Friday 5

Deportations, fax machines, pollution, and diabetes- this week’s Friday 5

NHS unable to sponsor the visas of over 400 GPs who now face deportation

Pulse reports that NHS England is urgently reaching out to GP practices in order to find sponsors for more than 400 international GPs who are due to complete their training this month. NHS England had originally planned to act as the GPs’ ‘proxy sponsor’ but NHS correspondence has since proved that they would be ‘unlikely’ to do so.

According to emails seen by Pulse, there are over 400 non-EEA students in GP training programmes who are due to qualify at the end of July. However, if they are not matched with qualifying practices who hold sponsorship licences, they face being deported when their current visas expire.

Read more on Pulse.


Treatment to prevent babies from developing type 1 diabetes

Researchers believe that they can use powdered insulin to train the immune systems of infants to offer life-long protection against the condition. Pregnant women in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire are being asked to sign up for the trial, which will see children given insulin powder daily from the age of sixth months to three years. Half of those taking part will be given the real insulin, whilst the other half will receive a placebo.

Read more on BBC News.


The NHS is clinging on to over 9,000 fax machines.

Freedom of Information requests by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) show that NHS Trusts own at least 8,946 fax machines. Newcastle Upon Tyne Foundation NHS Trust reported having the most, with 603 fax machines, while Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has 400 and Barts Health NHS Trust has 369. Richard Kerr, who is chairing the RCS commission on the future of surgery, called out the NHS for being ‘stubbornly attached’ to the machines.

Read more on i News.


Social care ‘postcode lottery’ risks letting down vulnerable children 

A report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children has found that the funding gap for children’s social care is affecting the quality of care that children are facing. More than 80% of directors of children’s services who were surveyed described problems of children receiving varying standards of care depending on where they lived. Even more worrying was the fact that this was true in two-thirds of cases when the child was deemed as being at risk. In its report the APPG has called on the Government to resolve the funding gap, which is set to reach £3bn by 2025, replacing it with a sustainable long-term funding plan for services geared to early help and prevention.

Read more on the Big Issue.


Illegal levels of pollution linked to spikes in visits to the GP and hospital admissions

Increasing attention is paid to the effects of high levels of pollution on people’s health, especially children, following the death of nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah, who died of an asthma attack. Last week a medical expert said that Ella’s history of hospital admissions demonstrated a “striking association” with spikes in “illegal levels” of air population around her house.

Researchers have also concluded the most comprehensive study of the effects of air population, comparing 15 years’ worth of data on air safety levels in Dundee, Perth and the surrounding areas with the medical records of 450 individuals who suffer from bronchiectasis, a long-term condition similar to COPD. Report author Professor James Chalmers said that the results are stark: “When we looked at these two sets of data side-by-side the links between the periods when air pollution is at its worst and when these patients are having to seek assistance is absolutely clear.”-Read more on The Guardian.


Quote of the week-

As Matt Hancock takes over from Jeremy Hunt as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, he looks at how the NHS can better tackle the problems facing the workforce, including bullying and harassment, and the feeling of staff that they are undervalued.

“I understand that sense of service. It is rewarding. But it can’t be taken for granted either. I am determined to ensure duty is rewarded by the sort of system people deserve. That means taking on issues like bullying and harassment, recruiting and retaining staff and improving options for flexible working.”

Read more at the HSJ (£).