A fifth of antibiotic prescriptions deemed unnecessary by Public Health England
Public Health England (PHE) have found that one in five antibiotic prescriptions, they report that instances of antibiotic prescribing should be cut by 10% over the next two years to meet the Government’s targets by 2020. This is on the back of the previous work done by the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies in raising awareness of. PHE’s experts found that antibiotics had been given in 88% of sinus infections when only 11% of these were issued appropriately. This is a huge threat facing people across the globe, with World Health Organisation are leading a Global Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance, as more than 700,000 people die globally from antibiotic resistant infections.
Read more on The Times (£).
Common skin bacteria could prevent skin cancer
A strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis has been discovered that may help to prevent skin cancer. Scientists from the University of California found that the strain has a chemical 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP) which hinders the production of DNA and prevents a number of types of tumour cells from growing and multiplying. In experiments, the team found that intravenously introducing 6-HAP to mice who were given melanoma cells ended up with tumours that were 60% smaller. They also found that the application of the 6-HAP strain to the skin of mice greatly reduced the number of pre-malignant skin tumours and the number of mice affected. The team believe that about 20% of the population is likely to have this strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis.
Read more on The Guardian.
‘Care BnB’ to launch new trial in Cambridge
CareRooms, the company behind the ‘Care BnB’ model is to start a new trial in Cambridge with Cambridgeshire County Council. This comes after the initial trial in Essex was halted after patient groups and social care directors raised safeguarding concerns. A working group is to be set up with the council, and the plans are believed to be supported by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care. The council has not committed to pilot the model, which will not be CQC regulated.
Read more on the HSJ (£).
Home Office considers medical cannabis trial
The Home Office is considering allowing a medical cannabis trial to treat Alfie Dingley, a six-year-old with a rare form of epilepsy. Previous requests have been turned down, but now ministers are “exploring every option” following a meeting with the family and could allow a three-month trial to take place. Alfie’s mother has previously taken him to the Netherlands where he tried a cannabis-based medication which reduced the number, severity and duration of his seizures, which previously occurred up to 30 times a day.
Read more on The BBC.
British Attitude Survey finds links between political party support and NHS satisfaction
The latest British Attitude Survey explores the correlation between political party support and satisfaction with the NHS. The peak of public satisfaction across the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties was in 2010, with the lowest ebb falling in 1997. The period of overall satisfaction regardless of party was from 1997 to 2010 when Labour was in government. From 1997 to 1999 satisfaction with the NHS rocketed from 28% to 50% within the Labour Party, however then fell in 2000-01.
Read more on The Nuffield Trust.
Quote of the week – Ranjana Srivastava on patient empowerment around their healthcare choices:
“…in an era of profuse information and advice, it is nevertheless an irony that most patients feel completely bewildered by their healthcare choices. People undergoing elective surgery want to understand the risks and prepare themselves but they feel uninformed and disempowered. Even highly educated patients stumble when it comes to taking control of their healthcare.”
Read more on The Guardian.