The Health News United Kingdom November 30 2017

  • Research in the Lancet shows that scarlet fever hit its highest level in England for 50 years, with more than 17,000 cases reported in 2016. The disease has been on the rise since 2014 , but experts have so far failed to find a reason for the recent increase. Scarlet fever was a common cause of death in the Victorian era, but had largely been in decline since the introduction of antibiotics.
  • Viagra will soon become available over the counter as watchdogs relax rules in a bid to prevent men buying dangerous counterfeit drugs online. From next year, men with erectile disfunction will be able to obtain Viagra Connect tablets, which are manufactured by Pfizer, at the discretion of a pharmacist, rather than requiring a GP’s prescription.
  • The government has triggered a row with NHS staff by unveiling plans to overhaul their pay, including how much they receive for working antisocial shifts. Health unions have warned Jeremy Hunt that he is risking a repeat of the bitter junior doctors’ dispute by seeking to reduce the extra amounts staff get for weekend and overnight working. Staff affected by any shake-up include nurses, midwives, radiographers, therapists and dozens of other types of health professionals whose pay is set under a system called agenda for change.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 30th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42135842

Research in the Lancet shows that scarlet fever hit its highest level in England for fifty years, with more than seventeen thousand cases reported in two thousand sixteen. The disease has been on the rise since two thousand fourteen, but experts have so far failed to find a reason for the recent increase. Doctors are urging the public to be aware of symptoms, which include a rosy rash, and seek help from their general practitioner. Data for two thousand seventeen suggests the rate may be falling, but experts remain cautious, saying it is “too early to tell”.
The bacterial disease, though highly contagious, is not usually serious and can be treated with antibiotics. It is most common among children under ten.

A joint investigation by public health authorities from across England and Wales found that the incidence of scarlet fever tripled between two thousand thirteen and two thousand fourteen, rising from four thousand seven hundred cases to five thousand six hundred thirty seven cases. In two thousand sixteen, there were nineteen thousand two hundred six reported cases, the highest level since nineteen sixty seven. The majority of the outbreaks were in England.

Scarlet fever was a common cause of death in the Victorian era, but had largely been in decline since the introduction of antibiotics. However, prompt treatment remains essential to prevent both the spread of the disease and the risk of further complications such as pneumonia and liver damage. Anyone diagnosed with scarlet fever is advised to stay at home until at least twenty four hours after the start of treatment to avoid passing on the infection. There is no vaccine against the disease and all cases must be reported by doctors to the local health authority.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/28/viagra-sold-counter-thwart-online-counterfeit-dealers/

Viagra will soon become available over the counter as watchdogs relax rules in a bid to prevent men buying dangerous counterfeit drugs online. From next year, men with erectile dysfunction will be able to obtain Viagra Connect tablets, which are manufactured by Pfizer, at the discretion of a pharmacist, rather than requiring a general practitioner’s prescription. Officials hope the move will help steer people away from using illegally operated drug websites.
The decision by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency or MHRA is also intended to make the drug more widely available for those in need. Under the new system, men over the age of eighteen will be entitled to the medicine subject to a discussion with a high street pharmacist.

However, patients with severe heart problems or at high risk of heart problems, as well as liver and kidney failure, will still need a doctor’s prescription. Those taking certain “interacting” medicines will also be referred to a General Practitioner.

It’s important men feel they have fast access to quality and legitimate care, and do not feel they need to turn to counterfeit online supplies which could have potentially serious side effects.
….
The MHRA said that erectile dysfunction medicines are a “popular target” for criminals selling unlicensed and counterfeit medicines, over the past five years and the Agency has seized more than fifty million pounds of unlicensed and counterfeit erectile dysfunction medicines.

Doctor Berkeley Phillips, UK medical director at Pfizer, said: “We understand some men may avoid seeking support and treatment for this condition, so we believe giving them the option to talk to a pharmacist and buy Viagra Connect could be a real step forward in encouraging more men into the healthcare system.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/nov/28/jeremy-hunt-nhs-pay-changes-junior-doctors-row-unions

The government has triggered a row with NHS staff by unveiling plans to overhaul their pay, including how much they receive for working antisocial shifts. Health unions have warned Jeremy Hunt that he is risking a repeat of the bitter junior doctors’ dispute by seeking to reduce the extra amounts staff get for weekend and overnight working. The health secretary has also aroused anger by making it clear that he wants to change increments – extra cash staff receive that helps increase their take-home pay. Unions voiced their opposition after Hunt disclosed his intentions in an interview with the Health Service Journal, saying he wanted to change the way more than one million NHS personnel in England are paid by introducing a “more professional pay structure”.

Staff affected by any shake-up include nurses, midwives, radiographers, therapists and dozens of other types of health professionals whose pay is set under a system called agenda for change. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, said in the budget last week that the government would provide money to fund a pay rise next year above the one percent planned, but only in return for productivity improvements. Hunt prompted particular suspicion by telling the journal the contract imposed on England’s fifty five thousand junior doctors in two thousand sixteen after a bitter year-long dispute, which prompted eight walkouts by trainee medics, was “quite sensible”.

Health unions want a pay rise of three point nine percent next year, plus a further eight hundred pounds to help make up for the erosion of their income over the past seven years of pay freezes and the one percent cap.

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