The Health News United Kingdom March 14 2018

  • A survey of 1,500 NHS consultant physicians in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has revealed that nearly two-thirds of doctors believe patient safety has deteriorated over the past year and 9 out of 10 have experienced staff shortages. The Royal College of Physicians which carried out the study, said the results exposed a health system “pushed to its limit” in which doctors felt they could not deliver what was asked of them.
  • Researchers say they may have worked out why there is a natural loss of muscle in the legs as people age – and that it is due to a loss of nerves. In tests on 168 men, they found that nerves controlling the legs decreased by around 30% by the age of 75. This made muscles waste away, but in older fitter athletes there was a better chance of them being ‘rescued’ by nerves reconnecting.
  • The elderly will be able to stay in their homes for longer under a multi-million government scheme to develop products and services to help Britain’s ageing population stay independent. A £300 million fund has been set aside to help boost the physical and mental health of older people, as well as providing an extra £40 million for the UK Dementia Research Institute. The government said it wanted to be the best country in the world for dementia care and research by 2020.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 14th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/12/patient-safety-getting-worse-say-two-thirds-of-nhs-doctors

A survey of one thousand five hundred NHS consultant physicians in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has revealed that nearly two-thirds of doctors believe patient safety has deteriorated over the past year and nine out of ten have experienced staff shortages. The Royal College of Physicians which carried out the study, said the results exposed a health system “pushed to its limit” in which doctors felt they could not deliver what was asked of them.
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According to the study, eighty percent of those asked said they were worried about the ability of their service to deliver safe patient care in the next twelve months and eighty four percent believed the workforce was demoralised by the increasing pressures on the NHS. By all but one measure, doctors said conditions were worse than last year. In positive news, there was a reduction in the number of doctors experiencing delays in patients being transferred from their care.
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The RCP proposed relaxing visa restrictions for health workers, making more money available to match growing patient need, including in social care, and more investment in public health initiatives that reduce demand. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, backed the recommendations made in the report. She said: “We have huge empathy with our hospital colleagues, and we know that GPs around the UK would echo their sentiments around increasing workload and concerns for patient safety.”
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According to thinktank the Centre for Health and the Public Interest, private treatment was expected to become a significant source of income for NHS hospital trusts after the two thousand twelve Health and Social Care Act. But nine hospital trusts have lost money, in one case eighteen million pounds over six years, and others have racked up bad debts from non-payment running into millions.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43347409

Researchers say they may have worked out why there is a natural loss of muscle in the legs as people age – and that it is due to a loss of nerves. In tests on one hundred sixty eight men, they found that nerves controlling the legs decreased by around thirty percent by the age of seventy five. This made muscles waste away, but in older fitter athletes there was a better chance of them being ‘rescued’ by nerves reconnecting. The scientists published their research in the Journal of Physiology.

As people get older, their leg muscles become smaller and weaker, leading to problems with everyday movements such as walking up stairs or getting out of a chair. It is something that affects everyone eventually, but why it happens is not fully understood.

Professor Jamie McPhee, from Manchester Metropolitan University, said young adults usually had sixty to seventy thousand nerves controlling movement in the legs from the lumbar spine. But his research showed this changed significantly in old age.
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The research team from Manchester Metropolitan University worked with researchers from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and the University of Manchester.

The good news is that healthy muscles have a form of protection: surviving nerves can send out new branches to rescue muscles and stop them wasting away.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2018/03/12/300-million-fund-will-help-elderly-stay-homes-longer/

The elderly will be able to stay in their homes for longer under a multi-million government scheme to develop products and services to help Britain’s ageing population stay independent.
A three hundred million pound fund has been set aside to help boost the physical and mental health of older people, as well as providing an extra forty million pounds for the UK Dementia Research Institute.

The government said it wanted to be the best country in the world for dementia care and research by two thousand twenty. Ten million Brits alive today are expected to reach one hundred years old, and the scheme will also see ninety eight million pounds set aside to help people to live in their homes for longer, tackle loneliness, and increase independence and wellbeing. The government said the ageing population was creating new demands for new care technologies, different housing models and innovative savings products for retirement.
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Some two hundred ten million pounds of the funding will pay of a ‘data to early diagnosis’ programme which will use artificial intelligence to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. As part of the programme, the five hundred thousand UK Biobank participants will have their genomes sequence to provide a new DNA data. Regional centres of excellence will also be set up across Britain to explore using artificial intelligence to analyse medical images and allow companies to test new products.

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