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Home / News / News in Brief / NEWS IN BRIEF: St John’s Wort; Named and Shamed; Jailed Brothers; Tampons; ENT; Community Care; NHS Dissatisfaction

NEWS IN BRIEF: St John’s Wort; Named and Shamed; Jailed Brothers; Tampons; ENT; Community Care; NHS Dissatisfaction


09 Feb 2016

Precautionary recall – six batches of St John’s Wort Tablets

Six batches of St John’s Wort Tablets containing 91,800 packs are being recalled today as a precaution because of product contamination.

These tablets have levels of a toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) above the threshold recommended by the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC), a European expert body.

People who have bought these particular St John’s Wort Tablets since September 2013 should check the batch numbers on the label to see if they have the affected product, says the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Pharmacy named and shamed for “helping out staff”

A pharmacy has been “named and shamed” for paying less than the minimum wage – over what the owners say was a technicality, the Leicester Mercury reports.

Parkem Chemists, in Dominion Road, Glenfield, is on a list of 92 companies the Government claim short-changed staff out of a grand total of £1.87 million.

While one – TSS or Total Security Services Ltd of London – owed more than £1.7 million to 2,500 employees, it said Parkem owed £687.89 to four members of staff.

However pharmacy owners Mr Suryakant and Mrs Subha Patel said they were simply caught out for letting staff buy items from the shop on account – and at a 15 per cent discount – then deducting the money from their wages at the end of the month.

Brothers sentenced for the illegal sale of medicines

Two brothers have been sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court for the illegal importation and sale of unlicensed erectile dysfunction drugs.

Charlie Knight, 21, and Matthew Knight, 27, from Station Road, Hatfield Pereval in Essex were both given eight month prison sentences suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

They were also ordered to pay £1000 in costs each. This followed an investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

During the investigation a raid was conducted on a property in Hatfield Pererval, Essex.

MHRA investigators found over 19,000 doses of unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines.

Superdrug vows to give women back ‘unfair’ tampon tax

Superdrug is launching a campaign against the so-called ‘tampon tax’ by promising to give customers points on their loyalty cards every time they buy sanitary products, The Telegraph reports.

Currently, tampons and sanitary towels carry a five per cent VAT in the UK under European rules because they are classed as luxury, rather than essential, items.

But a Superdrug spokeswoman has branded the tax “unfair” and said she hoped the pharmacy’s campaign would “make customers more aware of the issue” and “have an impact on the debate”.

Radical changes planned to move ear, nose and throat services out of hospitals

Radical changes are being made to ear, nose and throat services in the Welsh NHS to deal with a rapid rise in demand and ease pressure on hospitals, it has been revealed, the Wales Online reports.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) services encompass a high volume of children’s surgery, cancer treatment and a range of adult services including patients with significant hearing problems.

The Welsh Government says ENT services in most health boards are under “considerable pressure” to meet performance targets and do not have sufficient capacity to meet demand.

So a new National ENT Implementation Plan has been set up which aims to improve patient experience and outcomes and move less urgent care away from hospital settings.

Community care at front and centre of modern services

Years ago there was a strict division between primary and secondary care – you saw your doctor for some things and went to hospital for others, the South Wales Evening Post reports.

But these days the lines are blurred. Some services people would once have had to go to hospital for are instead being provided in their local GP surgery or health centre.

And it’s something the people of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot will see more of as new ways of working are introduced and additional funding becomes available.

One example is the new Briton Ferry Health Centre, home to two GP practices – Dr Wilkes and Partners and Waterside Medical Practice.

As well as traditional GP services, centre staff also offer a diabetic and musculoskeletal service, while complex wound care is provided by an ABMU community nursing team.

Record rise in NHS dissatisfaction levels – survey says

The biggest ever rise in public dissatisfaction with the NHS was recorded last year, according to a long-running survey, the BBC reports.

The British Social Attitudes Survey has been tracking satisfaction since 1983.

The 2015 poll of nearly 2,200 people showed satisfaction with the NHS at 60% – down from a peak of 70% in 2010. Some 23% said they were actively dissatisfied – a rise of eight percentage points on the year before and the biggest single jump in a year.


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