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Digital prescriptions, more mental health support and miracle medicines – it’s this week’s Friday Fi

Digital prescriptions could save NHS £300 million a year

November will see the electronic prescription service rolled out across England, in a bid for the NHS to keep up with the digital agenda.

This service will create a faster and more secure process for clinicians to prescribe and dispense medicines, ultimately giving more time back to clinicians to spend with patients.

Through the reduction of paper processing and prescribing errors, it is estimated for the service to save the NHS £300 million a year by 2021.

Mental health support for doctors and dentists

This week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that all NHS doctors and dentists in England now have access to a comprehensive mental health service.

The service provides 24/7 support, in person or over the phone, to staff who have faced a stressful incident at work or feel they are struggling with their mental health.

Hancock had said on Twitter that it was available to nurses and all other NHS staff, but this was later corrected by DHSC.

Read more in the HSJ.

Two out of three wild poliovirus strains eradicated

The World Health Organisation has officially declared the world free of polio virus type 3, in addition to type 2 which was eradicated 2 years ago.

However, despite the fact the last known case of polio caused by the type 1 virus occurred in 2016, the type 1 virus is still known to be circulating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The WHO’s regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said: “The eradication of wild polio virus type 3 is a major milestone towards a polio-free world – but we cannot relax. This job is not finished until wild polio virus type 1 is globally eradicated, along with concerning outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived polio virus.”

Read more on the BBC.

Football headers… a nod to dementia?

Ever wince when seeing a footballer going in for a head ball? Well your intuition was right!

New research has uncovered that former professional footballers are three and a half times more likely to die of dementia than people of the same age range in the general population.

Experts at Glasgow University have been investigating fears that heading the ball could be linked to brain injuries.

Read more in the The BBC.


Quote of the week

Matt Hancock commended the announcement that a new drug for cystic fibrosis will now be available on the NHS.

“Some wonderful news this morning. We’ve agreed a deal to provide Orkambi and other lifesaving cystic fibrosis drugs on the NHS.”

Orkambi is manufactured by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and improves lung function and reduces breathing difficulties in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Read more on The BBC.

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