Hello and welcome to this week’s compilation of news and features from across the medical and social care industries. Headlines this week include the news that a new chemotherapy delaying drug will be available on the NHS for patients with prostate cancer, a new programme has been unveiled to help prevent type 2 diabetes in at risk patients, and two new cases of Ebola have been identified in Guinea.
The NHS is set to offer healthy lifestyle advice for those in England at risk of type 2 diabetes http://bit.ly/1RlbrdU. The national programme launches in the spring and aims to prevent the condition developing in 20,000 people initially; it will comprise of thirteen sessions offering information on exercise, education and lifestyle changes, alongside supervised gym sessions http://bit.ly/1UhfE8y. GP’s will identify patients who will benefit, by monitoring for signs of pre-diabetes and doing blood glucose tests. NHS chief executive Simon Stevens hopes the scheme will reduce hospital admissions, prevent strokes and help stop diabetes causing serious damage requiring amputations http://bit.ly/1o6HbuH.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have said rules need to be extended to ensure there are enough nurses to cover maternity and mental health wards in hospitals http://bit.ly/1RkHHzP. Currently there is a rule covering general hospital wards, but the Welsh Lib Dems believe the law needs extending; they would also like to set a minimum level of community nurses. The Welsh leader Kirsty Williams said the manifesto for May’s assembly elections will include this promise to get the law extended http://bbc.in/1Rw456e.
Drug Treatments and Developments
Lawyers representing patients in Scotland who could have been infected with Hepatitis C say the one recommendation into dealing with contaminated blood products hasn’t been implemented http://bbc.in/25ie0a1. The Penrose Inquiry, published a year ago, said people should be traced to see if they have the infection, but Thompsons Solicitors say the panel have only met once to discuss this. They haven’t discussed any ideas about how to trace the patients, and the solicitors say the longer people leave the disease untreated, the more damage it will do http://bit.ly/1U9aGu0. The inquiry estimated that 2,500 people could have been infected by NHS blood products between 1971 and 1991 but only 800 have so far been contacted.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has overturned a previous decision that denied prostate cancer patients early access to a drug http://bit.ly/1Rzpzpd. Previously NICE had said arbiraterone was unaffordable and wasn’t cost effective for the NHS, but a lower price has now been agreed with the manufacturer http://bit.ly/22FEgZM. The drug stops more testosterone reaching the prostate gland which stifles the tumour; this delays the need for chemotherapy and it is estimated 5900 people in England could benefit. The price agreed between NICE and the manufacturer Janssen is £2,300 for 120 tablets, reduced from the original £3,000 http://bit.ly/1SdTUX9.
Medical Recruitment News
A medical panel has ruled that a doctor who accidentally gave a patient a vasectomy is still fit to practise. Dr Vaswani, who was working at Broadgreen hospital in Liverpool, was meant to remove scar tissue but instead performed the vasectomy http://bit.ly/1pyJpnF. The doctor admitted misconduct and was given a warning by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, which will not place any restrictions on his registration http://bit.ly/1pIk9MH. The tribunal found that he was genuinely remorseful and had an unblemished career up to this point; Dr Vaswani said in his defence that he was expecting to operate on a patient needing a vasectomy, and the tray for the surgery had been placed in the operating theatre http://bit.ly/1UkOTju.
Junior doctors have agreed strike action next month that will include emergency care http://ind.pn/1o6I4Ug. So far the strikes have only hit routine care, and this will be the first one which will disrupt A&E and intensive care. The Department of Health have said the decision is ‘desperate and irresponsible’, and means consultants will need to be moved from other areas of the hospital to cover emergencies http://bit.ly/1MCcfsA. Junior doctors say they have been left with no choice following the government’s decision to enforce a new contract. The strikes are planned for the 26 and 27 April http://bit.ly/25n6uuC.
New figures released by Public Health England have shown adults have cut salt consumption by nearly a gram in the last ten years, but it is still above recommended levels for good health http://bit.ly/1RkLD3J http://huff.to/1Rzr1Yx. The average adult consumes 8g per day, 2g over the 6g recommendation; many manufacturers have cut salt content in their products and consumers have been urged to check the labels and purchase an option lower in salt http://bit.ly/1VF67qS.
South Korea have confirmed the first case of Zika in the country http://cnb.cx/1pwLC3b. It is in a man recently returned from Brazil, and has been in isolation following the diagnosis. His movements have also been tracked as a precaution http://bit.ly/22FFLqP. The virus predominantly exists in Central and South America, but a handful of isolated cases have been identified across Asia.
Three months after the end of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, two new cases have been confirmed in the country http://bit.ly/22v1lBA. The cases were reported in the south of the country, the same place where the first outbreak began; three people are also thought to have died from the virus http://fxn.ws/1Ry0bdk. It isn’t unusual to see some new cases just because the virus can stay in the body fluids of some survivors, and the few cases that have occurred in neighbouring countries have been swiftly dealt with http://reut.rs/1S6qurw. The World Health Organisation has declared the latest flare-up in Sierra Leone to be over.
That’s all for this week; thank you for reading and see you again for more medical news next Friday. Have a great Easter weekend!
Hayley & the British Medical Jobs team