS providers to deliver modern, efficient care, and the private sector only used as a last resort.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 10 February 2023
  7. News Article
    Some of the country’s most senior NHS clinicians are earning a lucrative sideline running private firms that offer to cut waiting lists at their own hospitals, the Observer can reveal. Top consultants in Manchester, Sheffield and London are among directors of “insourcing” agencies that charge the health service to treat patients at weekends and evenings and have won millions of pounds of work. Some hold leadership roles at NHS trusts that have awarded contracts to their own companies, raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest. One deputy medical director jointly ran a firm that provided “insourcing” solutions to his own NHS trust before it was sold in a £13m deal last year. Other consultants have set up firms that they and their colleagues work shifts through themselves, often at rates above NHS price caps. The Centre for Health and the Public Interest, an independent thinktank, called for a ban on such arrangements. The General Medical Council said current conflict of interest policies did not always deliver “the transparency and assurance that patients rightly expect”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 February 2023
  8. News Article
    The government has rejected an urgent call by MPs to bring in a new licensing regime for non-surgical procedures such as Botox injections, chemical peels, microdermabrasion and non-surgical laser interventions. Ministers also rejected recommendations by the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee to make dermal fillers available as prescription only substances—as Botox is—and to bring in specific standards for premises that provide non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The government also rejected several recommendations aimed at tackling obesity—including a dedicated eating disorder strategy, annual health and wellbeing checks for every child and young person, and restrictions on buy-one-get-one free deals for foods and drinks high in fat, salt, or sugar. Read full story Source: BMJ, 2 February 2023
  9. News Article
    A highly toxic chemical compound sold illegally in diet pills is to be reclassified as a poison, a government minister has said. Pills containing DNP, or 2,4-dinitrophenol, were responsible for the deaths of 32 young vulnerable adults, said campaigner Doug Shipsey. His daughter Bethany, from Worcester, died in 2017 after taking tablets containing the chemical. The deaths were down to a "collective failure of the UK government", he said. DNP is highly toxic and not intended for human consumption. An industrial chemical, it is sold illegally in diet pills as a fat-burning substance. Experts say buying drugs online is risky as medicines may be fake, out of date or extremely harmful. Mr Shipsey said he had targeted the minister following the death of another young man who had taken the drug sold as a slimming aid. Prior to this, following the inquests of dozens of young people who had suddenly and unexpectedly died from DNP toxicity, the government had "ignored numerous coroners reports" to prevent future deaths, he said. "So, at last after 32 deaths and almost six years of campaigning, the Home Office (HO) finally accept responsibility to control DNP under the Poisons ACT 1972," he added. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 January 2023
  10. News Article
    Cathy Rice had been in all-consuming pain for 18 months when she decided to fly to Lithuania. “I was going up the stairs on my hands and knees. I couldn’t get to the shop. I had no quality of life,” she says. Rice, 68, who has four grandchildren, had been told she needed a knee replacement for an injury caused by osteoarthritis but – like millions of NHS patients – faced a gruelling wait. At a clinic in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city, the operation was arranged within weeks and cost €6,800 (£5,967) – around half the cost in the UK. The price included a pre-travel consultation, return flights, airport transfers, two nights in an en suite hospital room, pre-surgery check-ups and post operative physio. “I thought, ‘Just look at your choices. You can stay here and be in this kind of pain for another couple of years or you can take a decision’,” Rice says. The former health sector worker, from Glasgow, is one of a growing number of Britons going abroad for routine medical care. She had never gone private before and never had a desire to. But last week, a year after the first surgery, she returned to Lithuania to have the same procedure on her other knee. This time, she says the wait she faced on the NHS was three years. She explains tearfully that to cover the costs of the surgeries in Lithuania, she sold her house. “People think that if you’re doing this you’ve got a wonderful pension or you’re very well off. But the driver here is that people are in pain,” she says. “This is not medical tourism; it’s medical desperation.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 January 2023
  11. News Article
    Dentists have told the BBC that demand for Instagram smiles has left people with damage from wearing clear braces or "aligners" ordered online. One man said aligners weakened his front teeth, leaving him unable to bite into an apple. Smile Direct Club, the largest company selling clear aligners remotely, says they straighten teeth faster and cheaper than traditional braces. Its aligners have been successful for the majority of users, it says. But some dentists and orthodontists believe customers of so-called remote dentistry are unaware of harm that can be caused by aligners if not fitted by a dentist in person. The General Dental Council (GDC), responsible for regulating UK dentists, says for some cases remote dentistry can be "provided safely". It urges consumers to consult its guidelines. However, Dr Crouch of the BDA believes such guidelines are insufficient compared with "rules and regulation to protect patients". Otherwise, dentists will be left picking up the pieces when "patients have undergone wholly inappropriate treatment". The UK's health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced last summer any company providing remote orthodontic services will have to register with it. Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 January 2023
  12. News Article
    Families of people with dementia have said there is a national crisis in care safety as it emerged that more than half of residential homes reported on by inspectors this year were rated “inadequate” or requiring improvement – up from less than a third pre-pandemic. Serious and often shocking failings uncovered in previously “good” homes in recent months include people left in bed “for months”, pain medicine not being administered, violence between residents and malnutrition – including one person who didn’t eat for a month. In homes in England where standards have slumped from “good” to “inadequate”, residents’ dressings went unchanged for 20 days, there were “revolting” filthy carpets, “unexplained and unwitnessed wounds” and equipment was ”encrusted with dirt”, inspectors’ reports showed. Nearly one in 10 care homes in England that offer dementia support reported on by Care Quality Commission inspectors in 2022 were given the very worst rating – more than three times the ratio in 2019, according to Guardian analysis. Read full story Source: 29 December 2022
  13. News Article
    Private menopause clinics are prescribing HRT at "twice the recommended dose", an investigation has revealed. The investigation by The Pharmaceutical Journal has revealed that patients attending private menopause clinics are subject to “unorthodox prescribing” by providers. Many are receiving oestrogen at up to double the recommended dose placing them at higher risk of cancer and vaginal bleeding. Nuttan Tanna, a pharmacist consultant in women’s health at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, said she had seen referrals for “bleeding investigations” and then found the patient was on "very large doses [of oestrogen] prescribed previously by private providers”. Brendon Jiang, a senior clinical pharmacist for North Oxfordshire Rural Alliance Primary Care Network, said that his team were increasingly getting letters from private clinics requesting for patients to be prescribed doses of oestrogen that are off-label or exceed licensed recommendations. He also raised concerns that patients were not taking enough progesterone alongside increased doses of oestrogen. Taking increased doses of oestrogen alone can increase the risk of womb cancer but progesterone protects against that risk and therefore the two hormones should be taken together. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 19 December 2022 Further reading on the hub: Surgical menopause: a toolkit for healthcare professionals (British Menopause Society) Menopause Support - Getting the most out of your doctor’s appointment World Menopause Day 2022: Raising awareness of surgical menopause All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause: Inquiry to assess the impacts of menopause and the case for policy reform - conclusions
  14. News Article
    The collaboration seen between the independent sector and the NHS during the peaks of the pandemic “doesn’t exist any more”, the boss of one of the UK’s largest private hospital companies has said. Mr Justin Ash, chief executive of Spire Healthcare and a member of the government’s recently convened elective recovery task force, whose purpose is to ”focus on how the NHS can [better] utilise independent sector to cut the backlog’.” He told the Westminster Health Forum earlier this week: “In spirit there is collaboration but in practice, it doesn’t exist anymore. There is no more commissioning by trust[s]”. Mr Ash told the conference Spire had previously had administrative teams working at 39 different NHS hospitals examining which NHS patients could be treated at one of its facilities. That number was now three, a decline which he described as “a shame”. He said: “There has to be a mindset change. We have people say ‘you have our nurses and consultants working for you’. “[But] just like patients, nurses and consultants should be able to move around the system [as] one workforce.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 16 December 2022
  15. News Article
    One in eight adults in the UK have paid for private medical care in the last year because of long delays in getting NHS treatment, renewing fears that the NHS is becoming “a two-tier system”. “Around one in eight (13%) adults reported they had paid for private medical care, with 5% using private insurance and 7% paying for the treatment themselves,” according to a new report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Patients also say that waiting for tests or treatment is badly affecting them, including making their illness worse. The ONS survey of 2,510 adults across the UK found that one in five were waiting for an appointment, test or treatment at an NHS hospital. Of those in that situation: Three-quarters said their delay had had either a strongly (34%) or slightly (42%) negative impact on their life 36% said waiting had made their condition worse 59% said it had damaged their wellbeing A third said long waits had affected either their mobility (33%) or ability to exercise (34%) Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 December 2022
  16. News Article
    Increasing numbers of emotionally troubled children have been taken into care while waiting long periods for NHS treatment because their condition deteriorated to the point where their parents could no longer cope with their behaviour, child protection bosses have revealed. Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) president Steve Crocker said that since the pandemic, youngsters with complex emotional needs had become a significant factor in rising child protection referrals. “We are seeing children in the social care system because they have not been supported in the [NHS] mental health system,” he said. Crocker urged ministers to “do better” for children facing “unacceptable” delays in NHS mental health treatment, adding that it was not uncommon for waiting lists to involve waits of over a year. Councils were “filling gaps” in NHS provision but struggling to find placements for children with severe behavioural problems, and when they did, typically paid “untenable” fees of tens of thousands of pounds a week. He accused private children’s residential care providers and their “rapacious” hedge fund backers of “profiteering” from the care crisis, and urged the government to intervene to cap typical profit margins that were currently about 20%. “We do not see how this can be allowed to continue,” he said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 December 2022
  17. News Article
    Patients will be encouraged to choose private hospitals for NHS care under plans to help clear backlogs of routine operations through outsourcing more treatment. A task force of private healthcare bosses and NHS chiefs met in Downing Street for the first time yesterday in an effort to find more capacity for hip replacements, cataracts and other routine procedures in the independent sector. NHS bosses are hopeful of meeting a target to eliminate waits of more than 18 months by April, but there is increasing concern in government about whether one-year waits can be eliminated by 2025 as planned. Private hospitals say they have spare capacity that could help bring down waits but NHS bosses have been sceptical. Patients have long had a legal right to choose where they are treated but ministers are planning a fresh push for GPs to offer them the choice of having NHS treatment in private hospitals, in a revival of a Blair-era scheme. Steve Barclay, the health secretary, said he wanted to “turbocharge our current plans to bust the backlog and help patients get the treatment they need”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 8 December 2022
  18. News Article
    Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of running a two-tier NHS after it emerged that tens of thousands of patients are going private for crucial operations and healthcare. Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, cited figures that showed more than 39,000 patients underwent private procedures in the past year. These included thousands of hip and knee surgeries, costing an average of £12,500 per patient. “Often these are people who are forced to borrow money, turn to family and friends, or even remortgage their home to get healthcare that should be free at the point of need,” Sarwar told MSPs at first minister’s questions. He said that almost 2,000 people had gone for private treatment for endoscopies and colonoscopies, more than 7,800 for cataract surgery and 3,500 have had a hip or knee replacement in a private hospital. “These figures make clear that under the SNP, healthcare in Scotland is already a two-tier system,” he added. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 24 November 2022
  19. News Article
    The adverts promise beautiful legs, zero risk, and treatment in as little as 15 minutes. But unregulated injections to “eliminate” varicose veins are putting clients at risk of serious health complications, surgeons have warned. Vein removal treatments costing as little as £90 a session are being offered by beauticians without medical supervision across the UK, Observer analysis has found. Promoted with dramatic before and after photos and billed as a quick fix, microsclerotherapy involves the injection of a chemical irritant to disrupt the vein lining. This causes the vein walls to stick together, making it no longer visible on the skin. When performed correctly on finer veins, known as “thread” or “spider” veins, the procedure is generally considered safe, provided no underlying issues are present. But beauticians and other non-healthcare professionals are also offering vein treatments for people with varicose veins, which can signify underlying venous disease, analysis of promotional materials shows. In such cases, treatments should be performed by practitioners in a regulated clinic, where specialists first use ultrasound scans to assess the area. Conducting vein removal incorrectly or when there are underlying problems can lead to complications including leg ulcers, nerve damage, blood clots, stroke, allergic reactions and scarring, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) said. Even in cases where only thread veins are visible, other problems may be present. Prof Mark Whiteley, a consultant venous surgeon and chair of the Whiteley chain of clinics, said he had seen cases of women with leg ulcers and permanent scarring after treatment for varicose veins from non-medics. In other cases, people had paid for treatment but saw no effect because the underlying cause was not tackled. “It’s totally disgraceful,” he said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 November 2022