NHS 111 helpline scandal: 'Inexperienced teenagers are handling medical calls' to beleaguered phone service

Inexperienced teenagers are being used to handle medical calls on the scandal-hit NHS telephone service 111, it has been alleged, the Mirror reports.

The youngsters - some as young as 17 years old - are believed to have been handed posts at calls centres straight from school or college without proper training on how to assess patients.

There are fears that bosses are hiring the youngsters to meet call-answering targets, who take names, addresses of callers and point them towards a chemist or other NHS services.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the hard-working teens - but they have no medical training and therefore are unable to make critical judgements.

West Lothian pharmacy workers help raise £5700 for Children in Need

Workers from West Lothian have handed over cash raised when they stepped out for charity, the Daily Record reports.

Staff from Ladywell Pharmacy in Livingston pounded the streets of Glasgow last October, with fellow colleagues from the Deans Pharmacy Group, in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run and by doing so helped raise £5704.69 for Bank of Scotland’s charity of the year, BBC Children in Need.

The team, running as part of the 10k Business Challenge on Sunday, October 4, in Glasgow, was made up of Rachel Potter, Danielle Stirling, Emily Park, Claire Watters, Fiona Martin and Suzy Nairn.

Representatives from Deans Pharmacy alongside Bank of Scotland’s Pete Flockhart, visited BBC Scotland offices last week to hand over their bumper cheque to BBC Children in Need’s iconic Pudsey Bear.

Hunt for thieves who stole potentially lethal drugs from Tameside chemist

Police are hunting two thieves who stole potentially lethal drugs from a chemist, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The morphine and tranquillisers, which were taken from Droylsden Pharmacy in Tameside,could kill someone who has not been prescribed them by a doctor, officers said.

The medications were stolen during a burglary on Market Street, Droylsden , at around 5am on Saturday, February 3.

Greater Manchester Police are urging the public not to take any of the stolen medicines, as they could have severe side effects or may even kill.

The drugs taken in the raid include:

- Four x 100ml Martin Dale Oramorph, 10mg per 5ml

- Two x 200ml Martin Dale Oramorph, 10mg per 5ml

- 300ml Martin Dale Oramorph, 10mg per 5ml

- 10 x 100ml Boehringer Ingelheim liquid Diazepam, 10mg per 5ml

Man held over pharmacy break-in

A man is being questioned on suspicion of burgling a pharmacy after being found by a police dog, the Rotherham Advertiser reports.

Officers from Rotherham North local police team were called to McGill’s Pharmacy, High Street, Wath, in the early hours of Monday morning.

A spokesman said a man was tracked by a police dog and cash and medicine was taken in the raid.

Cancer breakthrough: T-cell therapy offers prospect of lasting cure, say scientists

A revolutionary cancer therapy that uses the body’s own immune cells to attack metastatic tumours that have spread is being hailed as a “paradigm shift” in treatment of the disease, the Independent reports.

Patients with advanced blood cancers who were not expected to live beyond five months have shown complete remission after 18 months of follow-up checks with no signs of the disease returning, scientists have revealed.

In one trial of a patient’s own T-cells – a type of white blood cell – that were engineered in the laboratory to identify and attack tumour cells, more than 90 per cent of the 35 patients with acute lymphoblastic  leukaemia went into complete remission.

In two other clinical trials involving about 40 patients with either non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or chronic lymphocyte leukaemia, more than 80 per cent of patients responded to the treatment.

About half of them have been in complete remission for up to 18 months, scientists said.

Indigestion drugs taken by millions linked to dementia

A popular type of indigestion and heartburn pill taken by millions of Britons could increase the risk of dementia by 44 per cent, The Telegraph reports.

Researchers found that people aged 75 or older who regularly take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a group of drugs that includes Pantoloc Control and Zanprol, had an increased risk of the disease.

The drugs work by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach and are prescribed to millions of Britons every year for heartburn, acid reflux or peptic ulcers. The German study was based on the insurance data of 74,000 people over 75 from 2004 to 2011.