Showing posts from July 2014
Doctors have been told to offer cholesterol-lowering statins to millions more people in a massive and controversial expansion in prescribing.
Four in 10 adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are now eligible for statins, even though many are at low risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The medicines regulator, NICE, says it will save lives.
There has been vocal opposition to the plans, and doctors' leaders said they had no confidence in the decision.
But all sides of the debate say people who are already taking statins should continue to take their medication.
Cardiovascular disease - which includes heart attacks and strokes - is the UK's biggest killer.
It claims 180,000 lives a year and is behind one in three deaths.
Statins reduce the build-up of fatty-plaques that lead to blockages in blood vessels.
To read more, please click here.
Hospitals in England are being given strict guidelines on safe staffing levels for nurses - but they stop short of giving absolute minimums.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said having more than eight patients to one nurse on a ward in the day should act as a trigger for checking if care was being compromised.
It also set out a series of "red flag" events that should prompt concern.
The government said the move was a "major step forward".
The guidelines cover problems with basic care such as delays getting pain relief.
Other events include patients not being helped on a visit to the bathroom or not receiving their medication.
Both patients and nurses on wards can raise these. They must then be investigated and explanations provided for what has gone wrong.
To read more click here.
One in three cases of Alzheimer's disease worldwide is preventable, according to research from the University of Cambridge.
The main risk factors for the disease are a lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education, it says.
Previous research from 2011 put the estimate at one in two cases, but this new study takes into account overlapping risk factors.
Alzheimer's Research UK said age was still the biggest risk factor.
Click here to read more about this.
Billions of pounds of health service and town hall budgets are to be given to the most vulnerable patients to purchase health and social care services in the community, under plans unveiled by the NHS's new head.
The elderly, disabled children and those with serious mental illness or learning disabilities will from next April be offered individual pots of money to spend as they wish on health and social care services such as carers, physiotherapists and psychotherapy sessions.
Simon Stevens, NHS England's chief executive, said that it would help keep people out of hospital and ultimately save money, the Guardianreported.
Some patients' budgets will range from as little as a few hundred pounds, though most are likely to get more than £1,000, with a small number who have very complex needs receiving substantially more than that.
Patients receiving the funds would still get free GP and hospital care. Recipients will not automatically receive cash payments into their bank accounts but will control the budget, which will be provided after a care plan is agreed with their doctors.
To read the full article please click here.
British scientists have made a "major step forward" in developing a blood test to predict the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
Research in more than 1,000 people has identified a set of proteins in the blood which can predict the start of the dementia with 87% accuracy.
The findings, published in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia, will be used to improve trials for new dementia drugs.
Experts warned that the test was not yet ready for doctors' surgeries.
Research into treatments for Alzheimer's disease has been plagued by failure. Between 2002 and 2012, 99.6% of trials aimed at preventing or reversing the disease flopped.
Doctors believe the failure is down to treating patients when it is already too late, since symptoms appear around a decade after the start of the disease.
Identifying patients earlier is one of the priorities for dementia research.
To read the full article please click here.
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