No confidence move on NHS chiefs

Betsi Cadwaladr: Conwy debates NHS no confidence motion

Protesters at health board meeting earlier this month when changes were announced

A motion of no confidence in NHS managers in north Wales is to be debated by local councillors.

It follows Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s decision to near four community hospitals and transfer look after seriously ill babies to England.

The motion was proposed by three Colwyn Bay councillors from different parties.

The health board (BCUHB) has said it must overhaul services to satisfy challenges, including financial pressures and an ageing population.

It announced the changes earlier this month.

Later on Monday, the no confidence motion recommend by Cheryl Carlisle (Conservative), Brian Cossey (Lib Dem) and Phil Edwards (Plaid Cymru) might be debated.

It says: “This council has lost confidence within the ability of the senior management of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to deliver adequate and efficient health services to the folk of Conwy.

“We call upon the Welsh government minister to intervene, reject the choices taken by the BCUHB and take direct control over the National Health Service in north Wales.”

The motion invites other north Wales councils to do the similar and contact upon the watchdog body the Community Health Council (CHC) to take advantage of its power to refer the health board’s decisions to the Welsh government.

A cross-party group of Assembly Members, including a Labour AM, have also referred to as for Health Minister Lesley Griffiths to intervene.

Discussing the problem of NHS reform on BBC Radio Wales, Dame June Clark, emeritus professor of community nursing, said change had generally been resisted for “years and years and years”.

She added: “I do think that this time the combined effects of the rise widespread due to the ageing population and the financial problems coming together as they’ve got, mean that vary isn’t just necessary, it’s inevitable and we need to face that and learn how to live with it.”

However, Prestatyn GP Dr Eamonn Jessop said: “What i might have liked to have seen was some long-term structure to observe how we will rehabilitate patients, get them moved into the community quicker, in place of just saying, ‘oh well there are these four relatively small community hospitals… we’ll take those out, that’ll save us a couple of quid and that’ll make things so much better’.”

He added: “For those who examine that and how that they will roll out enhanced care service it’s hard to work out how any money might be saved.”

Monday’s council meeting will even hear demands the united kingdom government to enhance the rail network in north Wales.

Stem cell ‘first aid’ for rat stroke

Stem cell ‘first aid’ for rat stroke

Stem cells may be used to tackle many diseases like stroke

Stem cells given within the vital period immediately after a stroke may aid recovery, suggest researchers.

Rats injected with stem cells half-hour after a stroke had almost normal brain function restored within a fortnight.

The Bolivian research team say the tactic has potential in human trials.

Current best practice is to regard many patients with “clot-busting” drugs within the “golden hour” after a stroke has taken place.

The research, published within the journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy, adds to others that have found that stem cells could aid stroke patients by boosting the body’s ability to fix tissue damage.

Stem cells are the body’s “master cells”, with the aptitude to become many alternative cell types, and theoretically replace cells lost through disease or injury.

Recent tests in humans have show some promise, with stroke symptoms improving after an infusion of stem cells.

The Bolivian team, from La Paz University Hospital, extracted a definite form of stem cells from fat and bone marrow, then injected them into the blood vessels of rats shortly when they had suffered an artificially-induced stroke.

Even though the introduced cells didn’t seem to travel to the affected region of the brain, the rats still did better than other rats who didn’t receive the cells.

Within 24 hours, they were already showing a speedier recovery, and two weeks later, they registered almost normal scores on behavioural tests.

Easy to use

The researchers said the early introduction of the cells might even interrupt the common “chain reaction” of tissue damage which follows a stroke, through which the initial injury harms additional cells in surrounding areas.

Dr Exuperio Diez-Tejedor, who led the research, said: “Improved recovery was seen despite origin of the stem cells, that can increase the usefulness of this treatment in human trials.

“Adipose (fat) -derived cells specifically are abundant and straightforward to gather without invasive surgery.”

The ease of collection, and the flexibility to exploit “allogenic” cells from other rats in preference to having to reap the animal’s own cells and culture them, meant a treatment was available not weeks after a stroke, when the wear and tear was done, but to that end minutes.

They wrote: “From the perspective of clinical translation allogenic stem cells are attractive because they are often easily obtained from young healthy donors, amplified, and stored for instant use when needed after a stroke.”

They suggested that it would be possible to conquer the danger of immune rejection of the donor cells in humans.

However, a spokesman for the Stroke Association said that human trials of this actual technique doesn’t be possible within the near future.

Dr Clare Walton said: “Stem cells are an extremely interesting area of stroke research and the result of this study provide further insight into their potential use for stroke recovery.

“However, we’re a ways off these kind of treatments getting used in humans and much more research is required.”

Decrease in ‘man boob’ operations

‘Man boob’ ops drop while facelifts soar, BAAPS figures show

The variety of operations to address ‘man boobs’ has fallen by a fifth some time past year inside the UK, data on plastic surgery suggests.

Meanwhile women had more procedures to inject fat than to take away it for the 1st time.

Eye lid surgery in addition to face and neck-lift operations both soared in popularity in both sexes in 2012.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) said overall the variety of procedures was stable.

There were 43,172 surgeries achieved by the BAAPS 230 surgeons last year.

There were 642 operations on moobs – man boobs – down 18% from 2011.

Breast augmentation was again the most typical procedure within the UK with 9,843 going under the knife. That was a fall of one.6% at the previous year, which was put right down to the health scare around PIP breast implants.

There were concerns in regards to the implants rupturing and leaking non-medical grade silicone into the body.

Fat movements

Fat transfers which take fat from one a part of the body to inject into another, often the face, increased by 13%.

Face lifts were more popular in 2011 than the former year

It was one among a collection of anti-ageing procedures which increased in popularity among persons prior to now year. Facelifts went up by 14%, brow lifts by 17% and eyelid surgery by 13%.

However, liposuction and tummy tucks both fell by greater than 10% in women and men.

The president of BAAPS and consultant plastic surgeon, Rajiv Grover, said: “The expansion rates for surgical facelifting and other anti-ageing procedures showed a double digit rise, despite a double dip recession.

“Whilst there’s an undeniable rise admired for non-surgical treatments of the face, as an example Botox and fillers, once there’s actual loose skin inside the neck or jowling, only surgery is probably going to make an important improvement and the general public look increasingly conversant in this.

“The considerable drop in body-shaping procedures including liposuction and tummy tucks can be because of people choosing to go back to the gym, perhaps inspired by an unforgettable summer of Olympic golds!”

Protest against hospital closure

Lewisham Hospital: 15,000 march against closure plan

Campaigners said they’d been expecting about 15,000 people to march

At least 15,000 people have marched in protest against proposals to shut services at a hospital in south London.

Organisers campaigning to save lots of Lewisham Hospital say the plans are “crazy and ill thought out”.

Under proposals, its A&E will close and the maternity unit be downgraded after neighbouring South London Healthcare NHS Trust ran up debts of £150m.

The government said “doing nothing seriously isn’t an option” and is to choose on 1 February.

Campaigners are angry Lewisham Hospital, which isn’t a part of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust, is being targeted in a re-organisation of services around the area following the trusts’s financial problems.

Under the plans, the trust’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital site in Woolwich would come along side Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust to create a brand new organisation.

Lewisham’s A&E unit would then be downgraded to an urgent care centre, meaning emergency cases will be seen at nearby hospitals. The maternity unit at Lewisham may be slimmed down, meaning complex cases could be treated elsewhere.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs three hospitals, was placed in administration last year when it started losing about £1.3m per week.

The problems it faces don’t seem to be unique. Last year it was reported 20 trusts had declared themselves financially unsustainable of their current form.

Lewisham Hospital isn’t always portion of South London Healthcare NHS Trust

Matthew Kershaw, a unique administrator, said in a report back to the govt that the trust ought to be broken up, with other organisations taking up the management and delivery of services.

If implemented fully, Mr Kershaw said his recommendations would set off an intensive overhaul of services in south London, and help deliver “safe, high-quality, affordable and sustainable services.”

Mr Kershaw also recommended the dept of Health (DoH) write off any debts to confirm new organisations weren’t “saddled with the problems of the past”.

“i’ve said consistently that the established order just isn’t an option, and that i believe these final, refined recommendations are the appropriate ones, although I appreciate that some people will find them difficult to just accept,” his report said.

‘Huge clinical risks’

In November thousands of folk marched in protest on the plans and BBC London reporter Matt Morris said a minimum of 15,000 attended Saturday’s event. The Save Lewisham Hospital group claims as much as 25,000 took part.

Dr Louise Irvine, a native GP and chairman of the Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, said: “This decision is crazy and ill thought out.

“It’s a big mistake and carries huge clinical risks of factors going wrong for patients but additionally political risk.

“If Jeremy Hunt can close an even local hospital here, he can do it anywhere within the country – nowhere is safe.”

A DoH spokesman said: “Where trusts face long-standing problems we now have been clear that doing nothing is not very an option.”

The march went past Lewisham Hospital and ended with a festival in nearby Mountsfield Park.

Chemical defects ‘last generations’

Chemical defects ‘last generations’

Genetic changes might be passed down the generations

Scientists believe they have got shown exposure to certain chemicals inside the womb could cause changes which are undergone generations.

There isn’t any firm evidence of this in humans, but Washington State University research showed a transparent effect in rats.

They isolated defects associated with kidney and ovary disease and even obesity.

The work implicates a category of chemicals present in certain plastics, in addition to one present in jet fuel.

The idea of “epigenetics” – that folks don’t just pass their genes to their children, but subtle differences within the way those genes operate – is among the fastest growing areas of scientific study.

The work of Dr Michael Skinner centres across the effects that certain chemicals could have on these processes, if the feminine is exposed at key points while pregnant.

So far they have got documented measureable effects from a number of environmental pollutants including pesticides, fungicides, dioxins and hydrocarbons.

However, they stress that the effects aren’t directly transferable to humans yet, because the levels of chemicals used at the rats were normally more concentrated than anything a man would experience in normal life.

There is not any data on even how an animal would respond at different doses, and no clues as to how the chemicals are causing these changes.

Environmental impacts

The studies, published within the journals PLoS One and Reproductive Toxicology, checked out the impact of phthalates, chemicals present in some varieties of plastics, and a substance called JP8, present in jet fuel.

Rats exposed to phthalates had offspring with higher rates of kidney and prostate disease, and their great-grandchildren had more disease of the testicles, ovaries and obesity.

Female rats exposed to the hydrocarbon JP8 on the point in pregnancy when their male foetuses were developing gonads had babies with more prostate and kidney abnormalities, and their great-grandchildren had reproductive anomalies, polycystic ovary disease and obesity.

Dr Skinner said: “Your great-grandmother’s exposures while pregnant could cause disease in you, once you had no exposure.

“This can be a non-genetic sort of inheritance not involving DNA sequence, but environmental impacts on DNA chemical modifications.

“It truly is the 1st study to expose the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease akin to obesity.”

Andreas Kortenkamp, professor of human toxicology at Brunel University, said the outcomes were “potentially very interesting”, but a lot more work would have to be executed before any impact on humans can be considered.

He said: “That’s an exploratory study, however the authors themselves are clear that the knowledge don’t allow the potential risk to people to be assessed.”

“There’s a currently an absence of data in regards to the dose-response relationship, and at this stage we’re very unsure in regards to the mechanisms which are involved.”

Dummy taped to baby in hospital

Dummy taped to baby’s face at Stafford Hospital

A report into “appalling standards” of care on the hospital is to be published in February

A member of staff was suspended after a dummy was found taped to a baby’s face at Stafford Hospital.

Staffordshire Police said it happened earlier this month and the child was four months old on the time.

Colin Ovington from Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust said: “Fortunately, the child was unharmed. We’ve got a 0 tolerance solution to poor patient care.”

The trust is on the centre of a public inquiry into serious failings of care.

Apology to family

In an announcement, Staffordshire Police said officers were investigating a complaint a couple of member of staff on the hospital and liaising with the baby’s family and the NHS trust.

It said: “Officers from our Protecting Vulnerable People Department are on the very early stages of investigating a complaint in regards to the treatment of a child boy by a member of staff at Stafford Hospital earlier this month.”

Mr Ovington, director of nursing and midwifery, said: “We can’t emphasise strongly enough that this incident is phenomenal and apologise again to the family.

“We need other hospitals to be informed from this in order that we will make sure that it doesn’t happen to the other baby.”

A report following a £13m public inquiry into “appalling standards” of care on the hospital is to be published next month.

Swine flu infected ‘fifth of people’

Swine flu infected ‘fifth of people’

At least one in five people, including 1/2 schoolchildren, were infected with swine flu throughout the first year of the pandemic in 2009, in response to data from 19 countries.

It is known the virus killed 200,000 people world wide.

A World Health Organization-led study searched for evidence of the body’s immune system fighting the virus.

It showed large numbers of folks have been infected, although not all would have developed full-blown flu.

The H1N1 virus first appeared in Mexico in 2009 and rapidly spread world wide.


An international group of researchers checked out greater than 90,000 blood samples before and through the pandemic in countries including India, Australia and the united kingdom.

They searched for antibodies that are produced when the body is infected with H1N1.

By comparing the figures before and through the pandemic, the researchers can determine what number of people were infected because the virus spread everywhere.

Approximately 24% of folk have been infected overall, but half school-age children showed signs of infection.

One of the researchers, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove from Imperial College London, said fewer than two in every 10,000 people infected died in the course of the pandemic.

“However, people who did die are much younger than in seasonal flu so the years of life lost may be rather more,” she told the BBC.

“The figures drive home how incredibly infectious the virus is,” she said.

Many older people, who typically die during outbreaks of flu, were protected as they’d been exposed to the virus decades before.

Prof John Oxford, a virology expert at Queen Mary, University of London, said the figures “make sense”.

“It was the busiest virus at the block and it displaced other influenza viruses – it was the single virus on the town.”

He said an analogous pattern will be expected in other countries that have been not analysed inside the study.