The Health News United Kingdom November 7 2017

  • A study has found that two thirds of UK smokers have tried to quit in the 12 twelve months. Researchers who carried out a detailed study found around 5 million adults have attempted to stop smoking in the last year, but 1 in 5 didn’t even last a month. Of those attempting to quit, the cold turkey approach was deemed the most popular method by one in three survey respondents. A further two in five have found alternatives to distract themselves and one in five roped a fellow smoker in to help them quit together.
  • Leading charities have urged the Government to urgently address the “crisis” facing mental health services in the forthcoming Budget. In a letter shared exclusively with The Independent, mental health bodies issued an unprecedented warning to ministers that if budgets are not increased and protected, the majority of mental health sufferers will remain “locked out” of vital services.
  • A report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists states that 1 in 10 consultant psychiatrist roles is currently unfilled in NHS organisations in England.  It says the number of unfilled posts has doubled in the past four years. Wales is also struggling to fill posts, with vacancies of 9% , while Scotland and Northern Ireland have vacancy rates of 6% and 2% respectively.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 7th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/five-million-uk-smokers-tried-11462443

A study has found that two thirds of UK smokers have tried to quit in the last twelve months. Researchers who carried out a detailed study found around five million adults have attempted to stop smoking in the last year, but one in five didn’t even last a month. And half of those who tried blamed a lack of willpower for their failure to kick nicotine. Despite not being able to pack them in for good, one third of users said they were able to cut back by more than 75 per cent while one quarter halved their intake by using alternatives. The study by V two Cigs UK also found six per cent of those quizzed defended their habit by claiming they were merely ‘social smokers’.

Of those attempting to quit, the cold turkey approach was deemed the most popular method by one in three survey respondents. A further two in five have found alternatives to distract themselves and one in five roped a fellow smoker in to help them quit together. Over two thirds blamed their lack of ability to quit on a lack of sleep. The most common reason, sixty one per cent for quitting among survey respondents was to be healthier, followed by thirteen per cent who wanted to save money . A startling five per cent only quit because they contracted a smoking-related illness. Paul Hunt, Managing Director of V two  Cigs UK, said: “It’s good to see that so many people have decided to give vaping a go.
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One fifth of Brits who took part in the study by www.buyvtwocigs.co.uk say they’ve tried picking up a vape pen in a bid to dampen the death-sticks – and the number is quickly catching up on the quarter who smoke traditional cigarettes.According to Action on Smoking and Health, the number of people vaping has quadrupled in the last five years.
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Healthy habits seem to be becoming a popular distraction, with fifty nine percent of those polled taking up jogging, dieting or meditation to curb their cravings, while fifty three percent can be found in the gym.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/leading-mental-health-bodies-warn-government-the-crisis-is-here-a8035776.html

Leading charities have urged the Government to urgently address the “crisis” facing mental health services in the forthcoming Budget. In a letter shared exclusively with The Independent, mental health bodies issued an unprecedented warning to ministers that if budgets are not increased and protected, the majority of mental health sufferers will remain “locked out” of vital services. Almost a year on from Theresa May’s pledge to improve mental health support and ensure it has parity with physical health services, the letter accuses her of setting out “unambitious” targets, urging that services “cannot go on” with the current levels of funding.

The twelve signatories – which include the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the Mental Health Foundation and Young Minds – urge that the Autumn Budget at the end of November marks a “critical moment” for ministers to show that they are serious about mental health, by ring-fencing vital budgets. Opposition politicians have backed the appeal, accusing the Government of “recklessly” allowing mental health budgets to be raided in order to plug holes in other underfunded areas of the NHS and urging that ring-fencing the mental health budget would help reverse this. The Government has said repeatedly that it is investing one billion pounds extra in mental health services per year, but the charities and politicians urge that this falls short of what is needed and is often failing to reach the frontline.
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Highlighting the decline in child mental health services, a major review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last week revealed vulnerable children were facing “agonising waits” for treatment, often causing their mental health to deteriorate further. The findings showed that even when children do access treatment, the services were not always adequate to respond to their needs, with more than a third (thirty nine per cent) of specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) across the UK currently requiring improvement.
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Responding to the letter, a Department of Health spokesperson said: “We are investing more in mental health than ever before – with spending at a record eleven point six billion pounds this year.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41860343

A report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists states that one in ten consultant psychiatrist roles is currently unfilled in NHS organisations in England.  It says the number of unfilled posts has doubled in the past four years. Wales is also struggling to fill posts, with vacancies of nine percent , while Scotland and Northern Ireland have vacancy rates of six percent and two percent respectively. The college called the vacancies “frankly alarming” and said they increased waiting times for patients. Professor Wendy Burn, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the current situation meant patients might be waiting months to see a psychiatrist, during which time they could be getting worse. She said it was “a scandal” because if you had cancer you would expect to see a cancer specialist.
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Professor Burn said the rise in vacancies was down to the difficulty in recruiting psychiatrists.
At the same time, more posts were being created for consultant psychiatrists as mental illness moved up the health agenda, but there were no specialists to fill them, she said.
She said medical schools need to broaden their pool of applicants in order to get more psychiatrists into the workplace. It takes thirteen years to train as a consultant psychiatrist.
The report found the situation was worst for psychiatrists in England who specialise in treating children or older people. In both specialities, the vacancy rates doubled from roughly six percent in two thousand thirteen to twelve percent in two thousand seventeen.

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