The Health News United Kingdom February 16 2018

  • Nineteen trusts have transferred non-clinical NHS staff into subsidiary companies, via a process previously described as akin to “backdoor privatisation”, and another 16 have plans to do so, an investigation has found. The Health Service Journal research, published on Wednesday, suggests that almost three thousand estates and facilities staff are already employed by 8 trust-owned subsidiaries, with the majority having transferred from the parent trust.
  • A new material called polyurethane has been developed by UK scientists which could mean an end to the painful side effects associated with older forms of vaginal mesh implants. A huge number of women were left in severe pain due to the controversial implants, a small mesh support used to treat organ prolapse or urinary incontinence mainly after childbirth. It has sparked controversy with risks linked to the implant including nerve damage, chronic pain and organ erosion and, in some cases, sepsis.
  • It is a day known for ostentatious displays of romance. But it appears Valentine’s Day really does lead to love in the air after new figures, for 2015, showed an increase in conceptions around the day. NHS England data shows there were an estimated 16,263 conceptions in England in the week of Valentine’s Day and 16,344 the following week.
    That number was higher than the weekly average of 15,427 conceptions and second only to the Christmas period.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 16th of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/feb/14/nhs-trusts-transferring-staff-into-subsidiary-companies-to-cut-vat

Nineteen trusts have transferred non-clinical NHS staff into subsidiary companies, via a process previously described as akin to “backdoor privatisation”, and another sixteen have plans to do so, an investigation has found. The Health Service Journal research, published on Wednesday, suggests that almost three thousand estates and facilities staff are already employed by eight trust-owned subsidiaries, with the majority having transferred from the parent trust.

Of those in the pipeline that provided figures, the average number of staff being transferred is around five hundred thirty, which if matched at all sixteen trusts would equate to more than eight thousand staff. Staff members whose employment is transferred to the new companies will no longer be NHS employees, even if they have been guaranteed the same working conditions.
New staff employed by the subsidiary companies may not be employed on NHS terms and conditions, and may no longer be guaranteed NHS pensions.

One of the main benefits to trusts is reducing their VAT bills. But Labour and trade unions have warned that they open the door to driving down wages, pensions and conditions of thousands of NHS staff – and therefore service standards. Philip Hunt, Labour’s health spokesman in the Lords, has previously described the move as a “back door to privatisation”. He cast doubt on the benefits to the NHS of what he said was a questionable process.
….
The investigation found that out of nineteen providers that have established an active subsidiary company, nine employ one hundred staff or more. A further sixteen trusts said they are considering – or are in the process of creating – a subsidiary, six of which have already established the necessary legal entity.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/health/scientists-develop-new-vaginal-mesh-that-could-avoid-serious-complications-a3766071.html

A new material has been developed by UK scientists which could mean an end to the painful side effects associated with older forms of vaginal mesh implants. A huge number of women were left in severe pain due to the controversial implants, a small mesh support used to treat organ prolapse or urinary incontinence mainly after childbirth. It has sparked controversy with risks linked to the implant including nerve damage, chronic pain and organ erosion and, in some cases, sepsis.

The treatment involves implanting the netted mesh made from polypropylene into the vaginal wall. However scientists at the University of Sheffield have said they have now come up with a better material after seven years of research.
….
Polyurethane is said to be more suitable because it is softer, has more elasticity and has a greater likeness to human tissue. Professor Sheila MacNeil, of Sheffield University’s Materials Science and Engineering department, said: “For many years now, surgeons have been treating the problems of urinary stress incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse using the only synthetic material they had to hand – polypropylene.”
….
Over ten thousand women per year use the treatment in the UK.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43058389

It is a day known for ostentatious displays of romance. But it appears Valentine’s Day really does lead to love in the air after new figures, for two thousand fifteen, showed an increase in conceptions around the day. NHS England data shows there were an estimated sixteen thousand two hundred sixty three conceptions in England in the week of Valentine’s Day and sixteen thousand three hundred forty four the following week.

That number was higher than the weekly average of fifteen thousand four hundred twenty seven conceptions and second only to the Christmas period. Sarah-Jane Marsh, chair of the maternity transformation programme at NHS England, said: “Love is most definitely in the air at this time of year and it is fantastic to learn that the NHS sees a mini baby boom nine months later – bringing with it great joy to families across the nation.”

Some sixteen thousand eight hundred seventy two babies are estimated to have been conceived in England in the week beginning  December twenty eighth, two thousand fifteen. The numbers are based on data from antenatal appointments. Separately, other studies have previously shown that Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are the least common days for giving birth each year.

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