The Health News United Kingdom November 6 2017

  • Four directors at an “unsafe” mental health trust received £10k pay rises, despite failing to improve standards. As reported in the EADT, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) boosted pay to £108,000 after it came out of special measures in 2016.
    The Trust, which went back into special measures last month, said the salaries had been “significantly lower” than comparable roles.
  • The Government has said that a “full statutory inquiry” will be held into the contaminated blood scandal which left 2,400 people dead. The Cabinet Office will now lead the inquiry into the events of the 1970s and 1980s when thousands of haemophiliacs and other patients were given blood products infected with hepatitis C and HIV.
  • French and US researchers say that bacteria living in the murky depths of the digestive system seem to influence whether tumours shrink during cancer therapy. They tested the microbiome – the collection of microscopic species that live in us – in cancer patients. Two studies were on patients receiving immunotherapy, which boosts the body’s own defences to fight tumours. It does not work in every patient, but in some cases it can clear even terminal cancer.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 6th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-41864797

Four directors at an “unsafe” mental health trust received ten thousand pounds pay rises, despite failing to improve standards. As reported in the East Anglian Daily Times, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust boosted pay to one hundred eight thousand pounds after it came out of special measures in two thousand sixteen. The Trust, which went back into special measures last month, said the salaries had been “significantly lower” than comparable roles. A campaign group said the pay rise was “completely unjustifiable”.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has rated the trust as inadequate after it found the board had not addressed serious concerns raised in two thousand fourteen.
It also said the board of the NSFT had failed to ensure “unsafe environments were made safe”.
A host of improvements have been called for and a director will be attached to the trust to ensure they are carried out. NSFT is the only mental health trust in England in special measures and only came out in October last year. Jane Sayer, director of nursing, and Leigh Howlett, director of strategy, both of whom received the pay increase, have since resigned from the NSFT board. …..

The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said the “astonishing” pay rises represented “the unacceptable face of NSFT management”.

http://news.sky.com/story/contaminated-blood-scandal-to-have-full-statutory-inquiry-11111294

The Government has said that a “full statutory inquiry” will be held into the contaminated blood scandal which left two thousand four hundred people dead.  It comes after victims and families of those affected raised concerns about the potential involvement of the Department of Health in the probe. The Cabinet Office will now lead the inquiry into the events of the nineteen seventies and nineteen eighties when thousands of haemophiliacs and other patients were given blood products infected with hepatitis C and HIV. Prime Minister Theresa May ordered the inquiry earlier this year, saying she wanted “justice” for the victims and their families.
Downing Street said it had considered the “strong view” that the Department of Health should not be responsible for the probe when it is under investigation itself. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The inquiry will be conducted under the responsibility of the Cabinet Office rather than by the Department of Health with immediate effect.

….
Downing Street said there had been around eight hundred responses to a consultation which asked families and victims if they wanted a judge-led inquiry into the scandal or a Hillsborough-style panel. A further announcement about the probe is expected before the end of the year

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-41848461

French and US researchers say that bacteria living in the murky depths of the digestive system seem to influence whether tumours shrink during cancer therapy. They tested the microbiome – the collection of microscopic species that live in us – in cancer patients. Two studies, in the journal Science, linked specific species and the overall diversity of the microbiome to the effectiveness of immunotherapy drugs. Experts said the results were fascinating and held a lot of promise. Our bodies are home to trillions of microorganisms and the relationship between “us” and “them” goes far beyond infectious diseases. The microbiome is involved in digestion, protection from infection and regulating the immune system.

Both studies were on patients receiving immunotherapy, which boosts the body’s own defences to fight tumours. It does not work in every patient, but in some cases it can clear even terminal cancer. One study, at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus in Paris, looked at two hundred forty nine patients with lung or kidney cancer. They showed those who had taken antibiotics, such as for dental infection, damaged their microbiome and were more likely to see tumours grow while on immunotherapy. One species of bacteria in particular, Akkermansia muciniphila, was in sixty nine percent of patients that did respond compared with just a third of those who did not.

Meanwhile, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one hundred twelve patients with advanced melanoma had their microbiome analysed. Those that responded to therapy tended to have a richer, more diverse microbiome than those that did not.Tissues samples showed there were more cancer-killing immune cells in the tumour of people with the beneficial bacteria.

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