The Health News United Kingdom December 21 2017

  • Christmas could see blood stocks run dangerously low, with the NHS calling on more people to donate. It is feared there won’t be enough for the health service to make it through the festive period as people around the UK have been put off by plummeting temperatures. NHS bosses are urging people to give blood to save lives, and have revealed that they are particularly short on B negative and O negative blood. Warnings come at a time when the health service is already facing added pressure from the Aussie flu, and people have been told that shovelling snow could trigger a heart attack.
  • A new study suggests that he average time for a patient in England to be diagnosed with cancer is 40 days.  Health officials have set a target for all cancer patients to be diagnosed within 28 days by 2020. The new study found that in 2014 the median number of days from first relevant presentation to the date of diagnosis was 40 days. This ranged from 15 days to 86 days, according to the research published in The British Journal of General Practice.
  • Government officials have apologised for using a discredited report into the contaminated blood products scandal that left thousands of NHS patients infected with viruses including HIV. The BBC can reveal that despite assurances that the “inadequate” document would be ditched, a health minister has referred to it this year. Critics say the whole process has taken far too long and have accused the government of a “whitewash”.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st of December 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/894297/christmas-weather-forecast-uk-nhs

Christmas could see blood stocks run dangerously low, with the NHS calling on more people to donate. It is feared there won’t be enough for the health service to make it through the festive period as people around the UK have been put off by plummeting temperatures. NHS bosses are urging people to give blood to save lives, and have revealed that they are particularly short on B negative and O negative blood. Warnings come at a time when the health service is already facing added pressure from the Aussie flu, and people have been told that shovelling snow could trigger a heart attack.

It is thought that stocks are lower than usual after the cool spell that hit the UK earlier this month prevented people from reaching donor centres. NHS Blood and Transplant, which runs the Liverpool Donor Centre, said there were cancelled appointments due to snow. Jon Latham from NHS Blood and Transplant said: “The recent poor weather has resulted in us having less O negative and B negative blood than is required for patients going into Christmas.” Anyone with these blood types are being encouraged to walk in to a donor centre, while people with other blood types can make an appointment.
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Since red blood cells don’t last more than a matter of weeks, the NHS needs a constant supply of blood given. That equates with six thousand donations every day to meet demand, and there are two hundred thousand new donors needed every year to replace those who no longer can. There are four main blood types – O, A, B and AB – and O is the most common and needed.
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If you are aged between sixty six and seventy you can give blood if you have donated before, and you can also give blood if you are over seventy and have in the last two years. Men can donate every twelve weeks, while women can give blood every sixteen weeks.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/cancer-nhs-diagnosis-40-days-average-public-health-england-ruth-swann-research-study-a8118421.html

A new study suggests that the average time for a patient in England to be diagnosed with cancer is forty days. Health officials have set a target for all cancer patients to be diagnosed within twenty eight days by two thousand twenty. The new study found that in two thousand fourteen the median number of days from first relevant presentation to the date of diagnosis was forty days. This ranged from fifteen days to eighty six days, according to the research published in The British Journal of General Practice. Researchers, led by Ruth Swann, senior analyst for Public Health England’s National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, examined data on more than seventeen thousand patients diagnosed with cancer in  two thousand fourteen.

They found that general practitioners referred these patients on to specialists within five days on average. Patients with breast cancer had the shortest time to diagnosis, waiting on average just fourteen days.

But those with prostate cancer had a median time to diagnosis of fifty five point five days. The authors found that the time from referral to being told the diagnosis of cancer exceeded twenty eight days in fifty four percent of patients. This included nineteen percent of patients with breast cancer having to wait longer than twenty eight days compared with seventy four percent of melanoma patients.
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Delays were most frequently attributed to the patient, primary or secondary care clinician, and system factors. NHS England has set an ambition for all people to be diagnosed with cancer, or that cancer will be excluded, within twenty eight days of them being referred by their GP by two thousand twenty.
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An NHS England spokeswoman said: “In the three years since these two thousand fourteen figures were collected, the NHS has published a national cancer strategy and, thanks to improved NHS care, an extra two thousand people now survive cancer each year.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42410301

Government officials have apologised for using a discredited report into the contaminated blood products scandal that left thousands of NHS patients infected with viruses including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The BBC can reveal that despite assurances that the “inadequate” document would be ditched, a health minister has referred to it this year.  The government admits that the document was used for too long. This week it will announce who will run its official inquiry into the scandal.

Critics say the whole process has taken far too long and have accused the government of a “whitewash”. Campaigners have always said that the two thousand six report – originally billed by the government as an official account of how the scandal unfolded – was misleading and incomplete because original documents had been destroyed. It has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. At least two thousand four hundred people died after they were given blood products that were infected with hepatitis C and HIV during the seventies and eighties. Thousands of NHS patients with an inherited bleeding disorder called haemophilia were given the plasma products, which came from abroad, including the US.
Much of the plasma used to make the clotting treatment Factor eight came from donors like prison inmates in the US, who sold their blood.

In July, the prime minister ordered the Cabinet Office to oversee the independent investigation into how the scandal happened, after family members warned that the involvement of the Department of Health would mean it would be, in effect, investigating itself.

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