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Showing posts tagged with: NHS

Threat to measles elimination plans

Outbreaks of measles are putting Europe's commitment to eliminate the disease by 2015 under threat, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

Levels of vaccination have been too low in some countries, particularly in rich western European nations.

It says catch-up vaccination campaigns, such as the one launched in the UK, are needed across the continent.

Experts said it was not too late to hit the target, but "extraordinary" effort was needed.

To read the full article please click here.

Posted by: on May 7th, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

Social Care in England 'has bleak future on £800m cuts'

Social care in England is facing a bleak future despite planned changes as services have been forced into budget cuts, council chiefs say.

Research by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services showed £800m was likely to be taken from the £16bn budget this year.

The group warned it meant "the bleak outlook becomes even bleaker".

It comes as the government looks set to signal later in the Queen's Speech its determination to reform the system.

The draft social care and support bill, which is expected to be included in the speech, will be used to clarify the law on social care and pave the way for the introduction of a cap on the costs people face for elderly care.

Currently anyone with assets of more than £23,250 faces unlimited costs, but ministers have said they want to see lifetime costs capped at £72,000 from 2016.

The result of the move would be that many more people would be brought into the state system. Estimates have suggested an extra 450,000.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the changes to the social care system needed to be made quickly, as the UK faced a "very big challenge" because of its ageing society.

To read the full article please click here.

Posted by: on May 8th, 2013 @ 2:12 PM
Tagged with: carer Great Britain NHS

Poor NHS care 'like a cancer' says Stafford inquiry QC

A culture of poor care is like a cancer - it will keep on spreading if not stopped, the barrister who chaired the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal has warned.

Robert Francis QC said bad practice starts in "small places" but is passed on to "bigger places" unless something is done.

Despite his damning report three months ago, he remained proud of the NHS.

He said it was the country's "most valuable social asset".

Mr Francis, who was speaking at a conference in London organised by the patient group Action Against Medical Accidents, refused to say whether he was happy with the government's response to his report.

To read the full article click here.

Posted by: on May 10th, 2013 @ 09:36 AM

Obesity obsession 'means other weight problems are missed'

The issue of underweight school children is being missed because of an "obsession" with tackling obesity, a group of researchers has claimed.

An Essex University study, presented at the European Congress on Obesity and involving 10,000 children aged nine to 16, found one in 17 was too thin.

Researcher Dr Gavin Sandercock said weighing too little was more damaging to health than weighing too much.

He warned that society was focused almost exclusively on obesity.

The research team looked at nearly 10,000 children aged nine to 16 in the east of England.

The height, weight, age and gender of the pupils was used to work out how many were too thin.

"Where children are severely underweight, it's often due to an underlying illness for which they'll need specialist medical help”

They showed 6% of all children were underweight, but it was more common in girls (6.4%) than boys (5.5%).

There were also large differences between ethnic groups. Asian backgrounds had the highest prevalence of being underweight at 8.7%.

It can lead to a lack of energy, weakened immune systems and delayed periods.

Forgotten problem?

The problem of underweight children "may be more prevalent than we thought in the UK", said the scientists.

They said the fear of becoming obese, rising food prices, poor diets and a lack of muscle from low levels of exercise may all be playing a role.

"The fact is the UK is obsessed with overweight and obesity - yet it is now accepted that underweight may pose a much greater risk to health."

Dr Sandercock said attention had "absolutely" swung too far towards tackling obesity and warned children who were underweight could be being "missed".

He called for better training for GPs to spot the problem and new ways of helping parents.

Research published earlier this year showed that doctors may be missing the problem. University College London academics interviewed paediatricians at 177 hospitals in England and Wales and found a lack of knowledge about the warning signs of children being underweight.

Dr Hilary Cass, the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: "Dietary related problems in children are not uncommon, and it's been well documented that childhood obesity is prevalent amongst the UK population.

"Of course we also have to take seriously the fact that there are some children who are under-nourished or struggle with eating disorders."

The Royal College has developed growth charts for children between two and 18 which helps doctors tell if a child has a problem.

Dr Cass said: "Where children are severely underweight, it's often due to an underlying illness for which they'll need specialist medical help.

"But for the majority of cases, if we can get our children eating, choosing and ultimately cooking nutritious food, then we have a much better chance of preventing all sorts of dietary related problems - whether that's being over or underweight."

Posted by: on May 13th, 2013 @ 08:48 AM

Pledge to close health & care gap

Ministers are promising an end to the era of vulnerable people being passed around the health and care systems.

The pledge forms part of a shared commitment being set out by NHS and local government leaders to close the gap between the two systems by 2018.

A series of pioneer projects will be launched at the end of the summer.

These will explore new ways of pooling budgets, speeding up discharge from hospitals and streamlining assessments.

The commitment has been signed up to by the Department of Health, NHS England, the Local Government Association and the umbrella bodies for directors of child and adult social care.

To read the full article please click here.

Posted by: on May 14th, 2013 @ 08:59 AM

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