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Found 347 results
  1. 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
  2. News Article
    Some ambulance trusts are not sending paramedics to up to around a quarter of their most serious calls, according to figures obtained by HSJ. HSJ submitted data requests to all 10 English ambulance trusts after the Care Quality Commission raised concerns about the proportion of category one calls not being attended by a paramedic at South Central Ambulance Service Foundation Trust. The regulator said in a report published in August last year that between November 2021 and April 2022 around 9% of the trust’s category one calls were not attended by a paramedic. Inspectors said this meant some patients “did not receive care or treatment that met their needs because there were not appropriately qualified staff making the decisions and providing treatment.” But data obtained via freedom of information requests reveals other ambulance trusts had far lower proportions of category one calls attended by paramedics than the South Central service last year. Read full story Source: HSJ, 2 February 2023
  3. News Article
    “I was worried it would grow and spread,” Charlotte Park, a breast cancer patient tells The Independent. “What happens if I hadn’t been that really pushy person? Sometimes I still go into a dark place and I think: I am so lucky to be here.” The 50-year-old, from Richmond in Yorkshire, found a lump in her breast in June 2020 and went straight to see her GP who informed her she would have to wait two weeks to see a specialist. After a fortnight of waiting, she started to panic and rang the clinic who said they were still working through referrals from four to six weeks prior to her referral. “I was getting frustrated and impatient by this point,” Ms Park recalls. “There was no leeway and they didn’t see if they could squeeze me in. I just felt frustrated. There was nothing I could do. It was all out of my hands. I was feeling teary.” Ms Park is one of thousands of women with breast cancer in England facing delays of weeks or months to see a specialist or receive treatment. Data, shared exclusively with The Independent, shows delays were substantially worse for those with breast cancer than other forms of cancer. In the end, Ms Park was forced to wait 25 days to see a specialist. The wait was “agony”, she said. It was difficult to definitively determine if the delays caused her cancer to grow, she noted. Her comments come in the context of thousands of women with breast cancer being forced to wait longer than the NHS-recommended time of two months to get treatment, in a situation branded “perilous” by healthcare professionals. Exclusive data shows only seven in ten women in England received treatment for breast cancer two months after getting an urgent doctor’s referral between January and November 2022. This amounts to just more than 16,500 women and is way below the NHS target for 85% of breast cancer patients diagnosed via an urgent GP referral to start their cancer treatment within two months of their GP visit. Read full story Source: The Independent. 31 January 2023
  4. News Article
    Being placed on immunotherapy to treat Stage 4 cancer was a life-saver for Imogen Llewellyn. Three years on, the 34-year-old is currently cancer-free, but said if it was not for specialist doctors, the side effects could have killed her. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) claims Wales needs more oncology experts in A&E to recognise and treat emergencies. The Welsh government said all acute hospitals were expected to have an acute oncology service. The RCP report wants investment in emergency cancer care because of the sheer volume of patients who need urgent care during their treatment. With about a fifth of acute hospital beds occupied by people who have a cancer-related problems, they add that about a third of admissions could be avoided if same-day care were more widely available in Wales - which in turn would relieve pressure on hospitals. Dr Hilary Williams, consultant oncologist and Wales Cancer Network lead for acute oncology, said: "Wherever a patient lives in Wales, they should be able to access excellent acute oncology services. "When people think about cancer treatment, they might think about undergoing surgery or receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy in an organised way, perhaps during weekday hours in a specialist centre. But what happens when an emergency arises?" Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 January 2023
  5. News Article
    Thousands of NHS operations and appointments have had to be cancelled because of the nurses' strikes in England this week. Over the two days, NHS England said 27,800 bookings had to be rescheduled, including 5,000 operations and treatments. There were more than 30 hospital trusts affected with some saying between 10% to 20% of normal activity was lost. They warned the dispute was hampering progress in reducing the backlog. Saffron Cordery, of NHS Providers, which represents hospital bosses, said the strike days caused "significant disruption" and were "some of the hardest" hospitals have had to cope with this winter. She said it would have a "big knock-on effect on efforts to tackle the backlog". "The ramifications go well beyond the day itself. We are deeply concerned by this pile-up of demand, which will only continue with more strikes on the horizon." Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 January 2023
  6. 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
  7. Content Article
    Recommendations Every person to receive an early and accurate diagnosis based on a guideline-defined approach and a plan for their care Care to be provided to people with asthma and COPD within the recommended timeframe after hospital admission, to support optimal outcomes People with asthma and COPD to receive care by appropriately trained healthcare professionals, at each stage of their care pathway, and Primary, secondary and community services to implement ways to work together, offering people with asthma and COPD a seamless pathway of care.
  8. News Article
    A new state of the art institute for antimicrobial research is to open at Oxford University thanks to a £100 million donation from Ineos. Ineos, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, and the University of Oxford are launching a new world-leading institute to combat the growing global issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which currently causes an estimated 1.5 million excess deaths each year- and could cause over 10m deaths per year by 2050. Predicted to also create a global economic toll of $100 trillion by mid-century, it is arguably the greatest economic and healthcare challenge facing the world post-Covid. It is bacterial resistance, caused by overuse and misuse of antibiotics, which arguably poses the broadest threat to global populations. The world is fast running out of effective antibiotics as bacteria evolve to develop resistance to our taken-for-granted treatments. Without urgent collaborative action to prevent common microbes becoming multi-drug resistant (commonly known as ‘superbugs’), we could return to a world where taken-for-granted treatments such as chemotherapy and hip replacements could become too risky, childbirth becomes extremely dangerous, and even a basic scratch could kill. The rapid progression of antibacterial resistance is a natural process, exacerbated by significant overuse and misuse of antibiotics not only in human populations but especially in agriculture. Meanwhile, the field of new drug discovery has attracted insufficient scientific interest and funding in recent decades meaning no new antibiotics have been successfully developed since the 1980s. Alongside its drug discovery work, the IOI intends to partner with other global leaders in the field of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) to raise awareness and promote responsible use of antimicrobial drugs. The academic team will contribute to research on the type and extent of drug resistant microbes across the world, and critically, will seek to attract and train the brightest minds in science to tackle this ‘silent pandemic’. Read full story Source: University of Oxford, 19 January 2021
  9. News Article
    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval for the Alzheimer’s disease drug lecanemab, one of the first experimental dementia drugs to appear to slow the progression of cognitive decline. Lecanemab will be marketed as Leqembi, the FDA statement said. It has shown “potential” as an Alzheimer’s disease treatment by appearing to slow progression, according to Phase 3 trial results, but it has raised safety concerns due to its association with certain serious adverse events, including brain swelling and bleeding. In July, the FDA accepted Eisai’s Biologics License Application for lecanemab under the accelerated approval pathway and granted the drug priority review, according to the company. The accelerated approval programme allows for earlier approval of medications that treat serious conditions and “fill an unmet medical need” while the drugs continue to be studied in larger and longer trials. If those trials confirm that the drug provides a clinical benefit, the FDA could grant traditional approval. But if the confirmatory trial does not show benefit, the FDA has the regulatory procedures that could lead to taking the drug off the market. Read full story Source: CNN Health, 7 January 2023
  10. News Article
    The number of children in England needing treatment for serious mental health problems has risen by 39% in a year, official data shows. Experts say the pandemic, social inequality, austerity and online harm are all fuelling a crisis in which NHS mental health treatment referrals for under-18s have increased to more than 1.1m in 2021-22. In 2020-21 – the first year of the pandemic – the figure was 839,570, while in 2019-20 there were 850,741 referrals, according to analysis of official figures by the PA Media. The figures include children who are suicidal, self-harming, suffering serious depression or anxiety, and those with eating disorders. Dr Elaine Lockhart, chair of the child and adolescent psychiatry faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the rise in referrals reflected a “whole range” of illnesses. She said “specialist services are needing to respond to the most urgent and the most unwell”, including young people suffering from psychosis, suicidal thoughts and severe anxiety disorder. Lockhart said targets for seeing children urgently with eating disorders were sliding “completely” and that more staff were needed. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 January 2023
  11. News Article
    Almost one in four people have bought medicine online or at a pharmacy to treat their illness after failing to see a GP face to face, according to a UK survey underlining the rise of do-it-yourself treatment. Nearly one in five (19%) have gone to A&E seeking urgent medical treatment for the same reason, the research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats shows. One in six (16%) people agreed when asked by the pollsters Savanta ComRes if the difficulty of getting an in-person family doctor appointment meant they had “carried out medical treatment on yourself or asked somebody else who is not a medical professional to do so”. Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said delays and difficulty in accessing GP appointments constituted a national scandal, and face-to-face GP appointments had become “almost extinct” in some areas of the country. He said: “We now have the devastating situation where people are left treating themselves or even self-prescribing medication because they can’t see their local GP.” Dr Richard Van Mellaerts, the deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee in England, said: “While self-care and consulting other services such as pharmacies and NHS 111 will often be the right thing to do for many minor health conditions, it is worrying if patients feel forced into inappropriate courses of action because they are struggling to book an appointment for an issue that requires the attention of a GP or a member of practice staff.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 January 2023
  12. News Article
    The antiviral, molnupiravir, does not reduce coronavirus hospital admissions or deaths in vaccinated people at high risk, new research suggests. But the treatment was associated with a shorter recovery time, by four days, and reduced viral load. People who received molnupiravir reported feeling better compared to those who received usual care, the study found. Researchers suggest that while the drug could have some benefits in terms of symptom reduction, the cost of the drug may mean it is not the best choice for the general population, given the study findings. But it may be useful in reducing the pressure on UK health systems, they added. Chris Butler, professor of primary care in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and co-chief investigator of Panoramic, said: “Finding effective, safe and scalable early treatments for Covid-19 in the community is the next major frontier in our research response to the ongoing worldwide pandemic. “It is in the community where treatments could have a massive reach and impact. “But decisions about who to treat should always be based on evidence from rigorous clinical trials that involve people who would most likely be prescribed the drugs.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 December 2022
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