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New Treatment For Kidney Stones ..
A citrus fruit extract has been found to dissolve kidney stones, leading to hopes of new treatments. Tests on hydroxycitrate, known as HCA, showed very promising results. Images recorded the calcium oxalate crystals which form kidney stones actually shrinking when exposed to HCA. Dr Jeffrey Rimmer, of the University of Houston in Texas, said : “HCA shows promise as a potential therapy.”
( Daily Mirror, 09.08.2016 )

Sense Of Touch Skin For Prosthetic Limbs ..
Pioneering British scientists are developing electronic skin which could give amputees prosthetic limbs the sense of touch. Researchers claim the new technology, which may be available in five years time, will also bring major changes to manufacturing and communications. The skin would even allow an object to be felt by someone who is physically miles away – similar to the technology in blockbuster sic-fi film Avatar.
Dr Ravinder Dahiya, of Glasgow University, said that as well as the potential to modify prosthetic hands with the skin, there were other possibilities for medicine. A key component of the skin is graphene, the world’s thinnest material. It is only one millionth of the thickness of a human hair, but 200 times stronger than steel and conducts heat and electricity better than copper. The team managed to find a low-cost way of developing sheets of the material. They also use nanowire technology, extremely thin wires used to make sensors.
( Pamela Paterson, 23.05.2016 )

The Health Secretary Is Threatening To Destroy The NHS ..
Nothing better explains why doctors are taking the unprecedented step of striking for two days this week than the words of Professor Alistair Hall. Not only is he a leading heart consultant, but his daughters are both doctors. He says the Government is treating the NHS as if it’s a car plant, sausage factory or supermarket. This is tragically true. An organisation that cares for millions cannot be run as if it’s a profit-driven production line. The consequence is that junior doctors – the backbone of hospitals – are desperate. Many are leaving the NHS, including one of Professor Hall’s daughters, and many more are considering quitting. The sheer stupidity and recklessness of what Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is doing is undermining – and ultimately threatening to destroy – our health service. This is not scaremongering by politicians opposed to the Tories, but what doctors themselves are saying. We trust them with our lives, but the Government doesn’t trust what they are saying about the crisis being forced on the NHS.
( Sunday Mirror, 03.04.2016 )

More People In The UK Not Eating Meat ..
Half a million people in the UK are now on a vegan diet, the total has more than trebled in ten years. A survey by the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine found 42% of those avoiding meat, fish and dairy were aged 15-34. Only 14% were over 65. There are also 1.7 million vegetarians.
( Daily Mirror, 18.05.2016 )

Don’t Give Ibuprofen To Kids With Chickenpox ..
A mother is alerting parents to the danger of giving ibuprofen to children with chickenpox after her young son ended up with septicaemia. The mother claimed a number of doctors prescribed children’s ibuprofen to her son. But he deteriorated and was hospitalised with septicaemia. It was only at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool that she was told the drug reacts with chickenpox. The NHS advises paracetamol as a painkiller for chickenpox.
( Emma Gill, 09.04.2016 )

Aspirin Can Help Prevent Cancer ..
A daily dose of aspirin can help prevent cancer and even stop existing tumours spreading, a major study has found. The findings reveal compelling evidence that the painkiller can improve the odds of surviving the disease by up to 20%. Professor Peter Elwood, of the Cardiff University Medical School, led a systematic review of more than 50,000 cancer patients across almost 50 studies going back decades. He said, “Our review, based on available evidence, suggests low-dose aspirin taken by patients with bowel, breast or prostate cancer, in addition to other treatments, is associated with a reduction in deaths of about 15% to 20%, together with a reduction in the spread of the cancer.”
( Andrew Gregory, 21.04.2016 )

Drug Link To Kidney Damage ..
Drugs used by millions of British people to treat heartburn may increase the risk of kidney damage, scientists claim. Patients are being advised to take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) only when medically necessary and to limit the duration of use. Over five years PPI users had a 28% increased risk of kidney disease and a 96% greater risk of kidney failure, found researchers at the VA St Louis Health Care System in St Louis, US. The findings are reported in the journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
( Daily Mirror, 15.04.2016 )

Alcohol And Processed Meat Cause Stomach Cancer ..
Beers, bacon and obesity have been linked for the first time to stomach cancer. There is strong evidence that drinking three or more alcoholic drinks a day, eating processed meat and being overweight increased the risk, a World Cancer Research Fund report has found. Dr Rachel Thompson, from the Fund, said : “These findings give us a clearer picture. Hopefully they will help people make informed decisions about their lifestyles choices”. The disease kills 5,000 people a year in the UK.
( Andrew Gregory, 21.04.2016 )

Appalling Treatment Of Dying Folk In NHS Hospitals ..
One in eight dying patients are starved of food and water in their final days of NHS care. And one in ten die in agony without pain relief, a poll of bereaved relatives found. A third of those polled said their hospital did not work well together with GP and other community care services. One in ten rated the overall end-of-life care as ‘poor’. The most deprived areas got the worst services, the Office for National Statistics survey found.
( Jack Blanchard, 23.04.2016 )

Aspirin Cuts Risk Of Stroke ..
Taking an aspirin daily straight after suffering a mini-stroke can slash the risk of a major one by up to 80%, a study suggests. Over-60s are at highest risk of mini-strokes, or transient ischemic attacks. And one in 20 people hit by them have a major attack within two days, rising to one in 12 within a week. Professor Peter Rothwell of Oxford University said : “Our findings confirm the effectiveness of urgent treatment and show aspirin is the most important component.”
( Daily Mirror, 19.05.2016 )

The Biggest Sustained Funding Squeeze On The NHS In Its History ..
David Cameron is cheating the NHS out of more than £90billion, explosive new figures reveal. That would have been almost enough to keep the Health Service going for an entire year. The PM has promised the NHS year-on-year rises but Labour would have given far more if it had won the 2015 election. Lack of cash has led to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt haggling with junior doctors over pay and hospitals are £2.3billion in the red. Now Commons Library figures show the NHS is £5billion down on Labour plans last year. And that will increase to nearly £20billion a year by 2020. Over the decade from 2010 to 2020, the NHS would have got £93billion more under Labour’s plan.
Shadow Health Secretary Heidi Alexander said: “This decade is set to be the biggest sustained funding squeeze on the NHS in its history”.
When Labour left office in 2010, NHS funding was 6.3% of the nation’s wealth.
The Labour Party brought waiting lists to a record low and satisfaction to a record high.
The Conservatives have reduced health spending to 5.9% of GDP. In 2020, £128billion will be spent on health compared with Labour’s planned £148billion. 

( Nigel Nelson, 13.03.2016 )

The Longest A&E Waits On Record ..
The NHS is on its knees with A&E and cancer delays now the longest on record.
Official figures revealed 224,000 people spent at least four hours waiting to be seen in A&E in February. Casualty wards are expected to treat 95% of patients within four hours. But the figure fell to 87.8% – the lowest since records began in 2004. Nearly 200 patients were left on trolleys for half a day.

( Nick McDermott, 15.04.2016 )

Foster Children Suffer From Government Cuts ..
Children in care are finding it harder to access ongoing support from social workers because of Government budget cuts, foster carers have warned. A survey by The Fostering Network of more than 760 carers across the UK revealed more than two-thirds felt cuts had impacted foster children’s’ access to social workers. Three in five carers also felt support from their supervising social worker had been affected.
( Community Care, April 2016 )

Declared ‘Fit For Work’ And Died Soon After ..
At least 2,600 sick and disabled people died shortly after being declared ‘fit for work’ by a Government contractor. Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that around 100 people per month died shortly after being ruled well enough to take a job. Over a period of two years, 2,380 people died within 14 days of being taken off Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because they were declared ‘fit to work’ by a controversial assessment process.
( MailOnLine, August 2015 )

A Wonder Drug For Asthma ..
A ‘wonder drug’ that dramatically reduces the severity of asthma attacks has been developed by British scientists. The pill, which is taken twice daily, has been hailed a real ‘game changer’, with the potential to revolutionise treatment of the disease, which affects 5.4 million Britons. Within three months, asthma became five times less severe in participants taking the medication. Professor Chris Brightling, of the University of Leicester, said, “This new drug could be a game changer for treatment of asthma”. Fevipiprant is aimed at severe sufferers and is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Three people die every day because of asthma attacks and research shows that two thirds of these deaths are preventable, according to Asthma UK. The study took place at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.
( Mark Waghorn, 06.08.2016 )

Government Chronic Under-Investment In Mental Health Services ..
The Tories’ failure to invest in mental health services is costing the economy £105billion a year, a report says. The study for NHS England reveals that one in four people will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime and accuses the Government of a “chronic under-investment” in services. The study found that suicides are rising, with 4,882 deaths in 2014. One in 10 children have mental health problems and 30,000 mothers a year suffer post-natal depression. Helping those mothers alone would save £8.1billion a year, the report says. It also calls for funding to help 600,000 people access care such as talking therapy. The report concludes: “Mental health problems represent the largest single cause of disability in the UK”.

( Jason Beattie, 15.02.2016 )

The Public Is Being Conned And The Health Service Cheated ..
The NHS is in crisis and there should be no denying that. Record numbers of patients are waiting for treatment and there are massive financial deficits.
But David Cameron just parrots the same complacent lines about the Government putting more money into the health service.
Now, thanks to House of Commons figures, we can see the real picture. While some extra cash is going in, the proportion of national income given to the NHS is falling.
By the time of the next election in 2020, the service will have been deprived of £93billion that it would have had if spending had continued at the rate of the last Labour government. And that is on top of the near 20% drop in money for social care, which leaves thousands of older people blocking hospital beds instead of being looked after at home. The extra funds being put into the NHS will barely scratch the surface of the enormous shortfall. It is estimated that this year trusts will be £2.2billion in the red, despite enormous efficiency savings having been made. What is happening is blindingly clear. The public is being conned and the health service cheated. Add into this toxic mix the manufactured showdown with junior doctors and it isn’t hard to see how low the Government is stooping to discredit, underfund and undermine our NHS.

( Sunday Mirror, 13.03.2016 )

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