The Health News UK May 1 2018

  • A report reveals that NHS cancer services are struggling with widespread shortages of specialist nurses who give patients drugs, help them through their illness and care for those who are dying. Hospitals in England have vacancies for more than 400 specialist cancer nurses, chemotherapy nurses, palliative care nurses and also cancer support workers, raising doubts about the NHS’s ability to cope with the fast-growing number of people being diagnosed with the disease.
  • Concerns have been raised about soaring waiting times at Northern Ireland’s emergency departments. The number of patients waiting for longer than twelve hours jumped by more than 200% from last year – from 3,150 in January to March 2017, to 9,567 in the same period this year. Last month only 59.3% of attendees at emergency departments were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival.
  • The Irish minister of health has said he ‘truthfully doesn’t know’ how many women have died from cervical cancer after incorrect smear test results. Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) is currently reviewing cases from hundreds of women who may have been wrongly given negative results by the national cervical cancer screening programme. According to the NHS, about 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/30/nhs-england-short-of-more-than-400-specialist-cancer-nurses-report-says

 

A report reveals that NHS cancer services are struggling with widespread shortages of specialist nurses who give patients drugs, help them through their illness and care for those who are dying. Hospitals in England have vacancies for more than four hundred specialist cancer nurses, chemotherapy nurses, palliative care nurses and also cancer support workers, raising doubts about the NHS’s ability to cope with the fast-growing number of people being diagnosed with the disease. Macmillan Cancer Support warned that cancer patients were losing out, with some forced to wait to receive chemotherapy, while cancer nurses were being “run ragged” as they were forced to take on heavier workloads because of rota gaps.
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Across England, the NHS is short of one hundred sixty six specialist cancer nurses, one hundred fifty eight chemotherapy nurses, forty four palliative care nurses who treat cancer patients, and sixty one cancer support workers, a total of four hundred twenty nine posts, according to staffing information supplied to Macmillan by lead cancer nurses in hospital trusts.
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The shortages mean that specialist nurses in some parts of England are looking after two hundred fifty one patients newly diagnosed with prostate or bladder cancer a year while others take on eighty seven new cases. Similarly, some breast cancer nurses are seeing one hundred forty five new patients a year while others get fifty six fresh cases.

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Cancer Research UK has estimated that ageing and lifestyle factors mean that the number of people diagnosed with the disease in the UK will rise from three hundred fifty two thousand to five hundred thousand cases a year by two thousand thirty five.
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https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/health/fears-for-patients-as-ae-waiting-times-continue-to-worsen-36849008.html

 

Concerns have been raised about soaring waiting times at Northern Ireland’s emergency departments. The number of patients waiting for longer than twelve hours jumped by more than two hundred percent from last year – from three thousand one hundred fifty in January to March two thousand seventeen, to nine thousand five hundred sixty seven in the same period this year.

Last month only fifty nine point three percent of attendees at emergency departments were treated and discharged, or admitted within four hours of their arrival. The Government target is ninety five. The figures are included in a bulletin on waiting times published recently by the Department of Health, which covers the first quarter of two thousand eighteen. Doctor Ian Crawford, vice president of Royal College of Emergency Medicine Northern Ireland, said the figures were a symptom of the extremely serious problems the health service continued to face.

He added: “At the heart of this are patients, patients whose welfare and dignity suffer whilst waiting in busy, crowded emergency departments for a vacant hospital bed, sometimes for twelve hours or even longer, patients who may be harmed by a system that cannot cope.”
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The Health and Social Care Board said emergency departments and hospital wards were very busy during the past three months, in keeping with the rest of the UK and Ireland.

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http://metro.co.uk/2018/04/29/health-minster-in-ireland-doesnt-know-how-many-women-have-died-from-incorrect-smear-tests-7507587/

 

The Irish minister of health has said he ‘truthfully doesn’t know’ how many women have died from cervical cancer after incorrect smear test results. Ireland’s Health Service Executive is currently reviewing cases from hundreds of women who may have been wrongly given negative results by the national cervical cancer screening programme.

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The issue was brought to light when terminally ill Vicky Phelan, who had a missed abnormality in a two thousand eleven smear test, won a High Court case last week. She told the court that at least three other women who got all-clear smear tests have died.

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Mister Simon Harris said this team has been asked to find out if each of the two hundred six women were told about the discrepancies. He said: “I will know that by tomorrow and we will then immediately make arrangements for any woman who needs follow-up or wasn’t told to meet a clinician.’ He added that ‘no stone will remain unturned”.

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According to the NHS, about three thousand cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK.

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