The amount of sugar in fruit drinks, juice drinks and smoothies targeted at children is “unacceptably high” researchers and campaigners say. On average they found 5 teaspoons of sugar per 150ml serving in the 24 smoothies they surveyed- close to the daily limit for a young child. In the journal BMJ Open, they argue such drinks should no longer count as one of the UK’s government’s 5 a day. But manufacturers say juices can make it easier to reach this target.
Current NHS guidelines state a 150ml serving of fruit juice or a 150ml glass of smoothie can count as one of the five fruit and vegetables people are encouraged to eat each day. At the same time, parents are advised that children between 4-6 years of age should consume no more than 19g of sugar a day, while children between 7-10 years should have a maximum of 24g. Researchers say that the way drinks are currently sold can make this very difficult to stick to. They looked at a range of fruit juices, juice drinks and smoothies sold at seven UK supermarkets between July and August 2014 focusing on drinks they felt were targeted at children. For example the cartons would generally fit children’s lunchboxes.
The NHS Choices website on the other hand, has specific advice about juice drinks, warning people to “watch out for drinks that say juice drink on the pack, as they are unlikely to count towards five-a-day and can be high in sugar”.
Junior doctors will put patients “in harm’s way” by withdrawing emergency care during strikes next month, health minister Ben Gummer has said. It British Medical Association said it had been left with no choice against the imposition of a new contract in England. Previous junior doctors strikes have affected only routine care. But the all-out stoppages which will take place from 8:00am to 5pm on April 26/27th, will include emergency care. It will mean consultants being drafted in from other hospitals departments to staff emergency care, potentially causing huge disruption to routine services.
Labour’s Heidi Alexander said this was a ‘worrying time for patients’ and urged ministers to listen to patients and to try and avert strike action. She told Commons ‘The secretary of state may think the matter is closed, I say that is arrogant in the extreme”.
How will this affect patients?
A full walk-out is unchartered territory for hospitals and raises the risk for patients. Consultants will have to be drafted in from all across the hospital to staff everything from intensive care units and emergency surgery to A&E. That will undoubtedly mean a mass postponement of routine work.
More importantly- what does this mean for life-threatening care; the heart attack patients or car accident victims. Greater consultant presence in A&E may mean better, quicker care as they will be more available to make decisions about what patients need.In emergency surgery; consultants are helped by junior colleagues. Having more consultants in a theater should resolve that. But where it becomes less clear is what sort of response patients on wards get if they have a medical emergency. Normally; junior doctors would be among the first medics called. Without them and with consultants and other staff deployed elsewhere; patients could become vulnerable.
A robot is being developed to mimic a diabetic toddler to help children recognize symptoms of the condition. Robin, short for “Robot Infant” is being developed at the University of Hertfordshire and can speak words. Developers said it was aimed at children aged 7-12 to help youngsters learning to manage diabetes. Diabetes UK said it had “been watching the development of Robin with great interest”.
Dr Lola Canamero and Dr Matthew Lewis designed and wrote the £5,800 robot’s character. Robin behaves like a toddler, he wanders around to look at pictures and toys, he plays, dances when he is bored, gets tired and asks for hugs. These traits enable children to relate to Robin, which the developers say is crucial to them in remembering how to treat their condition.
The project, which began in Italy under a 142,000 euro grant as part of the ALIZ-E program, has received £11,000 from the university to continue its work with support from the School of Computer Science.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health president Prof Neena Modi said the system was unfair on call handlers who are not medically trained. She said even clinicians would find it hard to assess small children by a phone call. NHS England acknowledged the importance of thorough training but said the royal colleges helped produce the protocols. A report last month by NHS England described how NHS 111 missed chances to save 12-month old William Mead from Cornwall, who died in 2014 from blood poisoning following a chest infection after staff failed to recognize the seriousness of his condition. NHS England has said call handlers for the 111 service should be trained on how to recognise a complex call and when to call in clinical advice earlier.
But the NHS report concluded that if a medic had taken the final phone call, instead of NHS 111 adviser using a computer system they probably would have realised the child’s cries meant he needed urgent medical attention.
The RCPCH president said 111 had been brought in at huge cost without proper evaluation of whether it was a safe service. She said patients were better cared for when they could contact a family doctor.
A new app is available to help you to access self-care advice, or choose and find your nearest, most appropriate and most convenient local health service. You can find live opening times and directions to each local NHS service. For each type of service, you can ask to see either all locations or those that are open for service at the specific time you are using the App and services include:
- GP Practices
- Urgent Care Centers
Mistrys is featured locally within this app, helping the NHS services instead of having to make unnecessary trips to your nearest A&E services, Mistrys is here to help!
Delays in discharging patients out of hospital after treatment could be costing NHS in England £900m a year an independent review has said.
It said it was a major problem causing operations to be cancelled and resulting in the NHS paying private hospitals to see patients. Lord Carter (Labour peer) identified the issue in a wider look at how £5bn could be saved by 2020. His proposals called for better procurement and staff management, and savings to the drug bill.
But delayed discharges are likely to be a more intractable problem as it is largely not down to the actions of hospitals. Vulnerable and frail patients cannot be released if there is not the support in the community from home care workers or distinct nursing staff or a place in a care home. The report said information provided by trusts estimated as many as 8,500 beds in acute trusts were being blocked. It said if you take into account how much staffing and running a bed costs this works out at £900m a year. But the true costs are even higher. The report highlighted the growing trend to pay private hospitals to do NHS work as a consequence of this.
Last year the NHS spent £11bn in the private sector- 11% on the previous year.
Delayed discharges have also been blamed as one of the causes of growing waiting times in A&E as doctors struggle to find beds for patients who need to be admitted.
INFORMATION FROM BBC HEALTH
Zika Outbreak- what you need to know.
The world Health Organization has declared the Zika virus as a global health emergency. The infection is suspected of babies being born with underdeveloped brains. Some areas have declared a state of emergency, doctors have described it as “a pandemic in progress” some are even advising women in affected countries to delay getting pregnant
What are the symptoms?
Death are rare and only 1/5 people infected are thought to develop symptoms which include:
A rare nervous system disorder, Guillain-Barre syndrome has been linked to the infection. There is no vaccine or drug treatment so patients are advised to rest and drink plenty of fluids. The biggest concern is the impact it could have on babies developing in the womb.
Is it still safe to try for a baby?
The link to microcephaly is not certain but some governments have advised women to delay getting pregnant until more is known. Women visiting the region have been advised not to go, the US Centres of Disease Control says Zika lingers in the blood for about a week.
A cancer treatment at the centre of an NHS debate in 2014 causes fewer side effects in children than regular radiotherapy- according to new research, proton beam therapy is suggested to be as effective as other treatments.
In 2014, the parents of Ashya King took him out of hospital in Hampshire where he was receiving cancer treatment- to get the treatment abroad. Their actions lead to a police operation to find them. Ashya, who was just 5 at the time is now cancer free.
All of the patients who agreed to take part in the study had the most common type of brain tumour in children- known as medulloblastoma. After 5 years, their survival rate was similar to that of patients treated with conventional X-ray radiotherapy but the side effect to the heart and lungs was much fewer. Proton radiotherapy resulted in acceptable toxicity and had similar survival rate to those noted with conventional radiotherapy, suggesting that the use of the treatment may be an alternative to photon-based treatments.
Proton beam therapy is currently only available in the UK to treat eye cancers, but patients with other forms of cancer can apply for NHS funding for the therapy abroad. The first proton beam facility in the UK is due to be made available in Newport by the end of 2016.
The department of health has said that from April 2018 the treatment will be offered to up to 1,500 cancer patients at hospitals in London and Manchester, following investment worth £250million.
How proton beam technology works-
It uses charged particles instead of X-rays to deliver radiotherapy for cancer patients. The treatment allows high-energy protons to be targeted directly at a tumour, reducing the dose to surrounding tissues and organs. In general, it gives fewer side effects compared with high-energy X-ray treatments. It can be used to treat spinal cord tumours, sarcomas near the spine or brain, prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and some children’s cancer.