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NEWS IN BRIEF: Research Survey; Antibiotics; Digital Maturity Index; Online Drugs; E-cigarettes


06 Nov 2015

Community pharmacists needed for research project

Community pharmacists have been asked to explain how they can be better supported to carry out research.

Enabling pharmacists to engage in research and to develop the appropriate skills to lead, participate and deliver research studies is a core part of research activities, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have said.

They have launched a survey as part of the RPS Research Ready Community Pharmacy programme in collaboration with the North West Primary Care Pharmacy Research Group and the Community Pharmacy Research Champions of the National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network.

Pharmacists key players in fight against antibiotic resistance

A campaign to combat antibiotic resistance has advised patients to speak to their pharmacists about over the counter medicines.

Members of the public, students and educators, farmers, the veterinary and medical communities and professional organisations, have been invited to become Antibiotic Guardians by making an online pledge.

Assessment into the technological capabilities of NHS

Baseline data on providers’ technological capabilities for a digital maturity index is being collected by NHS England.

The index will give a national picture of how far the NHS has come on its mission to make effective and meaningful use of technology and highlight areas for improvement.

Throughout November, chief executives of health and care provider organisations will receive formal invitations to provide this information. The assessment should be completed and returned by 15 January 2016.

NHS England’s director for digital technology, Beverley Bryant, says: “The digital maturity self-assessment is the perfect opportunity for providers to shine a light on any obstacles they are facing in modernising services and make the case for additional support to move past these challenges.”

Public warned about online drug dangers

Patients and the public have been warned about the dangers of buying medicines online during a BBC Breakfast interview with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

The broadcast comes as the British Medical Journal has warned of the wide availability of sleeping pill zopiclone on the internet after doctors identified a number of websites that are selling the prescription only medicine.

RPS spokesperson Neal Patel spoke the the BBC show and advised never to buy from unregulated sites.

E-cigarettes 95% less harmful than tobacco

E-cigarettes are 95% less damaging to health than tobacco, a landmark report by Public Health England has estimated.

Other key findings published in the investigation include that almost half the population do not realise e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking and that there is no evidence that using the electronic version act as a route into smoking.

Professor Ann McNeill, of King’s College London and independent author of the review, said: “E-cigarettes could be a game changer in public health in particular by reducing the enormous health inequalities caused by smoking.”


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