Friday 5

Choking deaths, insulin pills, students’ mental health, and the UN- this week’s Friday 5

Universities urged to invest more in mental health services for students

The Universities Minister, Sam Gyimah, will tell universities that they risk ‘falling a generation of students’ if they do not take action to combat a growing student mental health crisis. In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Gyimah said that he will be urging university leaders to commit to a ‘new covenant requiring them to invest in mental health services’. The covenant will include devoting more resources to the “critical first year” of university, where students make the transition from sixth form.

Read more on the Telegraph.


Hospital patients are choking to death because of staff oversight

NHS Improvement has issued a warning to all hospitals, GP surgeries, and ambulance trusts in England over patients who have difficulties swallowing food being fed inappropriate menu choices. The warning followed the reports of over 270 incidents in two years. Such incidents included two patients who died, and five who were deemed to have come to ‘significant harm’ having been fed food they were unable to eat properly, including sponge cakes and hash browns.

Read more at The Times.


An insulin pill could end the need for daily injections

Researchers writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, claim to have created a pill that could dramatically alter the way diabetic people manage their blood sugar levels. It is hoped that the pill could mean the eradication of the injection that up to 40 million people living with type 1 diabetes need once or twice a day. The researchers have also outlined the pill’s ability to mitigate other side effects that diabetics can face if they neglect their insulin therapy.

Read more on The Independent.


Study finds that the NHS is ‘worse than average in treating eight common causes of death’

Comparing the NHS to the health systems of eighteen other developed counties, a report jointly carried out by the Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation, the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the King’s Fund, has concluded. Whilst the NHS led the other countries in ensuring equal access to treatment, it underperformed in preventing common causes of death, including deaths within 30 days of having a heart attack, and within five years of being diagnosed with several cancers. The health service also came in third-lowest in cases where medical intervention should have prevented death.

Read more at the Guardian.


UN calls for an extra £5tn by 2030 to tackle the global care crisis

The UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned that demographic changes alone stand to render current plans for care funding redundant and meaningless. In their calls for at least an extra £5.3tn to be spent on social care globally by 2030, the ILO warned women would be those who would especially bear the brunt of the shortfalls in social care funding. Continued rises in birth rates and increased life expectancy means that there will be about 200 million more people around the world needing care by 2030, the ILO said.

Read more on the Guardian.


Quote of the week-

Our quote of the week is from Cecilia Brown, who reflects on her time as a senior staff nurse at St George’s Hospital in Tooting. Cecilia joined the NHS in 1966 from Grenada, and her interview is part of a series of interviews with nurses from each decade of the NHS.

The NHS is one of the best organisations in the world. Every country envies it. This is something we have to boast about, therefore we must work to save it. If a young person was considering becoming a nurse today, I would tell them: “You go into nursing my dear, do not listen to what anybody says” – because I tell you, it’s one of the most rewarding jobs. And the money’s not too bad now. In my day, we got hardly any money. But I enjoyed the nursing and I praise the NHS for having me here [from Grenada].

My only regret is that I had to retire. When I go back to the ward to see some old friends, the nurses say to me: “Come on Cecilia, will you get a uniform and come and help us?”

Read more on The Guardian.