Friday Five

Data deals, red wine and public loo crisis – this week’s Friday Five

Lack of loos leaves the public caught short

One in five people do not leave their house as often as they would like because of a lack of public toilets, according to a report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). The RSPH report recommends that the provision of public toilets should be made compulsory in planning law, with equal access for women and transgender people. The shortfall of toilets is a particular problem for people with medical conditions which can require frequent visits to the toilet, such as diabetes and bowel conditions.  The report recognised that public toilets should be seen as a basic public amenity and that provision of toilets supports calls for people to exercise outdoors more. In response to the report the Local Government Association said that difficult choices have had to be made over recent years with Councils having to manage budget shortfalls and public toilet facilities was part of these competing priorities.  They noted that there were innovative schemes around the country such as community toilets and partnerships with pubs and restaurants to provide additional toilets.

Read more on iNews.

Red, red wine goes to my heart…

Researchers from King’s College London have discovered a molecule in red wine and grapes – resveratrol – causes a drop in blood pressure. It is hoped that this finding could lead to the development of new treatments for high blood pressure in the future.

Although don’t rush to your local wine bar just yet, as these finding are only in cell and animal studies so far.

Read more on iNews.

DHSC bans trusts from exclusive deals

NHS trusts will be ordered not to enter into deals in which they share patient information exclusively with one tech company, for fear it will  prevent sharing patient data for other purposes and undermine government efforts to collect and share patient data nationally.

Several tech companies have signed data-sharing deals with NHS hospital trusts to help them develop and test software, including artificial intelligence. AI company Google Deepmind has signed several data-sharing deals with NHS trusts, most notably with Royal Free London Foundation Trust – an arrangement later deemed unlawful.

Read more in the HSJ (£).

GP’s argue appointments are too short

Family doctors argue that GP consultations need to be extended from 10 to 15 minutes in order to give patients more time to discuss their health. However, this will only be possible if the GP workforce shortage is tackled.

Read more in the Guardian.


Quote of the week

“In an increasingly fragile, fragmented and disconnected society, the NHS has a huge moral and social purpose that goes beyond just healthcare”

Our quote of the week comes from Lord Prior, chair of NHS England, who speaks about his determination to transform the health service.

Read more from Raconteur.