The Health News United Kingdom February 24 2018

  • Mental health trusts have been left with less funding in real terms than they had in 2012 as experts warn patients with mental illness are “bearing the brunt” of government cuts to the sector. New analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists shows that while the Government states mental health spending is at “record” levels, the income of mental health trusts in England is lower than it was 6 years ago once inflation is taken into account.
  • The NHS in England has nearly one hundred thousand jobs unfilled, a situation described as “dangerously” understaffed. The total represents 1 in 12 of all the posts in the health service and would be enough to staff ten large hospitals. It includes 35,000 nurse posts and nearly ten thousand doctor vacancies. The figures have been revealed in a finance report, showing NHS services are heading for a £931m deficit this year, twice what was planned.
  • The Government is hoping to reduce the obesity epidemic in the UK and raise additional revenue with its sugar tax. Although it is known as a sugar tax, it only affects manufacturers and importers of drinks that are very high in added sugar. The Soft Drinks Industry Levy will come into force in just a few weeks’ time. The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) was nicknamed the “sugar tax” when it was announced at the 2016 Budget. But the Government claims that it isn’t a tax on all sugar. It only targets the producers and importers of sugary soft drinks. This is an incentive to remove added sugar, promote diet drinks, and reduce portion sizes for high-sugar beverages.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 24th of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/mental-health-trusts-uk-funding-government-cuts-royal-college-psychiatrists-a8219486.html

Mental health trusts have been left with less funding in real terms than they had in two thousand twelve as experts warn patients with mental illness are “bearing the brunt” of government cuts to the sector. New analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists shows that while the Government states mental health spending is at “record” levels, the income of mental health trusts in England is lower than it was six years ago once inflation is taken into account.

NHS England has disputed claims, saying they “ignore the fundamental fact” that some trusts provide services unrelated to mental health, and that responsibility for funding many of the services provided by the trusts has transferred from the NHS to local government. But RCPsych said mental health trusts were central to treatment of mental illness in England, with almost ninety percent of all psychiatrists in the country working in trusts.

The analysis of figures, based on annual reports and accounts for mental health trusts and the latest set of GDP deflators from the HM Treasury, shows more than half (sixty two percent) of trusts reported lower income at the end of two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen than the amount for two thousand eleven and two thousand twelve. Only one saw an income rise in all five financial years, while nine trusts saw their income fall in all five years.

The total amount of income that mental health trusts in England received in two thousand sixteen and two thousand seventeen was eleven point eight hundred twenty nine billion pounds. While the figure has risen overall in each of the past two years, it remains one hundred five million pounds lower than in two thousand eleven and two thousand twelve at today’s prices. The picture across the UK was similar, with mental health spending in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all lower now than it was in recent years.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43143325

The NHS in England has nearly one hundred thousand jobs unfilled, a situation described as “dangerously” understaffed. The total represents one in twelve of all the posts in the health service and would be enough to staff ten large hospitals. It includes thirty five thousand nurse posts and nearly ten thousand doctor vacancies.

The figures have been revealed in a finance report, showing NHS services are heading for a nine hundred thirty one million pound deficit this year, twice what was planned. The overspend by hospitals, mental health trusts and ambulance services has been partly blamed on the need to cover the vacancies with overtime and temporary staff. The accounts to the end of December also show higher than expected spending on paying the private sector to see NHS patients in an attempt to relieve the pressure on hard-pressed Accident and Emergency units.

Despite the overspend, the forecast is still some way short of the record two point forty five billion pounds deficit accrued in two thousand fifteen and two thousand sixteen.
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Royal College of Nursing general secretary Janet Davies added: “All the evidence shows that standards of patient care rise and fall as nurse numbers do.
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A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “We are supporting staff to improve work/life balance by working more flexibly and have announced the biggest ever expansion of training places for both doctors and nurses.”

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/health/how-new-tax-sugary-drinks-1232267

The Government is hoping to reduce the obesity epidemic in the UK and raise additional revenue with its sugar tax. Although it is known as a sugar tax, it only affects manufacturers and importers of drinks that are very high in added sugar. The Soft Drinks Industry Levy will come into force in just a few weeks’ time.

It is a reaction to research showing that soft drinks that are very high in sugar contribute to childhood and adult obesity. With this in mind, the Government announced that it would introduce a levy to encourage manufacturers of sugary drinks to reduce levels of added sugar in their products. That was two years ago and the levy is now ready to come into force as it is scheduled for introduction in April two thousand eighteen.
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The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) was nicknamed the “sugar tax” when it was announced at the two thousand sixteen Budget. But the Government claims that it isn’t a tax on all sugar. It only targets the producers and importers of sugary soft drinks. It is an incentive to remove added sugar, promote diet drinks, and reduce portion sizes for high-sugar beverages.

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The levy will make soft drinks companies pay a charge for drinks with added sugar, and total sugar content of five grams or more per one hundred millilitres. That is about five percent sugar content. There is a higher charge for the drinks that contain eight grams or more per one hundred millilitres, or about eight percent sugar content. This means that pure fruit juices won’t be taxed, because they don’t contain added sugar. Neither will drinks that have a high milk content, because they contain calcium and other nutrients that are vital for a healthy diet.
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The UK has one of the highest obesity rates among developed countries, and it’s getting worse. By two thousand fifty, over thirty five percent of boys and twenty percent of girls aged six to ten are expected to be obese. The estimated obesity-related costs to the NHS is over six billion pounds.

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