News

NHS ‘risk zones’, confirmation of Theresa May’s cash injection for the NHS, dog flu, and syphilis- this week’s Friday 5

Study of NHS ‘risk zones’ suggest a link between Trusts’ finances and mortality

New research by the Centre for Progressive Policy has identified 32 “risk zones” in England where people are more likely to die of preventable causes, having linked waiting times and safety incidents with the financial performance of NHS Trusts. The thinktank, which was supported by an advisory group convened and facilitated by ZPB, argued that the research found a “strong tendency” for a trust’s performance in three main standards- accident and emergency, elective, and cancer care- to weaken as their financial position worsens.

Read more on the HSJ (£).

 


Jeremy Hunt reveals that Theresa May is to give the NHS a ‘significant’ cash injection

In an exclusive article in The Guardian, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care revealed that the Prime Minister is to give the NHS a ‘significant’ budget increase to coincide with the health service’s 70th birthday. The increase will see May fulfilling her pledge to implement a long-term funding plan for the NHS, and thereby ditching the 1% annual rises it has received since 2010. Jeremy Hunt also announced that he is unlikely to fulfil his pledge to boost the number of GPs in England by 5,000 by 2020, as well as accepting that Brexit has contributed to the staff shortages being faced by the NHS.

Read more in The Guardian.

 


Supreme Court strikes blow to Northern Ireland abortion appeal

Following the recent referendum on abortion in the Republic of Ireland, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has had its case challenging the legality of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws dismissed by the Supreme Court. Whilst a majority of the judges agreed that existing law was incompatible with human rights law in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities and sexual crime, the Commission was defeated on what some analysts have called a technical legal point. The judges stated that the case needed to have been brought by a woman who was pregnant as a result of sexual crime, or if the foetus they were carrying had a fatal abnormality. Due to this, they did not make a formal declaration of incompatibility, which would normally lead to a change in the law.

Read more on BBC News.


Dogs could spark the next worldwide pandemic

This week, scientists warned that pet dogs could be the carriers of the next influenza pandemic. The warning came after scientists discovered that domesticated dogs are carrying flu viruses that have the potential to be transmitted to humans. Whilst viruses have been observed in dogs before now, these specific viruses are beginning to evolve, creating the possibility that they could further mutate and be passed onto humans. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, the study’s principal investigator, warned that “this is very reminiscent of what happened in swine 10 years before the H1N1 flu outbreak”.

Read more on the Telegraph.


Government cuts are leading to the highest surge in syphilis for nearly 70 years

Figures from Public Health England show that there were over 7,100 cases of syphilis reported last year, representing an increase of 20% on 2016’s numbers, and more than double of those in 2012. The age group with the highest number of reported cases was those aged between 25 and 34-year-olds. Commenting on the figures, Public Health England called for services to better prevent and treat sexually-transmitted infections to be further strengthened. The chairwoman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said that the rise in cases represented a ‘significant strain’ on council resources, and that, ‘Government must reverse cuts to councils’ public health grants because we cannot tackle this by stretching services even thinner’.

Read more on Sky News.


Quote of the week –

Valentina Levi, an adolescent psychotherapist at the Brent Centre, talks about the issues facing young people living in inner cities, with the news that teenage suicides in London have risen by 107%, more than four times the national rate.

“Many young people from more deprived neighbourhoods really feel they have no hope in terms of the future they are facing – in terms of education and jobs. They don’t feel they have any hope of getting anywhere.”

Read more on the Independent.