top of page

Friday five: top health news stories of the week


This week the baby born with her heart outside of her chest, Sir Bob Kerslake’s resignation and the breakthrough in the Huntingdon’s disease have dominated the news.

Baby survives being born with her heart outside of her chest

Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born with her heart outside of her chest, and has astounded doctors to survive birth. Doctors performed the first surgery on Vanellope when she was just 50 minutes old in a groundbreaking operation which had a 50-strong team of doctors. A further operation was performed when she was a week old, to allow her heart to fall naturally into her chest through gravity. A breast bone will be created for Vanellope through either 3-D printing or utilising another bone from her body.

Read more on Sky News.

Lord Kerslake resigns as Chair of Kings College Hospital

Lord Kerslake has resigned as Chair of Kings College Hospital London over ‘unrealistic’ funding demands from the government and regulatory bodies. Lord Kerslake has commented on the Kings deficit, which he has worked closely with NHS Improvement to reduce. However, with recent struggles, Kings have deviated from their target figure and are due to be put in financial special measures.

Read more on The Times (£).

Breakthrough in treatment for Huntington’s Disease

A new trial by University College London, has found that there may be a treatment for Huntington’s Disease, which has had “enormously successful” results in early patient trials. Previously there has been no cure for the disease, only for its symptoms. Sufferers face deterioration of motor skills, memory and eventual death, and this breakthrough will instill hope in hundreds of patients.

Read more on the Independent.

Secretary of State launches opt-out organ donation plans in England

Jeremy Hunt has launched plans for an opt-out organ donation system in England, under the new plans, everyone would donate their organs upon death unless they’d signed a register opting not to. NHS England’s figures show that there are 6500 people on the transplant list, and 1100 families chose not to allow the organs of their relatives to be donated, because they didn’t know if they would have wanted to donate.

Read more on The Guardian.

National Data Guardian 2017 report published

The National Data Guardian (NDG) has published the 2017 report, marking the end of Dame Fiona Caldicott’s first three-year term. The report looks at the future of the role of the NDG, as it gains a statutory footing through Parliament and the independent advice and challenge function, to ensure that data is properly safeguarded throughout the health service.

Read more on Digital by Default.

Quote of the week – Lord Kerslake on his resignation:

“My two and a half years at King’s have been in equal parts inspiring and frustrating. There are undoubtedly things that I and the trust could have done better – there always are – but fundamentally our problems lie in the way that the NHS is funded and organised. We desperately need a fundamental rethink. Until then we are simply “kicking the can down the road.”

Read more in The Guardian

bottom of page