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NEWS IN BRIEF: Safety Survey; Care Crisis; Diabetes; Doctor Strike; Vitamin D; Bionic Eye; Primary Care


06 Jan 2016

New patient safety survey for community pharmacy

An anonymous survey to assess patient safety for community pharmacy staff ha been launched by Pharmacy Voice.

The survey, which follows the establishment of a Patient Safety Group within the organisation, aims to provide current insight to what the patient safety culture and practice looks like across the community pharmacy sector from the perspective of frontline teams.

Janice Perkins, pharmacy superintendent of Well and chair of the patient safety group, said: “Contributions from frontline pharmacy teams provided through this survey will be really useful in helping us shape our future patient safety work and lobbying activities, with a view to enabling easier reporting and more valuable learning for pharmacy teams across all parts of the sector.”

The survey will be open until early February 2016 and Pharmacy Voice will share information on the findings later in the year.

Elderly care crisis as pensioners turn to A&E

Soaring numbers of care home residents are being admitted to hospital as emergencies, according to new statistics which experts say lay bare a crisis in care of the elderly, the Telegraph has reported.

NHS figures show that the number of emergency admissions from such homes has risen by 63 per cent in four years.

The statistics triggered warnings of a “scandalous crisis” in care of the elderly.

Charities said the figures reflected cuts to care budgets, which mean frail elderly people have been left neglected, until they became so sick that they had to be rushed to Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments.

Diabetes crisis as severe as bird flu or Sars The number of people with diabetes in Britain has topped four million, with the ever-growing cost to the NHS now estimated at £10 billion a year, The Times has reported. Sir Liam Donaldson, the former chief medical officer, has called on ministers to treat the prevention of obesity – which is closely linked to diabetes – as seriously as it did bird flu or severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), and has accused them of cowardice in rejecting a “sensible” tax on sugary drinks. One in 12 British adults now has diabetes, after a two thirds increase in cases over the past decade. Last year 120,000 people were given the diagnosis.

Junior docs’ strike “very damaging”

The strikes by junior doctors in England could be “very damaging” for patients, the BBC reported the health secretary saying.

The British Medical Association has called three-walkouts – the first next Tuesday – after talks broke down.

The action is likely to lead to thousands of non-emergency operations and hospital appointments being cancelled in the coming days.

The BMA said it had been left with no choice as the government had failed to address their concerns.

Vitamin D may expose pensioners to higher fall risk Giving pensioners high doses of vitamin D to strengthen their leg bones may put them at higher risk of a fall, The Times has reported. New research suggests patients aged 70 or older who were given higher monthly doses of the vitamin showed no better function in their lower extremities than those given lower doses, but were more likely to fall. Researchers at University Hospital Zurich, in Switzerland, conducted a randomised trial among 200 elderly men and women who had already had a fall to see whether extra vitamin D supplements might prevent further problems.

Bionic eye brings joy A blind woman fitted with a “bionic eye” has spoken of her joy after she was able to tell the time for the first time in more than five years, the Independent has reported. Rhian Lewis, 49, was given the retinal implant as part of an ongoing trial at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. The mother of two, from Cardiff, has suffered from retinitis pigmentosa – an inherited disorder – since she was five. The condition causes gradual deterioration of the light-detecting cells (photoreceptors) in the retina, which can lead to blindness.

Primary care open house

Given the emphasis on primary care with healthcare reform, Greenwich Hospital will host “The Doctor Will See You Now: An Open House”, the Greenwich Sentinel has reported.

The event, on Sunday, Jan. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Noble Conference Room at 5 Perryridge Road, will see an array of primary care physicians meeting with residents.

Greenwich Hospital’s Dr. James Sabetta, director of Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease and Dr. Herbert Archer, director of the Hospitalist Program will present a brief overview on how the hospital and community primary care physicians collaborate to care for patients.


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