- Eleven month-old Charlie Gard who was at the center of high-profile court battle has died just days before his first birthday. Charlie, born on August 4, 2016, inherited the faulty RRM2B gene that affects the cells responsible for energy production and respiration, leaving him unable to move or breathe unaided.
- The Government has announced that the mental health workforce is to gain 21,000 new posts treating an extra million patients a year to help deliver Theresa May’s promised “revolution” in the sector. A campaign will also be launched encouraging more trainee doctors to specialise in mental health.
- Any plans to introduce a test for Down’s syndrome within NHS maternity services in Wales need to be “carefully considered”, a charity has said. Non-invasive prenatal testing is considered a safer, more accurate test for Down’s syndrome, which reduces the risk of miscarriage. It will be rolled out in England from two thousand eighteen following a recommendation by the UK National Screening Committee.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 31st of July 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health New
Charlie Gard, the baby at the centre of a high-profile court battle, has died. The infant passed away in a hospice just days before his first birthday under the terms of an end-of-life plan agreed by a High Court judge. The news was confirmed on Friday evening and Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, said simply: “Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you, Charlie.”
An end-of-life plan for baby Charlie, who had a rare genetic disease, was approved on Thursday by High Court judge Nicholas Francis. He said the eleven-month-old would be kept at Great Ormond Street Hospital on life support, before being moved to the hospice where the artificial ventilator would be switched off and Charlie would “inevitably” die. Father Chris Gard and Miss Yates this week ended their five-month legal fight to take their son to the US for experimental treatment after new tests showed he had suffered irreversible muscular damage. Charlie, born on August four two thousand sixteen, inherited the faulty RRM2B gene that affects the cells responsible for energy production and respiration, leaving him unable to move or breathe unaided.
The parents, a couple in their thirties from Bedfont in west London, wanted to give him experimental, unproven nucleoside therapy, provided by American neuroscientist Michio Hirano.
Throughout the long court process, which saw an appeal rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, doctors at Great Ormond Street maintained the treatment had little chance of success and it was kinder for life support to be switched off.
The case caused an international furore, with both Donald Trump and Pope Francis offering to help the sick baby and American lawmakers making efforts to grant him permanent residency in the US so he could fly there for treatment.
Prime Minister Theresa May said she was “deeply saddened” and that her “thoughts and prayers are with Charlie’s parents”. Pope Francis said: “I entrust little Charlie to the Father and pray for his parents and all those who loved him.”
The mental health workforce is to gain twenty one thousand new posts treating an extra million patients a year to help deliver Theresa May’s promised “revolution” in the sector, the Government has announced. Jeremy Hunt today reveals his plan to redress the “historic imbalance” between physical and mental health by two thousand twenty one, which has seen rising numbers of patients being treated miles from home. The health secretary is promising round-the-clock, integrated psychiatric services for the first time, including an additional four thousand six hundred specially trained nurses working in crisis centres. Around two thousand new staff, made up of nurses, consultants and therapists, will be dedicated to child and adolescent mental health, while nearly three thousand posts are to be created for adult talking treatments, such as cognitive behavioural therapy for people with depression. Health leaders last night welcomed the plan, but said it will only work if methods are found to limit the high weakening rate of staff working in mental health. The Government will attempt to lure back some of the four thousand psychiatrists and thirty thousand trained mental health nurses no longer practising the discipline in the NHS, as well as encouraging more GPs to undergo psychiatric training.
A campaign will also be launched encouraging more trainee doctors to specialise in mental health. “We want people with mental health conditions to receive better treatment, and part of that means having the right NHS staff,” said Mister Hunt.
Any plans to introduce a test for Down’s syndrome within NHS maternity services in Wales need to be “carefully considered”, a charity has said. Public Health Wales has confirmed a project has been set up to “scope” non-invasive prenatal testing or NIPT.
The Down’s Syndrome Association in Wales stressed that, although the elective test could better inform pregnant women, it is not diagnostic. The Welsh Government said it would make an announcement “in due course”. NIPT is considered a safer, more accurate test for Down’s syndrome, which reduces the risk of miscarriage. It will be rolled out in England from two thousand eighteen following a recommendation by the UK National Screening Committee.
Calls have previously been made for the NHS in Wales to fund the test. Julian Hallett, from the Down’s Syndrome Association in Wales, said that, in order for women to obtain a confirmed prenatal diagnosis, they would still need to undergo an invasive procedure.
He said there should be no rush to implement NIPT in Wales until NHS staff were ready to support women and explain the new choices for screening. “The fact England are going ahead and Wales hasn’t as yet, I don’t see as problematic,” he said. “In some ways, I think if Wales looked to see how it’s implemented in England, we can then reflect on what has been learnt.
Mister Hallett also stressed the importance of health professionals, such as midwives and screening coordinators, being properly trained about the genetic condition.