News From The Web

Nurse Chua found guilty of murdering patients

BBC Health - 18th May 2015 12:08 pm

A nurse has been found guilty of murdering two patients and poisoning 19 others at a Greater Manchester hospital.

Victorino Chua was convicted of killing Tracey Arden and Derek Weaver at Stepping Hill Hospital by injecting insulin into saline bags and ampoules.

The 49-year-old was found not guilty of the murder of Arnold Lancaster.

Greater Manchester Police said it was their “biggest case in a decade”.

The poisoning took place on two wards, often used for treating elderly patients with complex illnesses, between June 2011 and January 2012.

Read more at BBC Health.

David Cameron renews NHS funding pledges

BBC Health - 11:17 am

Prime Minister David Cameron is to renew his vow to boost NHS funding and create a “seven-day” health service in his first major post-election speech.

He will commit to a pre-election pledge to increase budgets by at least £8bn a year by 2020, during his speech at a GP surgery in the West Midlands.

Outlining the government plans, he will say the NHS is “safe in our hands”.

But doctors’ representatives said without detail the announcement was “empty headline-grabbing”.

The British Medical Association said the government was yet to explain how it would deliver additional care at a time of “chronic” doctor shortages.

Before the election, the Conservatives gave their backing to a plan by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens to fill a funding gap estimated at £30bn a year by 2020.

This aims to make £22bn in efficiency savings, with the rest coming from taxpayers.

Read more at BBC Health.

Alarm over high revalidation ‘pass rate’ for GPs

Daily Telegraph - 16th May 2015 1:34 am

Few doctors have been identified as failing under a national system which was supposed to weed out rogue medics, patients groups have warned.

The GMC introduced a national system of “MOT” checks on doctors in 2012 in the wake of a series of scandals, including the deaths of 250 patients at the hands of serial killer Harold Shipman.

But new figures show that less than 1% of family doctors have been put through retraining or had their licences withdrawn since Revalidation was introduced.

When the system was introduced, Niall Dickson, the GMC’s chief executive, said the changes were “a historic moment” and “the biggest change in medical regulation for 150 years”.

But new figures show that 99.3% of the 23,289 family doctors who underwent checks last year were passed as fit to perform. The year before, 16,021 GPs went through the same “revalidation” process - and just 0.4% did not pass, the data shows.

In total, just 209 GPs of 39,310 undergoing checks have been subject to retraining because of performance problems, or stopped from working.

Read more in the Telegraph.

Hospital benefits from large car park donation

Daily Mail - 15th May 2015 11:21 am

A generous oil tycoon is gifting £10million to the Scottish NHS for a new hospital multi-storey - in a bid to end a visitor and patient parking crisis.

Sir Ian Wood and his wife Helen pledged the cash after becoming concerned about how hard it was for visitors to find spaces at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The couple are awarding the money to NHS Grampian through their family foundation to improve parking facilities at the Foresterhill Health Campus.

If approved by the health board, the new 1,000-space multi-storey will be built next to the main hospital entrance.

Sir Ian, 72, said: “We are very aware of the anxiety and frustration caused by inadequate car-parking at our hospital which will be even more acute with the new hospital facilities currently under development.

“While public transport to the hospital is being improved, for many from across the North East, the car is the only solution to get them to appointments or visits”

Read more in the Daily Mail.

Warning over rise in number of stroke victims

The Guardian - 12th May 2015 11:12 am

The number of people in their 40s and 50s being afflicted by strokes is soaring, with obesity and sedentary lifestyles thought to be behind the rise.

The Stroke Association described the increase as alarming and shocking and warned that the cost of treatment – already at £9bn a year – would increase.

The trend is “a sad indictment” of the nation’s health, the association said, and urged people to be more aware of the risk factors.

Official NHS data shows that the number of men aged 40 to 54 in England who were hospitalised after a stroke grew by 46% from 4,260 in 2000 to 6,221 last year. The figure for women of the same age was 4,604, up by 30% from 3,529.

Hospital admission data reveals a 25% jump in the number of people aged 20 to 64, suffering a stroke between 2000 and 2014.

“There is an alarming increase in the numbers of people having a stroke in working age”, said Jon Barrick, the charity’s chief executive. “These figures show that stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people. As the figures show, it can happen to anyone at any time”.

Read more in The Guardian.

WHO: three quarters of men overweight by 2030

The Guardian - 7th May 2015 9:28 am

Europe’s growing obesity crisis will see almost three-quarters of men and two-thirds of women in the UK being overweight in 15 years, health experts have said.

Projections by the World Health Organisation and UK-based researchers lay bare a problem “of enormous proportions” facing many countries over the next decade and a half.

Ireland leads the trend, with new figures to be presented on Wednesday to the European Congress on Obesity, in Prague suggesting that 89% of men and 85% of women in the country will be overweight or obese by 2030.

In the UK, the comparable figures will be 74% for men and 64% for women, up from 70% and 59% respectively five years ago. The statistics for 57 countries are based on analysis of existing data for 2010 and projections which involved the UK Health Forum, an alliance of public interest and professional groups.

It is reluctant to present the findings as a league table because of the variety and quality of data. However, the figure for Irish men is only matched by Uzbekistan.

Read more in The Guardian.

NHS doctor “kept Nigerian man a slave for 24 years”

Daily Mail - 9:25 am

An NHS doctor enslaved a man in his home for 24 years after smuggling him into Britain as a child, a court heard yesterday

Edet demanded to be called ‘master’ as he beat his victim and subjected him to a ‘life of misery’, it was claimed.

Edet, 60, and his wife Antan, 58, a senior hospital nurse, are accused of stripping Ofonime Inuk of his passport and making him work up to 17 hours a day.

Dr Emmanuel Edet and his wife Antan are accused of keeping Ofonime Sunday Inuk at their home in Perivale, north-west London for 24 years after it is alleged they smuggled him in to Britain as a child.

The couple, pictured, have both pleaded not guilty to holding a person in slavery and servitude.

The Nigerian orphan was left to bring up their two sons as they travelled across Britain working for a series of NHS trusts.

Mr Inuk, 39, confronted the pair in court for the first time since allegedly escaping their West London home in 2013.

He told a jury at Harrow Crown Court he had to sleep on the floor and was barred from using many rooms except to clean them.

He described how he was scared of the couple after realising they would not pay him or send him to school. In a soft voice, he said he was not ‘free’, adding: “I could only take the children to the park that was the only time I could take them out.”

Read more in the Daily Mail.

Scottish case on minimum alcohol pricing

BBC - 6th May 2015 5:38 pm

The European Court of Justice is to hear evidence from the Scottish government on its case for introducing a minimum unit price for alcohol.

The hearing in Luxembourg will enable the court to produce its preliminary ruling on the policy.

Legislation to bring in a minimum unit price of 50p was passed by the Scottish Parliament in May 2012.

But a legal challenge was brought by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which argued it breached European law.

Holyrood ministers have said minimum pricing was vital to address Scotland’s “unhealthy relationship with drink”.

Read more at BBC Health.

Fewer nurses forecast for NHS under Conservatives

- 20th April 2015 10:15 am

The number of NHS nurses in England is set to fall by almost 2,000 over the next four years according to government projections, Labour has said.

Accusing the Conservatives of having a “secret plan”, Labour’s Andy Burnham said fewer nurses would push hospitals “over the edge”.

The health document Labour is basing its claims on says fewer nurses would be employed because of “affordability”.

The Tories said the real threat to nurses was a Labour-SNP government.

The Liberal Democrats said neither Labour nor the Tories had a credible response to NHS “funding challenges”.

The figures Labour are using are included in a document entitled Health Education England’s (HEE) Workforce Plan for England 2015-16, and it predicts the NHS will have 1,966 fewer full-time nurses by 2019.

Read more at BBC Health.

Finance problem being ignored, says former boss

BBC Health - 18th April 2015 11:55 am

The NHS is facing a “substantial financial problem” which politicians are ignoring in the election campaign, the former head of the service says.

Sir David Nicholson, who retired last year, told the BBC the NHS in England was accruing large deficits which would become “crystal clear” later this year.

But he said instead of talking about how to address these, politicians were focusing on expanding services.

He said the situation caused him “very great concern”.

In an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir David - who ran the NHS in England for eight years - said that because there was an election period, the NHS was unable to publish the latest report on its financial position.

But he said it was “pretty clear in the NHS that there is a substantial financial problem, particularly in the hospital sector” which would become “crystal clear” in the autumn.

Read more at BBC Health.