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NEWS IN BRIEF: Pharmacy Closures; Brexit; PHE Graphic; Low-fat Diets; Antibiotics


23 May 2016

Thousands of pharmacies in England ‘at risk of closure’

Thousands of local pharmacies in England are at risk of closure because of cuts by the Department of Health, the BBC reports.

Pharmacy Voice, which represents High Street chemists, says that without access to a community pharmacist one in four people would visit their busy local GP instead.

But the government says outlets in some areas are too close together.

It proposes giving more people access to a community pharmacy.

Health boss: leaving would cost us staff and resources The head of NHS England came out in favour of staying in the European Union yesterday, claiming that any pressure on the health service from migration would be outweighed by the benefits of membership, The Times reports. Simon Stevens said that some of its 130,000 European doctors, nurses and care workers could leave in the wake of Brexit because of uncertainty over work visas. He also feared that any shock to the economy could further hit the health service’s bank balance after trusts recorded their biggest deficit. Asked about the impact of EU migrants on the NHS, he told The Andrew Marr Show: “This is not black and white. It clearly is the case that where those migrants are paying taxes, that is contributing to the revenues that can afford an expanding NHS.”

Healthy eating graphic from Public Health England was developed with members of food and drinks industry

healthy eating graphic from Public Health England (PHE) was developed with members of the food and drinks industry, the Independent reports.

The image for the Eatwell Guide, which was unveiled in March, was decided upon by a reference group made up of almost 50% industry members.

These included the British Retail Consortium, the Food and Drink Federation, and the Institute of Grocery Distribution, whose members include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Waitrose, as well as major food producers and brands.

The group also included representatives from the Association of Convenience Stores and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which is funded by farmers and growers and supports the meat, dairy and potato industry.

Official advice on low-fat diet and cholesterol is wrong, says health charity Urging people to follow low-fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having “disastrous health consequences”, a health charity has warned, The Guardian reports. In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration call for a “major overhaul” of current dietary guidelines. They say the focus on low-fat diets is failing to address Britain’s obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat. Instead, they call for a return to “whole foods” such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high-fat, healthy foods including avocados, arguing: “Eating fat does not make you fat.”

What’s all the fuss about antibiotics? We reveal the 7 hard facts YOU need to swallow to prevent the crisis

This week the Government’s superbugs tsar unveiled a damning review of the global antibiotic resistance crisis, the Daily Mail reports.

Unveiling the result, the Government’s superbugs tsar said all doctors should be banned from prescribing antibiotics without test results proving they are needed.

Lord Jim O’Neill warned that superbugs will kill more people than cancer by 2050 – and accused doctors of doling out antibiotics ‘like sweets’. He said if antibiotics become unusable, key medical procedures – including caesarean sections, hip replacements and chemotherapy – could become too dangerous to perform because of the risk of infection.

Marc Mendelson Profsesor of Infectious Diseases, of the University of Cape Town, welcomed global awareness of antibiotic resistance – but said there are still pervading myths surrounding antibiotic use.


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