- Britain’s diabetes epidemic is fuelling an all-time high of 160 amputations a week, figures reveal. More than 8,500 procedures are carried out in England each year as a result – the equivalent of 23 each day.
- The UK’s chief medical officers (CMOs) are being urged to protect children from the risks of rugby injuries by removing contact from the school game. Professor Allyson Pollock, from Newcastle University, is presenting new evidence that banning tackling would reduce concussion, head and neck injuries.
- The number of NHS beds has fallen by half in 30 years, and plans for further cutbacks are “unrealistic” and should be stopped, a major study warns. The study shows that hospitals in England have the least beds for their population compared with any other country in the European Union, with just 2.3 per 1,000 people, compared with an EU average of 3.7.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
Figures reveal that Britain’s diabetes epidemic is fuelling an all-time high of one hundred sixty amputations a week. More than eight thousand five hundred procedures are carried out in England each year as a result – the equivalent of twenty three each day. Nine in ten cases of the condition are type two, which is linked to obesity and inactivity. Diabetes UK warned that soaring obesity rates are behind the trend, with two in three adults now overweight or obese.
It also said amputations are often life-threatening, with up to eight out of ten diabetic patients dying within five years of surgery. Yet four out of five amputations are preventable, according to the charity. It revealed more than a third of people remain unaware foot ulcers are a serious complication of the disease and the leading cause of limb loss.
Foot ulcers and amputations burden the taxpayer with one pound in every one hundred forty pounds of NHS spending. Dan Howarth, head of care at the charity, said: ‘Diabetes-related amputations devastate lives. But the quality and availability of services still varies significantly across England.
The amputation figures come from Public Health England and the Cardiovascular Intelligence Network which were analysed by Diabetes UK. They also reveal two hundred forty thousand people with the condition are diagnosed with heart disease or strokes each year. This includes twenty three thousand two hundred who suffer a heart attack, thirty one thousand nine hundred struck down by a stroke and ninety two thousand eight hundred who develop heart failure.
The UK’s chief medical officers are being urged to protect children from the risks of rugby injuries by removing contact from the school game. Professor Allyson Pollock, from Newcastle University, is presenting new evidence that banning tackling would reduce concussion, head and neck injuries. A spokesman for World Rugby said it was unaware of any new evidence that would challenge the current position. Last year, the CMOs rejected a call for a ban on tackling in youth rugby. They said the benefits of learning, training and playing rugby outweighed the risks of injury. Writing in an opinion piece for the BMJ, Professor Pollock and Graham Kirkwood, also from Newcastle University, said that governments had “a duty to protect children from risks of injury and to ensure safety of children” under a United Nations Convention. They referred to a study they published in July in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in which they re-examined the rates and risks of injuries in sport.
Their analysis found that rugby had the highest concussion rates in children – four point eighteen concussions per one thousand athlete exposures – compared to one point two for ice hockey and zero point fifty three for American football. And they cited evidence from Canada that changing the rules could make a difference. When there was a ban on body-checking opposing players in under-thirteen ice hockey, a review found a sixty seven percent reduction in concussion risk.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said schools had the flexibility to offer a diverse PE curriculum which suited the needs of their students. Ministers said staff should also be given the information and training they needed to manage risks effectively. A spokesman for World Rugby said it took player safety very seriously at all levels of the sport
A major study warns that the number of NHS beds has fallen by half in thirty years, and plans for further cutbacks are “unrealistic” and should be stopped. The King’s Fund report warns that NHS proposals to slash bed numbers are “undesirable” and “unachievable” at a time when mounting pressures have left many hospitals “stretched to breaking point”. The study shows that hospitals in England have the least beds for their population compared with any other country in the European Union, with just two point three per one thousand people, compared with an EU average of three point seven. Overall, bed numbers have dropped from two hundred ninety nine thousand to one hundred forty two thousand since nineteen eighty seven, at a time when the population has risen by sixteen per cent, with the number of pensioners up by one third.
Across the country, forty four NHS “sustainability and transformation plans” are being drawn up, which are attempting to modernise services and save money in the face of rising demand. Many of the proposals include swingeing bed cuts, with a loss of five hundred thirty beds in Derbyshire, and four hundred fifty fewer beds in South West London. One analysis suggests half of the plans will mean cuts in acute bed numbers or numbers of A and E departments, the report says. An NHS England spokesman said: “Hospitals have said that they are planning to open up more than three thousand extra beds this winter and, in addition, work is underway to free up to three thousand more by improving the availability of community health and social care.