Microsoft word - nhs os 31 08.doc

NHS Overview and Scrutiny

No. 31 1 August, 2008
If you would like to receive further information please telephone or email the appropriate contact officer responsible. Alternatively contact Paul Wickenden on 01622 694486 or e-mail [email protected] . For further information on items in this section please contact Tristan Godfrey, Tel: (01622) 694196, Freecall: 7000 4196 or email: [email protected]
The US style of advertising drugs with a television campaign with widespread
advertising looks set to come to Britain. This style of advertising will be closely
scrutinised by regulators and competitors for any potential breach of European rules, which forbid companies from advertising prescription medicines directly to patients. Consumer advertising of prescription medicines has been widespread over the past decade in the US, but has been criticised for encouraging patients to press doctors to prescribe medicines excessively and irresponsibly. A number of pharmaceutical companies have cut back on the practice in an attempt to regain public trus, and Pfizer, the manufacturer of Viagra, was criticised in 2002. The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s self-regulatory arm, ruled that the company had breached the industry’s code of practice by placing its logo prominently next to the phrase “The first step to a better love life”, which it argued would encourage patients to request their doctors to
An interim report ‘Improving the mental health and psychological well-being of young
people’ prepared by the Review chair of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health
Services Review is available on the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
(CAMHS) site. The Review looks at how well services are meeting the educational, health
and social needs of children and young people at risk of, and experiencing, mental health The CAMHS website contains the interim report and all the relevant documents.
IDeA have published an adult social care paper: 'Communities: healthy, strong and

prosperous' which provides a compelling narrative on the future direction of adult
social care services. The paper explores the developmental and service delivery links
between the place-shaping role of local government and its health and wellbeing ambitions. These are set out in The Local Government White Paper ‘Strong and Prosperous Communities’ 2006, and the Health White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say,’ 2006. The Information Point, Tel: (01622) 694125 or e-mail: [email protected]
Kent Police and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have investigate the outbreak of

the infection Clostridium difficile at Maidstone hospital, but have concluded that there
will not be charges arising from the failings at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS
Trust that contributed to 90 deaths from the infection, because there was no chance of a
successful prosecution.
The police review of the circumstances of the deaths took into account a critical report produced by the Healthcare Commission. But the review concluded that there was no information in the commission’s report to suggest any of the deaths amounted to Statement from the Healthcare Commission in response to Kent Police and HSE's announcement on Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS trust HSE and Kent police decide not to investigate Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust
Data is available for Referral to Treatment (RTT) times for patients whose 18 week

clock stopped during May 2008.
The data for admitted patients, those patients whose 18 week clock stopped with an inpatient/ day case admission, has been published each month since June 2007 on an unadjusted basis. Data for non-admitted patients, those patients whose 18 week clock stopped during the month for reasons other than an inpatient/day case admission, and incomplete RTT times for patients whose 18 week clock is still running was published for the first time in November 2007. All tables can be found on the News Distribution Service website:
In addition a data completeness assessment is being published alongside the reported figures in order to aid interpretation of the data. Further details on the methodology are available at the Department of Health methodology and definitions Statistical press notice NHS Referral To Treatment (RTT) times data May 2008
Health Minister Ivan Lewis has announced the appointment of Anne Williams as the

new National Director for Learning Disabilities at the Department of Health. Her role
will be to help drive forward delivery of policies to make sure people with learning disabilities are treated as equal citizens in their communities, in healthcare and beyond. She will also oversee the next stage of the cross-Government 'Valuing People Now' strategy, for publication later this year, as well as implementation of it in the coming years. Anne Williams appointed as National Director for Learning Disabilities
The Healthcare Commission has published the 2008 National survey of local health

services, which covered topics such as access to appointments, waiting times and patient
and NHS staff relationships. This is the fifth survey of peoples’ experiences of local health
services to be carried out since 2003, and this year, more than 69,000 people took part in the creating a response rate of 40%. The results of the survey offer a valuable insight into peoples’ experiences of local health services, such as GP practices and health centres and The Information Point, Tel: (01622) 694125 or e-mail: [email protected] accessing dentistry, and will help trusts to understand the views of their patients, and respond Alongside the results, the Commission will, for the first time, release a national overview with comparative scores for all 152 primary care trusts in England, the organisations that buy The survey and supporting documents are available on the Health Commission website. Patients praise the care they get in GP practices and health centres Primary Care Network responds to HCC primary care survey
The Independent Inquiry into Access to Healthcare for People with Learning

Disabilities ‘Healthcare for all’ led by Sir Jonathan Michael, identifies the action
needed to ensure adults and children with learning disabilities receive appropriate
treatment in acute and primary healthcare in England. The inquiry was established
following the publication of Death by indifference by Mencap and the Disability Rights Commission’s Formal Investigation into launched after the deaths of six patients, and urges tougher inspections and more training for staff, but argues that new laws to ensure equal Statement from the Healthcare Commission in response to the independent inquiry into access to healthcare for people with learning disabilities Patients with learning disabilities face NHS neglect, claims official inquiry NHS castigated for fatal neglect of patients with learning disabilities
The Conservative Party have launched a five-point plan ‘Unite Britain’s divided cities’
to smash the ‘glass walls’ that keep young children from disadvantaged backgrounds in
poverty and unite Britain’s divided cities. In the first of a series of speeches on social issues
this summer by members of the shadow cabinet, the shadow work and pensions secretary, Chris Grayling, announced proposals to put 18- to 21-year-olds living in areas affected by gang crime on work placements, and set out a five-point plan to ‘unite divided cities’. He also argued that said the social divide was wider today than it had been since Victorian times and the Conservative Party was the only party able to tackle poverty. Should the Conservative party come to power it would establish a network of back-to-work centres, run by local voluntary groups that know the areas best. In addition, the Conservatives would also run an intensive programme of early intervention in primary schools to identify and help children who start to fall behind in their schooling. The document ‘Unite Britain’s divided cities’ is available on the Conservative Party website.
A report by the Human Genetics Commission has found widespread mistrust among
people over the scale of the collection of DNA and the evidence of the size of the
database, which now contains the genetic records of more than four million people.
Genetic material is now taken from all people arrested by the police, regardless of whether they are subsequently charged or convicted, and remains on file for life. The Information Point, Tel: (01622) 694125 or e-mail: [email protected] This means that Britain now has by far the largest DNA database in the world, which controversially includes an estimated one million people who have never been found guilty of any offence, some 100,000 of whom are children. In addition, about 40 per cent of young black men have been forced to provide samples, compared with 13 per cent of Asian men and 9 per cent of white men, leading the Commission to argue that the database should be taken out of the control of the Home Office and police altogether. 'Erase' DNA profiles of innocent ' Take the innocent off DNA database, says inquiry
The Court of Appeal has quashed controversial Government regulations allowing the
use of painful physical restraint to maintain discipline in privately run child jails, on
the grounds that it is an infringement of young people's fundamental human rights.
Lord Justice Buxton ruled that the restraint methods used in secure training centres (STCs) amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment and were contrary to the European convention on human rights. The High Court had previously ruled that the contoversial regulations were flawed, but should remain in place. Quashing restraint rules for youths in custody is a genuine human rights victory
The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has published a new report ‘Harmful
Content on the Internet and in Video Games’ which has called for more self-regulation to

A new Joseph Rowntree Foundation report ‘Engaging and empowering women in
poverty’ examines participatory research conducted with women in poverty living in
Birmingham, Cardiff and London, on the premise that women with experience of living
in poverty are well-placed to articulate the policy changes which can most effectively
improve their situations.
A key conclusion of the report is that the project participants defined poverty in complex and interlocking ways that went beyond a lack of money and financial security, and saw it as a human rights issue that impacts upon their children and their physical and mental health, causes feelings of social isolation. and limits their prospects for advancement in employment The project aimed to build their political capacity so that they could take their collective knowledge and experience, present it as policy proposals to policy-makers and actively help
The All Party Parliamentary Local Government Group have published a report ‘Never
too late for living: inquiry into services for older people’ which comes ahead of the
Government’s own recommendations for care for older people which are due for
publication next spring. The report found that the current system of services for older
people is in financial crisis, and that as the country faces an economic downturn and a rapidly ageing population, action must be urgently taken to radically reshape how we think about Parliamentarians call for a new deal for older people The Information Point, Tel: (01622) 694125 or e-mail: [email protected]
A new Finnish study suggests that those who do not live with a partner in midlife could
be at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The findings suggest that
married people, and others who live with partners, having regular close social interactions, have a 50% lower occurrence of dementia. The researchers found that people who had been single all their life had a doubled risk of dementia, and divorcees who remained single had a tripled risk. More dramatically, widowers before midlife who remained widowed had a six times higher risk of developing dementia compared with those who remain married throughout mid and late life.
British scientists have discovered a treatment that appears to considerably slow the
progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Claude Wischik and colleagues from the
University of Aberdeen and TauRx Therapeutics, where he is Chairman, used the drug Rember (methylthionium chloride) to act on the tangles present in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and found these patients experiencedan 81% reduction in cognitive Presenting the findings at the biennial International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD) in Chicago , Prof Wischik and colleagues demonstrated for the first time that it may be possible to halt Alzheimer’s by targeting tangles, which are highly correlated with the New drug brings 'unprecedented' Alzheimer’s hope New Alzheimer's drug is twice as effective as current treatments Alzheimer’s sufferers given hope by new generation of drugs
Unison, the UK's biggest health service union is to try to renegotiate a pay deal which
was accepted by members in June, because of the increase in the cost of living.
Unison argue that the pay package worth 8% over three years was on the basis inflation would be around 2%, but the consumer price index has risen to 3.8 and the Retail Price Index indicates inflation is up to 4.6%, and they will use a re-opener clause drafted in the event inflation increased, to submit evidence to the NHS pay body to try to re-negotiate.
A study has found that the rate of homicide due to mental disorder, which rose steadily
until the mid-1970s., has declined to historically low levels, while other homicides have
continued to rise. The researchers found that while the reasons for the rise and fall in
homicides attributed to mental disorder are not clear, they concluded that same sociological factors could have caused the increase in homicides over that time. The subsequent decline can then be attributed to other factors, including improvements in psychiatric treatments and service organisation, or the informal change to the legal tests for the finding of homicide due Researchers at the Howard Hughes Institute have discovered two possible ‘fitness’ pills which appear able to build muscle, increase stamina and even burn fat. The journal Cell reports that in animal tests, the Amercian researchers found that two pills had the potential to deliver the benefits of exercise, enabling mice to run 44% faster, indicating that humans could do the same without prior training. The Information Point, Tel: (01622) 694125 or e-mail: [email protected] While this concept is controversial because of fears that such drugs could be misused in sport, the project lead researcher Professor Ronald Evans, has produced a test which will allow the drugs to be detected in the urine and blood of competitors. The team argue that the drugs could eventually help tackle muscle wasting diseases, or help improve the health benefits of exercise in people at risk of conditions such as diabetes.
American researchers have found that microRNAs, the single strands of genetic
material that control whether certain proteins are made, could be biomarkers for
cancer, as they are released into the bloodstream by cancer cells and could be used to
detect cancer in its early stages.
In animal and clinical tests, a team at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre found that they were able to distinguish between individuals with cancer and those who were free from the disease, based on measurements enabled by microRNA measurements, and concluded that these were a worthwhile class of molecules to study for the purpose of early The team now hope to identify specific microRNAs that are associated with particular forms of cancer and to develop the technology to detect minute amounts of these in blood, so that the disease could be diagnosed in its early stages
New figures produced by the NHS Stop Smoking Service show the service has a high
demand with the large numbers of people keen to give up smoking.
The statistics indicate that, between April and September 2007, around 165,000 people reported at their 4 week follow up interview, that they had stopped smoking, representing an increase of 28 per cent compared to the same period in 2006. The statistics also indicate a notable increase in the number of calls made to the Stop Smoking Hotline since the Department of Health's 'Getting Off Cigarettes' campaign was launched at the end of December 2007. These statistics indicate that between December 26th 2007 and January 13th 2008, nearly 73,000 smokers visited the campaign website and around 9,000 people called the NHS helpline for advice on how to kick the habit. Welcoming the new figures, the Government argue that this increase coincided with the introduction of smokefree legislation in England on July 1st 2007.
Research from Japan suggests that eradicating Helicobacter pylori, a common
bacterium found in people with stomach cancer can also prevent the disease from
recurring. The bacterium has long been known to be the cause of most stomach ulcers, and
has also been linked with stomach cancer. But the study of 550 people who had stomach cancer surgery, found that antibiotics which killed Helicobacter pylori also cut the risk of a second cancer developing by two-thirds. There will now be a large clinical trial of 56,000 British people to see if killing the bacterium stops the cancer developing
Three separate large scale research projects have taken a step towards unravelling the
genetic picture of schizophrenia, and also pinpointed genetic flaws linked to
The Information Point, Tel: (01622) 694125 or e-mail: [email protected] Two separate international groups, both testing thousands of people with schizophrenia and healthy volunteers, identified the same two rare genetic variants which appeared to contribute strongly to the chances of developing the disease The third group revealed the more common genetic variations which are held by larger numbers of patients, but which offer a much smaller contribution to their risk of The researchers argue that possible further study would uncover many different genetic
A survey carried out by the British Fertility Society in association with the Science
Media Centre (SMC) and the European Society for Human Reproduction and
Embryology (ESHRE) of IVF experts’ attitudes to some of the large topical issues and
controversies in their field is available as a full summary on the British Fertility Society
More than half of respondents to the survey agreed that the regulatory burden of IVF is too high, and despite the fact that the majority of IVF experts operate in the private sector, more than 70% agree that IVF should be funded by the NHS. In addition, 85% of fertility experts want more clinical trials to test the efficacy of new IVF techniques and more than half agree that new procedures are being offered to patients too quickly and before efficacy assessment. The survey also shows that the Government's decision to remove the right to anonymity from sperm donors remains very unpopular and IVF experts agree that this move has radically reduced the availability of donor sperm and eggs. IVF 30th anniversary survey - Fertility experts call for more clinical trials
A BBC investigation has revealed that £1m of food is wasted each year by NHS
hospitals across the East of England. The figures, obtained under the Freedom of
Information Act, show huge differences in the way meals are controlled and the proportion of food being thrown away. The BBC argues that the cost of the wastage could pay for 50 extra nurses and comes just weeks after Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged the country to The Government have launched the first NHS online maternity guide, The Pregnancy Care Planner, which offers the latest and most comprehensive advice on all aspects of pregnancy, from getting pregnant, early pregnancy, the scans, to the birth, and the most up to date comparative guides to what is on offer at local maternity units. This new service is available on the national NHS website, NHS Choices NHS launches online one-stop shop for mums-to-be Three new biomedical research units will be at the forefront of an NHS £10 million drive to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as heart disease, asthma and obesity. New biomedical research units announced The Information Point, Tel: (01622) 694125 or e-mail: [email protected]


Microsoft word - bio_tl_foss_pub.doc

Yau SY, Lau BWM, Ong JB, Wong R, Ching YP, Qiu G, Tang SW, Lee TMC, So KF. Hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity support running-improved spatial learning and depression-like behaviour in stressed rats. PLoS ONE. (in press). 2. Chan CCH, Wong AWK, Ting KH, White-Gabrieli S, He JF, Lee TMC. Cross auditory-spatial learning in early blind individuals. Human Brain Mapping. (in press). G

Pediatr Nephrol (2010) 25:2539–2542DOI 10.1007/s00467-010-1606-yNeurological involvement in a child with atypical hemolyticuremic syndromeBérengère Koehl & Olivia Boyer & Nathalie Biebuyck-Gougé & Manoelle Kossorotoff &Véronique Frémeaux-Bacchi & Nathalie Boddaert & Patrick NiaudetReceived: 13 April 2010 / Revised: 1 July 2010 / Accepted: 2 July 2010 / Published o

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