The Health News United Kingdom February 1 2018

  • A group of campaigners, including Professor Stephen Hawking, has been given permission to challenge a government health policy in the High Court. They will pursue a judicial review against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England over plans to create accountable care organisations. These are to act as partnership bodies incorporating hospitals, community services and councils. Campaigners say it risks privatisation, but this is denied by ministers.
  • Experts have warned that there is a “direct correlation” between a lack of physical activity by young British girls and them having poorer mental health and lower aspirations than their male counterparts. According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, boys aged between 8 and 15 spend almost twice as much time doing sport activities as girls of the same age. They also revealed that girls spend an average of 25 minutes a day on sports activities, compared with 40 minutes for boys.
  • A leading medical body has warned that emergency departments here are “fighting to keep their heads above water”, after a massive rise in the number of patients waiting over 12 hours in December. Figures released by the Department of Health reveal that 2,372 (3.6%) patients waited more than 12 hours in local A&E departments in December 2017. This represents a staggering 167% percent rise on December 2016, when 880 patients endured the marathon delay.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42871081

A group of campaigners, including Professor Stephen Hawking, has been given permission to challenge a government health policy in the High Court. They will pursue a judicial review against Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England over plans to create accountable care organisations. These are to act as partnership bodies incorporating hospitals, community services and councils. Campaigners say it risks privatisation, but this is denied by ministers.

 

NHS England wants hospitals and other trusts to work closely with GPs and social care services to look after more patients in their communities rather than in hospital. In some areas, these groups are developing into ACOs, which will hold contracts to provide services. Critics argue that this could pave the way for privatisation of parts of the NHS and that Parliament has not legislated to allow the process to happen. The group bringing the case to court says an act of Parliament would be needed for the changes.
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Legal costs will not be capped if the case is lost, and the claimants are said to be considering their next steps. The Department of Health and Social Care said the claims would be resisted and it was irresponsible scaremongering to say accountable care organisations were supporting privatisation.  A spokesman said: “The NHS will remain a taxpayer-funded system free at the point of use; ACOs are simply about making care more joined-up between different health and care organisations.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/girls-physical-activity-lack-mental-health-aspirations-levels-boys-women-comparison-gender-a8185271.html

Experts have warned that there is a “direct correlation” between a lack of physical activity by young British girls and them having poorer mental health and lower aspirations than their male counterparts. According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics, boys aged between eight and fifteen spend almost twice as much time doing sport activities as girls of the same age. They also revealed that girls spend an average of twenty five minutes a day on sports activities, compared with forty minutes for boys.

Girls were also less likely to participate in sports activities than boys, with a daily participation rate of twenty six percent, compared with thirty nine percent for eight-fifteen-year-old males. This was despite the fact that girls who participated in sports got the same level of enjoyment from it as boys. The Youth Sport Trust (or YST), a charitable trust that aims to support the development of young people through physical education, has warned that the discrepancy is detrimental to girls’ development.
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Research last year showed women held just twelve percent of full-time jobs paying one hundred fifty thousand pounds or more. A separate study revealed that almost one in four teenage girls suffer from depression, compared with just nine percent of boys the same age.
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A Department for Education Spokesperson said: “We want to encourage all young people to get into the healthy habit of playing and enjoying sport – both inside and outside school.”

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/ae-staff-struggling-to-keep-heads-above-water-as-waiting-times-soar-36531895.html

A leading medical body has warned that emergency departments here are “fighting to keep their heads above water”, after a massive rise in the number of patients waiting over twelve hours in December. Figures released by the Department of Health reveal that two thousand three hundred seventy two (three point six percent) patients waited more than twelve hours in local Accident and Emergency departments in December two thousand seventeen.

This represents a staggering one hundred sixty seven percent rise on December two thousand sixteen, when eight hundred eighty patients endured the marathon delay. Antrim Area Hospital had the highest number of patients who endured a twelve-hour wait (six hundred fifty two), while only the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children’s emergency department hit the target of having no patients waiting up to twelve hours last December.

And just sixty seven point seven percent of patients across all emergency departments were treated and discharged or admitted within four hours – falling considerably short of the ninety five percent target. There were sixty five thousand two hundred four attendances at emergency departments in Northern Ireland in December – an increase of five percent (three thousand one hundred eleven) on December two thousand sixteen. Of these, twelve thousand eight hundred ninety  were emergency admissions.

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Seasonal flu, respiratory conditions, the norovirus and staff sickness contributed to the increases in waiting times. A spokesperson added: “The long-term answer to the pressures we are facing in emergency departments, and throughout primary, secondary and community care, will only come through continued reform of services.”

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