Friday five: a round-up of the five top health stories this week

This week measles, the future of DNA and rugby in schools have dominated the news.

Measles has been eliminated from Great Britain for the first time

Measles has been eliminated from Great Britain for the first time according to the World Health Organisation. No indigenous cases have been recorded for three years, however, there have been over 1,000 cases which have come from abroad. Read more on The Times (£).

Calls for tackles and scrums to be banned in school rugby

Academics have made calls for tackles and scrums to be banned in games of rugby played by children to reduce long-term side effects from concussions. They argue that a history of concussion lowers “a person’s life chances” and is linked to low educational achievement and premature death.  Read more on The Independent.

Scientists coax mutated DNA to morph back to health

Researchers in China have reportedly proved that it is possible to correct errors in DNA, and remove the disease beta-thalassemia, a widespread blood disorder in the country. British scientists have called the work a ‘highly significant’ advance, however more research must be undertaken around to ascertain the future of this approach. Read more on The Telegraph.

Labour Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth calls for £500m NHS winter bailout

At the Labour Party Conference this week, Jon Ashworth has called for the government to increase spending on the NHS to increase capacity in hospitals and pay for additional staff. He also announced Labour’s plans for the future funding of the NHS including an ‘extra £100m for A&E departments’. Read more on the BBC.

Clinical Commissioning Groups overspend by £60m

CCGs have overspent by £60m in their first four months of their financial year new reports show. The four CCGs with the biggest overspends are: Somerset Coastal West Sussex, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and Morecambe Bay. Read more on the HSJ (£).

Quote of the week – Photographer, Rankin on his ‘Heart for a heart’ campaign for the British Heart Foundation

“I am not an expert. I just think it’s important to research these things for yourself. I am definitely a short, fat, very unhealthy bloke so if I can do a little bit, then everybody can do it. This is a fun way of going, ‘It’s important to look after yourself,’ and I like the idea of a social media conceit that is not just liking something.” Read more on The Guardian

Image from Rankin’s campaign, which encourages social media users to upload their own heart shaped artwork to raise awareness of World Heart Day.