The Health News United Kingdom November 25 2017

  • According to a large review of studies featured in the British Medical Journal, moderate coffee drinking is safe, and 3 to 4 cups a day may have some health benefits. It found a lower risk of liver disease and some cancers in coffee drinkers, and a lower risk of dying from stroke – but researchers could not prove coffee was the cause.
  • Not all robots will take over human jobs. A prototype has been unveiled, a care robot called Stevie could take on some of the more tiresome work of looking after elderly and disabled people and those with conditions such as dementia. This would leave human carers free to focus on the more personal parts of the job.
  • The NHS could still get the £350 million a week funding boost promised on the Brexit bus, the Chancellor’s aide has claimed – amid warnings that the latest cash boost will be spent in one day. Health officials will meet next week to discuss rationing measures, after expressing disappointment at the funds awarded in Wednesday’s budget.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42081278

According to a large review of studies featured in the British Medical Journal, moderate coffee drinking is safe, and three to four cups a day may have some health benefits. It found a lower risk of liver disease and some cancers in coffee drinkers, and a lower risk of dying from stroke – but researchers could not prove coffee was the cause. But the review confirmed that too much coffee during pregnancy could be harmful. Experts said people should not start drinking coffee for health reasons. The University of Southampton researchers collected data on the impact of coffee on all aspects of the human body, taking into account more than two  studies – most of which were observational.

Compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drank about three cups of coffee a day appeared to reduce their risk of getting heart problems or dying from them. The strongest benefits of coffee consumption were seen in reduced risks of liver disease, including cancer.
But Professor Paul Roderick, co-author of the study, from the faculty of medicine at University of Southampton, said the review could not say if coffee intake had made the difference.
….
The NHS recommends pregnant women have no more than two hundred milligrams of caffeine a day – two mugs of instant coffee – because too much can increase the risk of miscarriage.
This review suggests women at risk of fractures should also cut back on coffee.For other adults, moderate caffeine intake equates to four hundred milligrams or less per day – or three to four cups of coffee – but that isn’t the only drink (or food) to bear in mind.

The researchers say coffee drinkers should stick to “healthy coffees” – which avoid extra sugar, milk or cream, or a fatty snack on the side. And they are calling for rigorous clinical trials on coffee intake to find out more about the potential benefits to health.
At present, the researchers said pinning down exactly how coffee might have a positive impact on health was “difficult” but it could be down to the effects of anti-oxidants and anti-fibrotics, which prevent or slow damage to cells in the body.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/the-robot-that-could-revolutionise-home-care-for-elderly-people-stevie-us-a8068931.html

Not all robots will take over human jobs. A  prototype has been unveiled, a care robot that could take on some of the more tiresome work of looking after elderly and disabled people and those with conditions such as dementia. This would leave human carers free to focus on the more personal parts of the job. The robot could also do things humans don’t have time to do now, like keeping a constant check on whether someone is safe and well, while allowing them to keep their privacy.

The robot named Stevie, is designed to look a bit (but not too much) like a human, with arms and a head but also wheels. This is because we need it to exist alongside people and perform tasks that may otherwise be done by a human. Giving the robot these features help people realise that they can speak to it and perhaps ask it to do things for them.
Stevie can perform some of its jobs autonomously, for example reminding users to take medication. Other tasks are designed to involve human interaction. For example, if a room sensor detects a user may have fallen over, a human operator can take control of the robot, use it to investigate the event and contact the emergency services if necessary.
Stevie can also help users stay socially connected. For example, the screens in the head can facilitate a Skype call, eliminating the challenges many users face using telephones. Stevie can also regulate room temperatures and light levels, tasks that help to keep the occupant comfortable and reduce possible fall hazards.
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Stevie would provide benefits to carers as well as elderly or disabled users. The job of a professional care assistant is incredibly demanding, often involving long, unsocial hours in workplaces that are frequently understaffed. As a result, the industry suffers from extremely low job satisfaction. In the US, more than thirty five per cent of care assistants leave their jobs every year. By taking on some of the more routine, mundane work, robots could free carers to spend more time engaging with residents.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/23/brexit-nhs-pledge-could-still-met-claims-hammond-aide-experts/

The NHS could still get the three hundred fifty million pounds a week funding boost promised on the Brexit bus, the Chancellor’s aide has claimed – amid warnings that the latest cash boost will be spent in one day. Health officials will meet next week to discuss rationing measures, after expressing disappointment at the funds awarded in Wednesday’s budget. The health service will receive an immediate cash boost of three hundred fifty million pounds to tide it through the winter, as part of a two point eight billion pound boost to revenue funding over three years. NHS chiefs say the funding is not enough, and compares poorly to the pledge of an extra three hundred fifty million pounds a week made by the Vote Leave campaign.

But think tanks suggested the immediate cash injection, aimed at averting an NHS crisis this winter, may do little to help it withstand growing pressures. Professor John Appleby from the Nuffield Trust told a BMJ debate:” three hundred fifty million pounds sounds like a lot, but is a day’s running costs for the NHS.” On Thursday a report by the European Commission said hospitals in the UK are working at “near-full capacity” with the second highest levels of bed occupancy in Europe, with only Ireland having higher levels of crowding. The study also shows Britain has the third lowest number of beds and doctors in the EU, compared with its population. The analysis of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data also warned of a sharp drop in nursing levels, and said average length of stay is now a full day shorter than the European Union average.

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