The Health News United Kingdom March 22 2018

  • Five new medical schools are to be created in England as part of the government’s expansion of training places. The schools will open in Sunderland, Lancashire, Lincoln, Canterbury and Chelmsford over the next three years. Places at existing schools are also being increased as part of the government’s commitment to increase student places by 25%. It will mean by 2020 there will be 1,500 more students each year.
  • An investigation has found that patients inundated one of London’s busiest A&Es over winter because it offered “instant access” to healthcare not available from GPs. Almost 75 percent of patients turned up at A&E without trying to arrange a GP appointment. They said the hospital offered a “convenient way to see a healthcare professional, even if it meant waiting”. More than a third were aware of options such as GP out-of-hours hubs, pharmacies or the NHS 111 advice line.
  • Public Health England has found that death rates in people with epilepsy have risen by 70% between 2001 and 2014. This is compared to a 6% drop in deaths overall over that period. In a report published in January, PHE said that people with epilepsy living in more deprived areas may be at a three times higher risk of death than people in wealthier areas. The life expectancy for people with epilepsy was also found to be 8 years less than the average.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 22nd of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43463358

Five new medical schools are to be created in England as part of the government’s expansion of training places. The schools will open in Sunderland, Lancashire, Lincoln, Canterbury and Chelmsford over the next three years. Places at existing schools are also being increased as part of the government’s commitment to increase student places by twenty five percent.

It will mean by two thousand twenty there will be one thousand five hundred more students each year.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the new schools were being targeted at parts of the country where it “can be hard to recruit and attract new doctors”. Overall ninety percent of the new places will be outside London.

The expansion was announced two years ago in response to the growing pressures on the frontline, and the ageing population. But ministers are now setting out the detail of how the increase is being phased in.

Some six hundred thirty of the one thousand five hundred new places will start this September, with the rest to follow in two thousand nineteen and two hundred twenty. Of the new schools, only the Anglia Ruskin University site in Chelmsford will start taking students this year. The British Medical Association welcomed the move, but pointed out it would still be another five or six years before the extra doctors were working in the NHS.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/75-of-patients-turned-up-at-ae-before-trying-gp-because-it-was-convenient-a3794591.html

An investigation has found that patients inundated one of London’s busiest Accident and Emergency departments over winter because it offered “instant access” to healthcare not available from general practitioners. North Middlesex hospital, in Edmonton, saw about five hundred patients a day and ran out of general and acute beds on its wards on numerous occasions.

The crisis became so pressing that on one occasion finance director Dave Stacey donated a pair of shoes to a patient to help him get home, enabling the bed to be given to another patient. An investigation by Healthwatch Enfield found that despite the hospital falling below the four-hour A and E target thousands chose it over alternatives, even though most did not have life-threatening or emergency conditions.

 

Almost seventy five percent of patients turned up at A and E without trying to arrange a GP appointment. They said the hospital offered a “convenient way to see a healthcare professional, even if it meant waiting”. More than a third were aware of options such as GP out-of-hours hubs, pharmacies or the NHS one one one advice line.

Researchers spent a week in the A and E in January and spoke to six hundred thirty patients. The largest proportion, more than fifteen percent, had arrived with a cold, flu or fever. Fewer than one in eight were sick enough to require admission. One in five patients said they had contacted their GP to be told that no appointment was available. Many said they did not try after previous failures to get an appointment or an expected long wait. Others said they would use alternative “walk in” services if they were nearer home and offered scans and blood tests.

https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/news/news/public-health-england-report-highlights-increasing-rate-deaths-people-epilepsy-68213

Public Health England has found that death rates in people with epilepsy have risen by seventy percent between two thousand one and two thousand fourteen. This is compared to a six percent drop in deaths overall over that period.

In a report published in January, PHE said that people with epilepsy living in more deprived areas may be at a three times higher risk of death than people in wealthier areas. The life expectancy for people with epilepsy was also found to be eight years less than the average.
….
Epilepsy Action’s chief executive Philip Lee said: “The health inequalities faced by people with epilepsy must be addressed immediately. Health services for people with epilepsy must be improved now. With the right care and support, twenty percent  more people with epilepsy could be seizure free. Better seizure control would improve people’s lives and could ultimately reduce the likelihood of death associated with the condition. The government and commissioners must act now and give epilepsy the attention it deserves.”
….
Epilepsy Action offers advice on minimising risks of injury and death for people with epilepsy. These include taking medicines exactly as prescribed, and making sure not to run out. People should speak to their epilepsy specialist or nurse about what to do if they forget to take their medicines. Epilepsy Action also advises that people ask to be referred to an epilepsy specialist for a review at least once a year. The charity says people should speak to their doctor if they have any concerns about their epilepsy.

People are also advised to manage risks if they have active seizures. This includes being aware of risky situations, such as being at heights, in traffic, in water or near sources of heat and power. The charity explains that the risks are different depending on how a person’s seizures affect them. But steps can be taken to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. These include things like having showers instead of baths, or using a microwave rather than a gas or electric cooker when alone.

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