Friday Five

Collusion, cataracts, and crisis in social care – this week’s Friday Five

NHS “rationing” cataracts surgery

An investigation by the British Medical Journal has found that the number of patients rejected for cataract surgery has increased . Nearly 3,000 patients saw their ophthalmologist’s request for the procedure rejected outright, twice as many as three years ago, and one in five now have to undergo a further pre-approval check after being referred for cataract surgery, a rise from 7 per cent of patients who were screened in 2016-17. These figures have been criticised as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) concluded that the operation was cost effective and should not be limited to people who had the most severe vision loss.

Read more in the Independent.

Measles outbreak in London schools

Measles outbreaks at three London schools have seen headteachers across the north and west of the capital put on high alert by health authorities.

Public Health England (PHE) has written to educators in the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster warning them to be vigilant for the highly contagious infection.

Read more in the Independent.

Collusion by drug firms cost NHS millions

Four drugs companies colluded to restrict the supply of an anti-nausea tablet, driving up prices dramatically and costing the NHS millions of pounds, the Competition and Markets Authority has alleged. The price of a pack of anti-sickness drug Prochlorperazine soared eightfold from £6.49 in 2013 to £51.68 in 2017, and over that period, NHS spending on the drug almost tripled to £7.5m despite the fact that it was prescribed less.

Read more in the Independent.

English ‘short-changed on care funding’

Public spending on care for the elderly and disabled is much higher in Scotland and Wales than England, figures show. In England, £310 per person is spent each year on services such as care homes and home help for daily tasks such as washing and dressing. But in Scotland, £445 is spent – 43% more than in England – and in Wales it is £414 – 33% more. The analysis has been produced by the Health Foundation using official spending and population data.

Read more on the BBC.


Quote of the week

“It has taken us a long time to get here. Until a few years ago, removing pathologising categories affecting trans and gender diverse people from the ICD-10 list of mental disorders seemed impossible. Today, we know that full depathologisation can be achieved and will be achieved in our lifetime.”

Our quote of the week comes from the a joint statement from nine organisations work on gender identity, as transgender health issues will no longer be classified as mental and behavioural disorders under big changes to the World Health Organisation’s global manual of diagnoses.

Read more on the BBC.