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“Alexa, what is this week’s Friday Five?”

Amazon Alexa provides NHS medical advice

The NHS is collaborating with Amazon to provide reliable health information from the NHS Choices website through the AI-powered voice assistant Alexa.

The technology will help patients, especially the elderly and blind, to access the NHS-verified health information and has the potential to reduce the pressure on the NHS and GPs.

However, questions have been raised over data protection.

Read more on the BBC.

HPV vaccine to be given to teenage boys

From September 2019, boys in school year 8 will be offered the HPV vaccine for the first time.

HPV is thought to be responsible for over 99% of cervical cancers, as well as 90% of anal cancers, 70% of vaginal cancers and more than 60% of penile cancers.

By 2058, Public Health England estimates that the programme could prevent more than 100,000 cancers across the UK.

Read more in Public Health England.

Review of benefits system for the terminally ill

Work and Pensions Secretary, Amber Rudd has announced plans to review the benefits system for terminally ill patients.

Under the current rules, terminally ill patients need to prove that they have 6 months or less to live before they can have their benefit claim fast-tracked.

Amber Rudd is promising to re-evaluate this system so that fast-track benefits are available to terminally ill patients.

Read more in the Guardian.

Patients struggle to reach GP on the phone

A GP patient survey by NHS England has shown that one in three people have difficulty getting through to GP practices on the phone and fail to make appointments when needed.

There have been reports of patients taking drastic steps in some areas by queuing early in the morning before surgeries open to secure an urgent appointment.

NHS England have recognised that GPs are facing increased pressure and are looking to improve booking systems and at the potential of online consultations to extend capacity.

Read more on the BBC.


Quote of the week

Our quote of the week comes from Adrian Chiles, who praises healthcare staff for their competency, compassion and commitment during his dad’s stay in hospital.

“We should be putting up statues to the heroes of the NHS. If I could, I’d carve them myself”

Read more in The Guardian.

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