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Exercise, abortion, immigration, and Tony the Tiger- this week’s Friday 5

Theresa May’s immigration cap on foreign doctors criticised by NHS health chiefs

The chief executive of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust has criticised the government for rejecting visa bids for thousands of non-EU doctors. Andrew Foster claimed in an interview on BBC radio that a recruitment scheme run by his trust had seen the visas for 120 Indian doctors denied on multiple occasions. Official figures reflect this, showing some 1,518 visa bids for doctor jobs rejected in the first quarter of 2018. This is despite there being thousands of doctor vacancies in the NHS that are going unfilled. “It’s absolutely barmy that one branch of Government is trying to increase the capacity of the NHS and another branch is stopping it from doing so,” Foster told BBC radio.

Read more in the Evening Standard.


Irish government to consider granting Northern Irish women abortion access

Following last week’s landmark referendum in which 66% of the population voted to overturn the country’s ban on abortion, the Irish government is to examine whether or not women in Northern Ireland will be able to use Irish abortion services once they have become legal. Northern Ireland is the only country in the UK where abortion remains illegal except in cases of risk to the mother’s life or if there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health. Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) stated that he ‘imagined’ citizens across the border would be able to use the health facilities in Ireland.

Read more on BBC News.


‘Remarkably promising’ results from new brain cancer vaccine

An 11-year international study into treatment for glioblastoma multiforme has yielded promising results, with some of the trial patients going on to live more than seven years after receiving the treatment. Whilst still being in the late stages of human trials, the authors of the study have stated that the results ‘give new hope to the patients and clinicians battling with this terrible disease’. The treatment works by extracting dendritic cells from patient’s blood, before mixing them with markers from the brain tumour and injecting them back into the body ‘to prime it to attack the cancer’.

Read more in The Independent.


52 hours of exercise could reverse mental decline in the elderly

Following research carried out on older people, scientists say that they believe as little as 52 hours of exercise could be enough to reverse their mental decline. Having analysed 98 studies that involved 11,000 over 60s, the study found that nearly any form of physical activity, including running, swimming, and yoga, can lead to substantial cognitive benefits if it is maintained. These benefits included increased problem-solving functions even in those suffering from dementia.

Read more in The Times. (£)


Farewell Tony the Tiger? Goodbye Honey Monster?

The Health Select Committee has called for a ban on the use of fictional and cartoon characters, such as the Milky Bar Kid, in the promotion of unhealthy food. However, the Committee also argued that other characters, such as the Jolly Green Giant, could be used to promote healthy foods. Other recommendations include removing sweets and chocolate from the end of supermarket aisles and checkouts; granting local authorities powers to limit the number of fast food outlets in their area, and banning adverts for junk foods before the watershed.

Read more on the BBC News.


Quote of the week –

Christie Watson’s new memoir based on her career as a nurse has been celebrated as an honest, ‘impassioned appeal for a return to kindness’. In an interview with Kat Lister, Christie argues that to get to the heart of the challenges facing the health system, we need to champion nurses and personal interaction as key to solving many of these challenges.

“Healthcare systems, not just the NHS, are struggling all over the world,” Watson tells me. “I think that’s partly because we’re losing the value of nurses but also our illnesses are changing. We’re not so much suffering with curable diseases that can be helped with medicine and technology – we’re suffering with old age, loneliness, anxiety.”

Read more on The Pool.


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