Friday Five

NHS crisis continues but good news for heart disease – this weeks Friday Five

Physicians pile on pressure over PCN predicament

A petition with 100 signatures has been sent to NHS England to protest the draft service specification for Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

At least one clinical director has stood down in protest.

PCN leaders across Dorset have said ‘additional work and bureaucracy proposed in the specifications would ‘do nothing to alleviate the crisis or reduce workload in primary care’ and believe that NHS England is ‘out of touch’.

Read more on GPonline.

NHS to trial cholesterol-busting jab

A ‘ground-breaking’ injection that reduces bad cholesterol is to be trialled by the NHS in England.

The new medicine, inclirisan, is yet to be approved by the FDA, but will be made available to patients at high risk of stroke or heart attack in a large-scale clinical trial.

The initiative has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people, by lowering the risk of heart disease and offering an alternative to daily doses of statins.

Read more on BBC News.

NHS calls for urgent action to tackle gambling addictions

Claire Murdoch, national director for mental health has written to five major gambling companies, to voice her concern of the devastating impact gambling addictions can have on people’s health.

She said she worried that problem gamblers were being pulled into a ‘vicious gambling cycle’ with extra incentives to encourage them to spend more money.

The betting industry said it was determined to make gambling safer starting its plans to ban bets using credit cards from 14 April.

Read more in BBC News.

HIV infection rate falls by 73% in the UK

The number of HIV diagnoses in the UK has dropped substantially since 2014, according to new figures released by Public Health England.

Gay and bisexual men have experienced the most dramatic decline in new infections, with rates falling by 73%. This has been attributed to a rise in the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep).

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said the UK was on track to achieve its goal of ending HIV transmission by 2030.

Read more in BBC News.


Quote of the week

Matt Hancock’s plans to scrap the four-hour A & E target sparked a furious backlash from healthcare professionals, with accusations of attempting to cover up NHS failures.

Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association, warned that changing the waiting time target would be “premature and unjustified. We would be greatly concerned about what it would mean for patients, and whether it might be happening simply to disguise a collapse in NHS performance due to unnecessary long-term underfunding, avoidable workforce shortages and predictable growth in patient need.”

Read more in The Guardian.