NEWS IN BRIEF: GP Time; Drugs Assessment; Anti-depressants; Zika; Experimental Drugs; Antibiotics


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01 Feb 2016

Bradford GPs spend 40 per cent of their time seeing patients with self-treatable illness

Forty per cent of a Bradford GP’s time is spent seeing patients who could have treated themselves, an NHS boss has said, the Telegraph & Argus reports.

And with doctor’s surgeries in the district now under unprecedented pressure, health bosses are encouraging people to use their community pharmacies as a first port-of-call.

The warning has come from Helen Hirst, chief officer of Bradford City and Bradford Districts NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

In a new report to a scrutiny committee at Bradford Council, she says: “In Bradford, 77 per cent of the population has attended primary medical practice appointments on at least one occasion in the last year, above national average.”

Review of NHS drugs assessment ordered

An independent review is to be carried out of the way drugs are assessed for use on the NHS in Scotland, the BBC reports.

Former medical director for NHS Fife Dr Brian Montgomery will lead the study.

The review will look at how changes made to the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) process in 2014 have affected patient access to medicines for rare and end-of-life conditions.

It will also examine how the system for getting patients access to newly-licensed drugs is working.

Revealed: the town in England that takes the most anti-depressants

The NHS spends more money on anti-depressants in Blackpool than anywhere else in the country, the Independent reports.

Figures have revealed that residents of the seaside resort, famous for its Pleasure Beach and tower, took £1.5 million worth of the drugs last year.

It spends the equivalent of £10.46 per person, enough to buy a three-month course of the most popular pills.

The tourist destination also has the lowest life expectancy for men, with boys living to an average age of 74.7 years.

Zika emergency talks to take place

An emergency meeting of the World Health Organization is being held to discuss the “explosive” spread of the Zika virus, the BBC reports.

The meeting in Geneva will decide whether to declare a global emergency.

WHO officials have described Zika as moving “from a mild threat to one of alarming proportions”.

Most cases will have no symptoms but the virus has been linked to brain abnormalities in thousands of babies in Brazil.

Faster access to experimental drugs

Patients will be promised faster access to experimental drugs under a compromise deal that kills off controversial elements of the so-called Saatchi Bill, The Times reports.

The government will give its backing to an amended version of the Medical Innovation Bill, first suggested by Lord Saatchi, which attempted to liberate doctors to give patients new medicines without fear of litigation.

It was criticised for its potential to remove legal protections for vulnerable patients, with research charities and senior clinicians saying that it was simply not needed.

Leeches for infections, mercury for syphilis and honey smeared on wounds: How doctors treated patients before antibiotics (and why superbugs could see them return)

The development of antibiotics and other antimicrobial therapies is arguably the greatest achievement of modern medicine, the Daily Mail reports.

But before their existence, doctors used everything from knives to leeches and even honey.

And now, researchers say the rise of the superbugs mean we may need to revisit the old techniques.

Overuse and misuse of antimicrobial therapy predictably leads to resistance in microorganisms, and Antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species(VRE) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) have emerged.

 


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