Vaccine uptake for children, pregnant women and older people encouraging

Flu vaccination uptake rates for older people, pregnant women, and children are at encouraging levels compared to the same point last year, according to the first monthly GP patient data for the 2015/16 flu season.

Despite the encouraging figures, flu experts at Public Health England stress there is no room for complacency, urging people who are eligible for the free vaccine, particularly those under 65 years with an underlying health condition, to take it up before the virus starts to circulate more widely.

PHE data, based on 7,059 GP practises (91% of all GP practises in England) shows vaccine uptake rates of:

31.8% in all pregnant women (Up on 30% in 14/15)

58.1% in 65+ year olds (Up on 57.1% in 14/15)

17.8% in all 2 year old children (Up on 17.3% in 14/15)

18.7% in all 3 year old children (Steady on 18.7% in 14/15

15.4% in all 4 year old children (Up on 14.15 in 14/15)

HIV cases rocket in Europe Recent surveillance data has revealed the highest ever number of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Europe. The figures, released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), shows the number of diagnoses has doubled in the Eastern part of Europe. The World Health Organisation has now called for for better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV.


Blood therapy for diabetics

The daily trial of insulin injections could soon be over for patients with type 1 diabetes, The Times has reported.

Scientists in California have developed a method of cultivating billions of immune cells that protect the body’s production of insulin.

The cells can then be safely infused back into patients to restore their insulin function for at least a year, according to research findings.

Patients increasingly dissatisfied with primary care

Patient satisfaction with access to primary care continues to fall according to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The ‘Stocktake of access to general practice in England’ paper shows while patient experience of general practice remains positive, a fifth of patients report that opening hours are not convenient for them.

The report also highlights that there is a great deal of variation in access to GP services. The NAO warns that services will continue to be stretched as demand for primary care services increase.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association said: “We need an NHS that understands that people have jobs and families to take care of. Much more must be done to ensure that they have access to GPs, particularly in the evenings and at the weekend.”