Friday, May 29News For London

Health

One in five London GP practices at risk of closure

DontUse, Health
109 GP surgeries in the capital could close over the next three years according to a recent survey. Nearly half of London’s 1,300 GP practices were contacted on behalf of Londonwide LMC, a group that represents the capitals GPs who found 19 intended to close by 2019. This would leave over 100,000 patients without care. One fifth of practises could not rule out the possibility of closure, potentially resulting in one million patients losing their family doctor. Most GPs blamed bureaucracy, increased demand and GP shortages as factors. With 49 per cent said they currently have a staff vacancy and 31 per cent in need of at least one GP. The worst affected boroughs are Kensington and Chelsea and Barnet who are likely to lose at least four practices each. Chief executive of London
Virtual reality eases depression, finds UCL

Virtual reality eases depression, finds UCL

DontUse, Health, Tech
Immersive virtual reality headsets could help people with depression to become more compassionate towards themselves, new research has found. Scientists from University College London and ICREA-University in Barcelona tested the therapy on 15 patients with depression. Following the virtual reality therapy, four experienced a clinically significant drop in depressive severity a month after the therapy began. A further five reported a reduction in symptoms. The 15 patients with depression used a headset to virtually interact with a crying child. The more compassion the patient shows to the child, the quicker they stop crying. This trains the patient to express empathy and compassion. In the press release, study lead Professor Chris Brewin explained. “By comforting the child and th
Report reveals the NHS needs 50,000 more staff

Report reveals the NHS needs 50,000 more staff

Health, News
The NHS requires an additional 50,000 clinical staff to ensure high-quality and safe healthcare, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). Instead of recruiting long-term replacements for these vacancies, many NHS trusts are using temporary agency staff to fill gaps in rotas. Spending on agency staff increased from £2.2bn to £3.3bn between 2009/10 and 2014/15. Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: "These shortcomings are serious and the current arrangements do not achieve value for money." Reasons for the staffing shortfall vary by region, but the NAO highlighted the following: Lack of proactive planning in addressing staffing needs across the country Too little use of overseas recruitment Too few staff using return-to-practise initiatives Tighter immigration rules

Brazil says Olympics will go ahead in spite of Zika being named a “public health emergency”

Health
The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will not be called off because of the Zika virus, Brazil has said. Brazilian authorities emphasised that Zika poses no risk to athletes and spectators unless they are pregnant. Scientists, however, are discussing a potential link with a neurological condition known  Guillain–Barré syndrome. Symptoms of condition include rapid-onset muscle weakness and pain which could prove devastating for athletes. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a "public health emergency of international concern" on Monday following an emergency meeting. Their concern comes from the rapid spread of the virus which has now been seen in 22 countries across the Americas. The BBC has published a video explaining the WHO's decision: https://www.youtube.com/w
Junior doctors to go ahead with industrial action

Junior doctors to go ahead with industrial action

Health, News
Junior doctors will be going on strike after the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Department of Health failed to reach an agreement over new contracts. For 24 hours beginning at 0800 on Wednesday 10th February, junior doctors in England will offer emergency care only. Junior doctors in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be striking. Johann Malawana, head of the BMA Junior Doctor Committee, said: "We made some good progress. But the Government has made clear, yet again, that they are not prepared to address issues our members have made clear are critical to them." The strike on 10 February was originally planned to be a 12-hour walkout from all care - including A&E and other emergency care. Malawana said about the change: "We believe that this balances the
WHO to discuss possible travel restrictions over Zika virus pandemic

WHO to discuss possible travel restrictions over Zika virus pandemic

Health, Medical, News, Travel
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is having an emergency meeting today to discuss the continuing Zika virus outbreak in the Americas.  The mosquito-borne virus has spread to 22 countries within North and South America. Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, a serious developmental disorder where babies are born with small heads. In Brazil, there have been over 4,000 case of microcephaly since October 2015. Normally, Brazil would see approximately 150 cases a year. The WHO can recommend placing travel restrictions to and from infected countries, among a wide range of infection control measures. With London as a major business and travel hub, any future restrictions would likely have some impact on the capital. Those who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant should se

Antidepressants deemed dangerous in young people

Health
Family doctors should avoid giving antidepressants to children, new research has revealed. Scientists discovered the drugs caused a bigger increase in suicidal tendencies and aggressive behaviour than previously reported. This confirms Researchers from University College London (UCL)Family doctors should avoid giving antidepressants to children, new research has revealed. analysed 70 previous studies to find that the most commonly used drugs for depression (SSRIs and SNRIs) double the risk of suicide and aggressive behaviour. This was only found to be the case in teenagers and children. The researchers have said they believe that the true risks are not reflected by their analysis. They claim trials with negative results are under reported by the pharmaceutical industry leading t...
The hidden cost of caring

The hidden cost of caring

Health
Government cuts are driving an increase in unpaid carers looking after their loved ones, which is having an adverse effect on both patients and their relatives. Things were a little muddled upstairs at the old lady’s house. A packet of cereal poked out from her knicker drawer and a toothbrush could be found tucked in her shoe. Aware of how sensitive the situation was, the lady’s carer suggested a big clean-up. The lady agreed but stiffened as she watched Belinda sort her underwear and socks in piles on her bed. Suddenly, she snapped. “It was insurmountable for her. She couldn’t handle this chaos that wasn’t hers,” Belinda remembers. She began ripping the piles apart, screaming, and throwing balls of underwear at Belinda. In the flurry of aggression and flying underwear, Belin
Mothers receive improved maternity services from midwives

Mothers receive improved maternity services from midwives

Health, News, ReportingWeek2
Photo Credit: Flickr The majority of mothers have had appropriate support and advice from midwives, according to the latest report by Care Quality Common, the regulator of all health and social care services in England. A growing number of females are satisfied with antenatal and postnatal services that they have received from midwives. Compared to the previous year, an increasing number of mothers confirmed they have been receiving care from the same midwife throughout all the stages of their pregnancies. Last year, London had 127,399 new-born babies and about 48,412 households had their first births, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Sarah Walker, a housewife from Harrow, is one of the mothers who had her first baby in 2014. “During my pregnancy, I was
“British doctors shouldn’t rush to help in an international crisis,” questions raised over the BMJ’s Christmas campaign

“British doctors shouldn’t rush to help in an international crisis,” questions raised over the BMJ’s Christmas campaign

Health, ReportingWeek2
Young doctors have raised concerns over the British Medical Journal's support for the charity Doctors of the World (DOTW). Readers of the BMJ are skeptical about this year's Christmas charity campaign. The journal announced this week that it will be supporting Doctors of the World, an organisation which takes doctors from the UK to temporarily help in the event of international disasters. Speaking to Westminster World, Dr Jessica Ryder, a doctor of emergency medicine, explained that it is rarely helpful when doctors travel help other nations in the wake of international devastation, unless they have been explicitly asked to do so. "Going with a charity is widely encouraged within the medical profession. But going alone, without insurance is a big worry." She added that she backs the