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Friday five: top health news stories this week

This week the Budget, living in London and Sussex Health Care have dominated the news.

The Chancellor announces NHS funding in the Budget

This week, the Chancellor announced the Budget in Parliament. He had previously been warned that the NHS needed £4bn in order to ‘look after patients properly next year’. The figures announced were considerably less, with £1.6bn for NHS England in 2018-19 and an additional £900m 2019-20. However, a separate pot of £10bn has been promised with £2.5bn provided between now and 2020.

Read more on The Guardian.

Living in London is as risky as living in a nuclear disaster fall out zone

New research from the University of Bristol finds that the air pollution in London poses the same risk to our health as living in a nuclear fallout zone such as Chernobyl or Fukushima. The air pollution in the city has reached critical levels, breaching its legal limits for toxic air in just five days at the beginning of 2017.

Read more on the Evening Standard.

Residents neglected and suffer serious injuries in Sussex Health Care homes

Two men living in Sussex Health Care homes suffered fractured thighs, and their families are pushing to have their cases included in the ongoing police investigation. A safeguarding inquiry by West Sussex County Council had previously looked at the cases, however three orthopaedic consultants had told the BBC the situation warranted serious investigation.

Read more on the BBC.

Competition and Markets Authority accuse Concordia of overcharging the NHS millions

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ‘provisionally’ found that the pharmaceutical company Concordia has charged the NHS more than £34m for liothyronine tablets in 2016. The cost of pack of liothyronine rose from £4.46 (before it was debranded) to £258.19 in July 2017, an increase of 6000%. Liothyronine is a treatment for hypothyroidism, and whilst it is not the only treatment, it is the only “suitable alternative” for patients.

Read more on Chemist+ Druggist.

Three cups of coffee a day ‘may have health benefits’

A review of studies published in the British Medical Journal has found that three to four cups of coffee may actually be beneficial for our health. It has reportedly been found to lower the risk of liver disease; some cancers; and reduces the chance of dying from a stroke. The data was pulled together by the University of Southampton who looked at over 200 studies.

Read more on the Metro.

Quote of the week – Rachel Henaghan as told to Sarah Johnson, on the ‘don’t block my drive’ note she received on her ambulance:

“As paramedics, we have brief relationships with people at their most vulnerable: a short window where trust is gained and reassurance is given. I think of my patient’s family and their grief, which has been overshadowed by this social media storm. In 17 years of working for the ambulance service, there have been few cases that I have taken home with me, but this is one I cannot avoid.”

Read more in The Guardian

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