The Health News United Kingdom April 5 2018

  • “One-stop shops” aimed at speeding up cancer diagnosis are being introduced across England. The aim is to catch the disease earlier and prevent patients from being referred for several tests for different forms of the illness. Patients often face delays when they have non-specific symptoms. NHS England says this is a “step change” in the way people with suspected cancer are diagnosed and treated. The rapid diagnosis and then treatment of cancer can be vital in saving lives.
  • A hospital trust has caused outrage after it described using formula milk as “artificially” feeding babies. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust used the term as it announced it would no longer provide formula milk in its maternity wards to mothers who had chosen not to breastfeed. A spokeswoman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust told the BBC its decision not to routinely provide formula milk to mothers who chose not to breastfeed was part of its commitment to promote breastfeeding.
  • Thousands of ambulances are being prevented from responding to life-threatening nine nine nine calls every day because they are tied up at A&E units, in a significant continuing breach of NHS patient safety rules. The Guardian can reveal that almost 600,000 ambulances faced delays of more than 15 minutes in their crews handing a patient over to hospital A&E staff in the past 3 months – something NHS rules say should never happen. Previously unpublished NHS figures show for the first time that the problem of A&E handover delays is 3 times worse than that portrayed in NHS England’s official statistics.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 5th of April 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43572819

“One-stop shops” aimed at speeding up cancer diagnosis are being introduced across England.
The aim is to catch the disease earlier and prevent patients from being referred for several tests for different forms of the illness. Patients often face delays when they have non-specific symptoms. NHS England says this is a “step change” in the way people with suspected cancer are diagnosed and treated. The rapid diagnosis and then treatment of cancer can be vital in saving lives.

While cancer survival rates have improved dramatically over recent decades, patients who are not displaying very obvious signs of the illness sometimes struggle to access quickly the help they need. Those with more vague symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, reduced appetite or abdominal pain can be referred several times for different tests for different cancers, all wasting valuable opportunities to start treatment. Other symptoms can include fatigue, unexplained sweats or generally feeling unwell. NHS England is now adopting an approach first developed in Denmark – introducing ten specialist rapid diagnostic and assessment centres where patients will receive all the necessary investigations under one roof.
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NHS England has developed the centres in collaboration with the cancer charities Macmillan and Cancer Research UK. Sara Hiom, director of early diagnosis at CRUK, said: “We’re confident that these ten pilot centres will give us a much better understanding of what’s needed to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of people with less obvious symptoms, improve their experience of care and ultimately, survival rates.”

The aim is that every patient is either diagnosed or given the all-clear within twenty eight days.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/30/hospital-trust-fire-describing-use-milk-formula-artificial-feeding/

A hospital trust has caused outrage after it described using formula milk as “artificially” feeding babies. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust used the term as it announced it would no longer provide formula milk in its maternity wards to mothers who had chosen not to breastfeed.

One of the headings in a Q&A fact sheet read: “What do I need to bring with me if I wish to artificially feed my baby?”.  It said that from May one, mothers who had decided not to breastfeed should bring a first milk starter pack to hospital for when they gave birth. If there was a medical reason for giving formula milk, “this will be discussed with you and given if necessary”. The information sheet was shared on Twitter by Kathryn Booth, who said the description made her feel “sad, angry, guilty”.

She wrote:  “Artificial can mean fake /not genuine and bad. I just think it’s the wrong choice of words.” Another mother, Alis Roberts, replied saying the wording had made her “sick to the stomach”.
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A spokeswoman for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust told the BBC its decision not to routinely provide formula milk to mothers who chose not to breastfeed was part of its commitment to promote breastfeeding.
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Research has found that breastfed babies have fewer health problems, such as chest infections, and are less likely to develop health problems such as diabetes, or become obese as they get older. Britain has one of the worst breastfeeding rates in Europe and currently only one third of children are breastfed at six months, and just one percent only receive breast-milk by this stage.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/02/ambulance-handover-delays-at-ae-putting-999-response-at-risk

Thousands of ambulances are being prevented from responding to life-threatening nine nine nine calls every day because they are tied up at Accident and Emergency units, in a significant continuing breach of NHS patient safety rules. The Guardian can reveal that almost six hundred thousand ambulances faced delays of more than fifteen minutes in their crews handing a patient over to hospital A&E staff in the past three months – something NHS rules say should never happen. Previously unpublished NHS figures show for the first time that the problem of A&E handover delays is three times worse than that portrayed in NHS England’s official statistics.

The latter only record delays of thirty minutes or more, even though any wait of more than fifteen minutes is deemed a potential threat to life by the NHS, because it means ambulances are not available to respond to the most serious medical emergencies, such as those involving victims of strokes, stabbings, heart attacks or breathing problems. Those statistics show ambulance crews in England had to look after one hundred eighty six thousand patients, either in the back of their vehicle or in a hospital corridor, for at least half an hour between late November and early March. However, the data detailing handover waits of at least fifteen minutes – obtained from England’s ten regional NHS ambulance services – show incidents that the health regulators NHS England and NHS Improvement say should not happen occurred five hundred ninety four thousand two hundred seventy nine times during December, January and February.

Ambulance service chiefs warned that lives were at risk because delays were so common. The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives said: “We are concerned that the continued increase in the number of transfer-of-care delays at many NHS hospitals has reached critical levels and is now directly affecting the quality of care received by patients.”

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