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NEWS IN BRIEF: Obesity; Hospital Pharmacy Closure; Bed Blocking; OBE; Red Wine; Stents; Prostate Cancer


08 Jan 2016

Obesity raises cancer risk

Rising levels of obesity and unhealthy weights could be linked to 670,000 extra cases of cancer in the next 20 years, the BBC has reported.

A UK report predicts if current trends continue almost three in four adults could be overweight or obese by 2035, bringing a host of health issues.

The Cancer Research UK and UK Health Forum report says TV adverts for some food should be banned before 21:00.

Health officials say they are committed to tackling childhood obesity.

Hospital Pharmacy Closure   The pharmacy at Teddington Memorial Hospital will close in March after it was deemed to be providing poor value for money, the Richmond & Twickenham Times has reported.   A report from NHS England said money spent on the Lloyds Pharmacy contract, which went live in June 2009, would be better invested in improvements to other community pharmacy services.   An estimated £40,000 of the money saved by closing the pharmacy could be used to extend opening hours for community pharmacies near GP surgeries and the hospital.   Failure of bed-blocking scheme A scheme that aimed to see hospital bed blocking fall by a quarter actually saw numbers shoot up by 69% in a year, the BBC has reported. Health organisations in Cornwall shared resources in the hope of tackling the problem but instead were hit by the big increase. A health campaigner said the new initiative – launched under the government’s Better Care Fund – could turn out to be “useless”.

Cornwall Council and NHS Kernow apologised to patients affected. OBE for pharmaceutical toxicology professor The Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine at King’s College London have announced that two of its staff have been recognised in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list. Professor David Cowan, Professor of Pharmaceutical Toxicology and Director of the Drug Control Centre at King’s, has received an OBE for his services to anti-doping science. Professor Cowan co-founded the Drug Control Centre in 1978, and became its Director in 1990.  In 2013, he received the Pharmaceutical Scientist of the Year Award from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for his outstanding contribution to pharmaceutical science in leading the anti-doping project for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Red wine is bad for you

Red wine lovers will be told to stop thinking it is good for them in a major blitz on boozing.

The drink has been hailed for preventing cancer, cutting the risk of heart disease, stopping weight gain and slowing memory loss.

But its supposed health benefits are expected to be rubbished in new alcohol guidelines from the Chief Medical Officer being published tomorrow.

A source said the report would present “competing science” amid fears people are drinking too much wine because they think it is healthy.

Heart patients “twice as likely” to get life-saving stents in 24/7 hospitals Patients suffering a heart attack are twice as likely to receive life-saving stents to open blocked coronary arteries in hospitals that provide a seven-day service, the Guardian has reported. A study of 84 English hospital trusts also found patients were 30 per cent more likely to receive stents in hospitals that have more than five cardiologists trained in the procedure. Patients with a previous heart attack, angina, heart failure or diabetes were less likely to be given stents, as were older patients. Overall, emergency stenting in England increased from 0.1 per cent in 2003 to 86 per cent in 2013, but the study showed a wide variation in how hospitals choose to give patients emergency stents to restore blood flow to the heart.

Exercise could work as treatment for prostate cancer

A newly-launched Cancer Research UK study could be the first step towards exercise training being introduced as a new NHS treatment for prostate cancer.

The Pantera study, led by Sheffield Hallam University, will focus on 50 men who have the disease, but whose cancer has not spread.

Half of the men in the study will carry out two-and-a-half hours of supervised exercise every week for a year, while the other half will be given information about the benefits of exercise for cancer patients but will have no supervised sessions.

The trial – believed to be the first of its kind in the world – aims to test whether regular exercise can help keep prostate cancer from spreading to other parts of the body and could be a viable NHS treatment.


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