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

This week the Junior doctors, baby deaths and child obesity have dominated the news.

The Royal College of Nursing raises concerns over Agenda for Change

The Royal College of Nursing has made warning comments to Jeremy Hunt this week, after the Health Secretary was interviewed by the Health Service Journal on the Agenda for Change pay system. The College felt he was “ill-briefed” after Hunt said that he wanted to change the way that over 1 million NHS staff are paid, by moving to a “more professional pay structure”.

Read more on the Birmingham Mail.

80% of baby deaths in the UK could be prevented by better care

New research from the MBRRACE-UK coalition has found that out of a total of 225 full-term still births and deaths during child birth, 180 died due to midwife shortages, mistakes by staff and delivery delays. Although improved care has halved the number of babies dying since 1993, there are still a significant number of preventable deaths. Jeremy Hunt has announced plans to ensure that independent investigations take place when a death such as this occurs, which has been welcomed by a number of charities in the sector.

Read more on The Guardian.

Children are “bombarded” with junk food adverts whilst watching television

Research commissioned by the Obesity Health Alliance (a coalition of 40 health charities and medical organisations) looked at adverts during popular family television shows such as The Voice; The Simpsons; and Ninja Warrior. They found that children were seeing up to 12 adverts an hour for high-fat, high-sugar foods, after they found that 49% of children’s viewing occurs between 18:00 and 21:00. The results found that three-quarts of the adverts shown during The Voice would not be allowed if Ofcom were to apply the same advertising guidelines during children’s programming before the 21:00 watershed.

Read more on the BBC.

Public Health England Chief Executive calls local authorities to question whether the Coca-Cola truck is good for their health

Duncan Selbie, the Public Health England (PHE) Chief Executive has said that the Coca-Cola truck will be visiting some of the country’s “tooth decay and obesity hot spots” during its tour of the UK. PHE found that 61% of the towns and cities that will be visited have a higher than average rate of tooth decay and obesity, leading Selbie to ask local authorities to “reflect on whether it’s in the best interests of the health of local children” for the truck to stop in their towns.

Read more on The Telegraph.

Co-Founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge dies aged 46

Anthony Senerchia Jnr, co-founder and inspiration for the Ice Bucket Challenge has died of ALS aged 46. Mr Senerchia Jnr was diagnosed in 2003, and survived 10 years longer than doctors predicted. The Ice Bucket Challenge became a viral hit in 2014, raising awareness and funds across the world for ALS, known as Motor Neurone Disease, in the UK.

Read more on the Independent.

Quote of the week – Rachel Clarke on the NHS standing up for itself over funding:

“…now that Stevens has spoken out unequivocally about the catastrophic impact of underfunding, the government is in the firing line. For the first time, frontline staff, trust CEOs, health unions, health thinktanks and the top brass at NHS England are all aligned and speaking the same, potent truth: that we simply cannot, any longer, provide patients with acceptable care on current funding.”

Read more in The Guardian

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