The Health News Untied Kingdom December 11 2017

  • According to new polls, rising numbers of people are being forced to take time off work to see a GP, despite Government pledges to offer appointments 8am to 8pm. Ministers have promised to improve access to family doctors, with a target for all patients to be able to see GPs at evenings and weekends by 2019. The survey of more than 1,000 people found 50% said they had been forced to take time off work to take their children to the doctor – a rise from 41% when polls were done the year before.
  • New data shows young women and black people are significantly more likely to be restrained on mental health wards compared to other patients.  According to the first comprehensive data on the use of restraint in NHS England wards, black people were three times more likely to be restrained than white people. The Guardian reports that girls and young women under the age of 20 were most likely to be restrained – each being restrained an average of 30 times per year.
  • One of the UK’s largest teaching unions is calling for schools to ban energy drinks from their premises. The NASUWT is warning about caffeine levels in the drinks, describing them as “readily available legal highs” which can contribute to poor behaviour. It follows a report by academics, seen by 5 live investigates, calling on the government to consider making the sale of the drinks illegal to under-16s.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 11th of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/10/rising-numbers-forced-take-time-work-see-gp-poll-finds/

According to new polls, rising numbers of people are being forced to take time off work to see a general practitioner, despite Government pledges to offer appointments eight am to eight pm.
Ministers have promised to improve access to family doctors, with a target for all patients to be able to see GPs at evenings and weekends by two thousand nineteen. But the survey suggests the situation is deteriorating, amid a drop in the number of family doctors.

The survey of more than one thousand people found fifty percent said they had been forced to take time off work to take their children to the doctor – a rise from forty one percent when polls were done the year before. And forty two percent said they had lost work hours in order to make appointments for themselves – a rise from thirty four percent in a year. Rising numbers of patients said they were not offered an appointment outside working hours – with thirty seven per cent stating this, while almost as many said they had to wait at least two weeks to see a GP.
The poll found ten percent of those polled said they would be prepared to pay to see a doctor.
….
The Government has pledged to recruit five thousand more GPs by two thousand twenty, to cope with growing shortages, but in the last year, numbers have fallen by almost one thousand two hundred.
….
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We want the public to be able to access GP appointments at a time that suits them – that’s why we’re committed to ensuring that by March two thousand nineteen everyone will be able to access routine GP appointments at evenings and weekends, backed by additional funding rising to over five hundred million pounds by two thousand twenty and two thousand twenty one. Through the GP Access Fund, seventeen million patients have already benefited from being able to access evening and weekend GP appointments.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/young-women-and-black-people-more-likely-to-be-restrained-on-mental-health-wards-figures-show-a3715116.html

New data shows young women and black people are significantly more likely to be restrained on mental health wards compared to other patients.  According to the first comprehensive data on the use of restraint in NHS England wards, black people were three times more likely to be restrained than white people.  The Guardian reports that girls and young women under the age of twenty were most likely to be restrained – each being restrained an average of thirty times per year.

The figures, published by the NHS Digital statistic agency, showed eighty thousand uses of restraint between two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen.  Figures also showed ten thousand  patients were held face down or given injections to subdue them.  Brian Dow, director of external affairs at the charity Rethink Mental Illness, said: “It is troubling to see how prevalent the most severe, and dangerous, kinds of restraint are in the mental health system.
….
NHS Digital’s figures were published in the recent annual mental health bulletin detailing treatment in NHS England mental health wards.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42298192

One of the UK’s largest teaching unions is calling for schools to ban energy drinks from their premises. The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) is warning about caffeine levels in the drinks, describing them as “readily available legal highs” which can contribute to poor behaviour. It follows a report by academics, seen by Five live investigates, calling on the government to consider making the sale of the drinks illegal to under-sixteens.

A typical energy drink contains thirty two milligrams of caffeine per one hundred milliliters and cans carry warnings saying they are “not recommended for children”. A single five hundred milliliters can contains one hundred sixty milligrams of caffeine, equivalent to around two shots of espresso coffee.

The researchers highlight European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance which recommends an intake of no more than one hundred five milligrams of caffeine per day for an average eleven-year-old. They also point out that young people in the UK are among the highest consumers of energy drinks in Europe. Figures from the British Soft Drinks Association show sales of energy drinks increased by one hundred eighty five percent between two thousand six and two thousand fifteen, equating to six hundred seventy two million litres consumed in two thousand fifteen, and a total market value of over two billion pounds.

In a statement, the British Soft Drinks Association, which represents manufacturers, said: “Energy drinks and their ingredients have been deemed safe by regulatory authorities around the world.”

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