- Parts of Europe are experiencing their most extreme heat in more than a decade as temperatures hit 44C (111F). The heatwave has left some regions facing the threat of severe drought. Health warnings are in place in the parts of Europe where temperatures have reached potentially dangerous levels.
- Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has announced plans to expand mental health provision with a £1.3 billion injection that will see thousands of new posts created. Mental health services are also facing increasing demand. One in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.
- Thirty men a day in the UK die of prostate cancer. Doctor Christopher Ogden pioneered the use of robotic surgery for prostate cancer – treating more than 2,500 men with a technique that revolutionised treatment of the disease.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of August 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
Parts of Europe are experiencing their most extreme heat in more than a decade as temperatures hit forty four celsius or one hundred eleven fahrenheit. Several countries have issued health warnings as this week’s record-breaking weather conditions continue to affect swathes of the continent. Sweltering temperatures in Italy have sparked wildfires, and dozens of towns and cities are on the health ministry’s maximum heat alert. The heatwave has left some regions facing the threat of severe drought. Health warnings are in place in the parts of Europe where temperatures have reached potentially dangerous levels. Italy and the Balkans are the most severely affected, with areas as far north as southern Poland also exposed to unusually high temperatures.
At least two people have died – one in Romania and one in Poland – and dozens more have been taken to hospital suffering from conditions related to the extreme weather. Italy is currently experiencing temperatures ten celsius higher than the average for this time of year. People have been urged to follow advice from the authorities, stay indoors and drink plenty of water.
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has announced plans to expand mental health provision with a one point three billion pound injection that will see thousands of new posts created. This would be welcome news were it not for the fact that so far Hunt has failed to deliver on pledges that could have improved services. For a start, the Health and Social Care Act made it unlawful to discriminate between physical and mental health. So far, regardless of whether it’s financial budgets or service delivery, mental health services have seen no significant improvement.
Indeed, people have seen the opposite; more than fifty percent of clinical commissioning groups planned to cut their mental health budgets last year. There has been a trend that when the NHS is under financial strain, mental health budgets get disproportionate cuts. All too frequently people have seen health commissioners raid these budgets to plug growing debts in the acute hospital sector. Hunt has had ample time to correct the chronic underfunding, and with many mental health organisations struggling with his government’s imposed austerity cuts, we would argue that this is too little, too late.
Mental health services are also facing increasing demand. One in four adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem in any given year.
Patients are still having to travel long distances because of the lack of beds; community teams are stretched and stressed due to the demand and non-availability of staff; morale is plummeting because trained professionals cannot provide the care and treatment they would like to; continuous reforms are causing chaos and confusion; and the NHS has so far failed to deliver on good leadership.
Thirty men a day in the UK die of prostate cancer. It is a gloomy statistic – yet talk to experts in the field and the mood is anything but pessimistic. In fact, there is a sense that science is on the verge of turning the disease from one to be feared to little more than a chronic illness controlled with drugs, like asthma or diabetes.Survival rates are better than ever: the number of deaths keeps falling and ten years after diagnosis, eighty four per cent of men are still alive.
From more accurate screening and less invasive diagnosis techniques to robotic surgery and targeted drugs, huge advances in treatments also mean men are more likely to be cured, and less likely to be left impotent or incontinent – the big worries for most.
Doctor Iain Frame, research director at the charity Prostate Cancer UK said that soon this could be a disease that men routinely survive, and has little impact on their daily life.
But with advances in therapies comes new information for every man with prostate cancer and his loved ones to absorb – much of it complex. Christopher Ogden, a surgeon at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, pioneered the use of robotic surgery for prostate cancer – treating more than two thousand five hundred men with a technique that revolutionised treatment of the disease. He says: ‘Although surgery might not be the first thing we offer men with prostate cancer, many will at some point need to have the gland removed. The operation is called a radical prostatectomy and it offers a cure in ninety five per cent of cases.”