- Stroke patients in Wales are being denied a life-saving pioneering treatment after the surgical team providing it had to be mothballed because of an acute NHS shortage of the specialist doctors who undertake the procedure.
- Bags for life pose a food poisoning risk, the food safety watchdog has admitted, as it has advised shoppers to label them “raw” or “ready to eat” to avoid the spread of deadly bacteria. The FSA is urging millions of shoppers who use the bags to take new steps to avoid getting food poisoning as a result of using them to carry supermarket shopping.
- Private Ambulance Service, which operates 126 vehicles and employs three hundred people, is expected to stop trading on October 9. It has contracts with the NHS and other private health organisations faces closure after going into administration.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 3rd of October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
Stroke patients in Wales are being denied a life-saving pioneering treatment after the surgical team providing it had to be mothballed because of an acute NHS shortage of the specialist doctors who undertake the procedure. Internal NHS emails obtained by the Guardian reveal that health service bosses in Wales are pleading with hospitals in England to perform mechanical thrombectomy on their patients to save them from disability and death. And they show one senior doctor warning Welsh NHS officials that they have “not got a grip on the situation” and deserved to be “the laughing stock of the international neurovascular community”.
Doctors who specialise in stroke care are warning that the inability of the NHS in south Wales to offer patients what they say is a “game-changing” operation illustrates a chronic UK-wide lack of consultant interventional neuroradiologists. They perform both thrombectomy and a similar emergency procedure, called endovascular coiling, on patients deemed at risk of suffering a stroke. However, there are just seventy consultant neuroradiologists working in the NHS across the four home countries – barely half the number the Royal College of Radiologists says is needed to cope with the rising demand for mechanical thrombectomy in particular.
That shortage means a number of hospitals are unable to provide the operation themselves and must send patients elsewhere.
During a thrombectomy doctors remove a blood clot from someone’s brain using a stent. That gives patients a much better chance of walking out of hospital unaided and disability-free rather than ending up with significant paralysis, or dying. The NHS in Wales estimates that five hundred people a year from the country would benefit from undergoing thrombectomy. Yet hospitals in England have made clear that they already have too many cases of their own, and too few beds and staff, to help on more than an occasional ad hoc basis.
Bags for life pose a food poisoning risk, the food safety watchdog has admitted, as it has advised shoppers to label them “raw” or “ready to eat” to avoid the spread of deadly bacteria.
The Food Standards Agency is urging millions of shoppers who use the bags to take new steps to avoid getting food poisoning as a result of using them to carry supermarket shopping.
At the end of August the FSA’s website was quietly updated to say: “Ideally, you should have enough bags to carry raw foods, ready-to-eat foods and non-food items such as washing powder separately. The guidance also recommends regularly putting cotton bags used for carrying raw items in the washing machine to kill deadly bacteria which may be lurking inside.
Last week undercover filming allegedly discovered poor hygiene practices at a factory which is the biggest supplier of fresh chicken to UK supermarkets. And earlier this year a Daily Telegraph investigation revealed that nine million packs of chickens are sold each year with a dangerous dose of deadly bacteria on the outside, equivalent to more than one in every one hundred raw chickens sold by Britain’s biggest retailers. The FSA’s warning to shoppers that they need to be more vigilant with shopping bags to reduce the risk of becoming ill from bacteria, appears to fly in the face of its decision to let supermarkets conduct their own tests for campylobacter, which is a leading cause of food poisoning in the UK.
The FSA said the decision was based on the significant progress made by the major retailers and producers in taking action to reduce campylobacter levels in their chicken. Earlier this year the regulator’s chair, Heather Hancock, attempted to address growing fears that the five p bag tax was encouraging the spread of dangerous bugs including E-coli and campylobacter.
Private Ambulance Service, which operates one hundred twenty six vehicles and employs three hundred people, is expected to stop trading on October nine. It has contracts with the NHS and other private health organisations faces closure after going into administration. Private Ambulance Service has been serving hospitals such as Watford General, Saint Albans hospital and Bedford hospital. It also has a number of private contracts across Essex and London. In an email sent to staff on Friday, the managing director, James Barnes, said that Greenfield Recovery Limited had been instructed to put the company into administration.
The company has proved controversial in recent months. In July the Herts Advertiser reported that the Herts Valleys clinical commissioning group had issued an apology after ongoing problems with the performance of Private Ambulance Service, which left vulnerable patients stuck in hospitals or their homes for hours while waiting to be picked up. A spokesman for the Bedfordshire, Luton and Hertfordshire clinical commissioning groups told the BBC: “The next step is for NHS clinical commissioning groups to appoint an organisation that can provide transport for our patients. We are in discussions with a number of providers to understand what services can be provided quickly and safely.” The company’s collapse comes as data shows the NHS is spending almost eighty million pounds a year hiring private ambulances to answer nine nine nine calls and take patients to hospital for appointments.