Child hospital stays ‘keep rising’

Child hospital stays ‘keep rising’

Child admissions are increasing.

The variety of children being admitted to hospital every year in England has increased during the last decade, in response to researchers.

A report in Archives of Disease in Childhood showed 739,000 children under 15 were admitted in 2010, up from 594,000 in 1999.

The greatest increase was in children under five years of age.

Experts said the stress of growing demand may lead to standards dropping.

There was a surge in births within the UK, but even accounting for the growing numbers of kids there has been still a 28% increase within the admissions rate between 1999 and 2010.

Admissions in children under twelve months increased by 52% and the speed increased by 25% in those aged between one and 4.

The researchers said possible explanations included:

  • changing behaviour of parents
  • a scarcity of out-of-hours GPs
  • NHS direct recommending parents take their child to hospital
  • hospitals admitting children so that it will avoid breaking the four-hour A&E waiting times
  • doctors being more cautious and admitting more patients

The study showed much of the upward push was because of “common infections” that required very short hospital stays.

One of the report’s authors, Peter Gill, from the dept of primary care health services on the University of Oxford, said these cases needs to be the “bread and butter” of community care and admissions put pressure on hospital services and carried the chance of hospital-acquired infections.

“The system is just not coping well with these illnesses,” he said.

Dr Hilary Cass, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said: “These latest statistics further serve to spotlight that the best way hospital services are currently arranged means we’re in peril of not providing children with the top possible standard of healthcare after they get ill.

“The health service is coming under increasing pressure and insist, so it’s more important than ever that we glance to settings outside of the hospital to deal with this.”

She said more services had to be offered outside of hospitals, with paediatricians working more closely with GPs.

IVF as cheap as £170, doctors claim

IVF as cheap as £170, doctors claim


The science behind IVF is getting cheaper

The cost of IVF could be cut dramatically from thousands of pounds to around £170 to begin a “new era” in IVF, fertility doctors from Belgium claim.

Twelve children was born throughout the technique, which replaces expensive medical equipment with “kitchen cupboard” ingredients.

Data, presented at fertility conference in London, suggests the success rate is analogous to standard IVF.

Experts said there has been big potential to open up IVF to the developing world.

Cut price

Fertility treatment is pricey. Inside the UK, it costs around £5,000 per cycle.

High levels of the gas carbon dioxide are needed when growing embryos in an IVF clinic that will control the acidity levels. Here’s maintained using carbon dioxide incubators, medical grade gas and air purification.

Instead, the team on the Genk Institute for Fertility Technology mixed inexpensive citric acid and bicarbonate of soda to provide carbon dioxide.

Lead researcher Prof Willem Ombelet said: “We succeeded with a virtually Alka-Selzer like technique. Our first results suggest this is at the least nearly as good as normal IVF and we’ve got 12 healthy babies born.”

The results, presented to the eu Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference, showed a pregnancy rate of 30% – approximately almost like IVF.

The researchers believe the price of IVF will be cut to simply 10-15% of services in Western countries.

‘Not for everyone’

The technique cannot completely replace conventional IVF.

It wouldn’t help men with severe infertility who require more advanced treatment wherein the sperm is injected into the egg, known intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection.

However, Prof Ombelet told the BBC the purpose was to bring fertility treatment to the remainder of the sector.

“In case you wouldn’t have a toddler in Africa, or also South America or Asia, it is a disaster. It is a disaster from an economic perspective, a psychological perspective. They throw you out of the family. You’ll want to help them and no-one helps them.”

Even in rich, Western, countries many couples are still unable to afford IVF and the studies are attracting interest.

“Now we have demand from the united states already.”

Geeta Nargund, at St George’s Hospital, London, is planning to introduce the techniques to the united kingdom: “Now we have a duty to bring down the price of IVF, otherwise we’ll have a situation where only the affluent can afford it.”

Stuart Lavery, the director of IVF at Hammersmith Hospital in London, said the study had the possible to have a huge impact globally.

“This is not nearly affordable IVF in west London, this can be all about are you able to bring IVF to countries that have unsophisticated medical services where infertility has a surprisingly low profile.

“They’ve show that using an extremely cheap, quite simple technique you could culture embryos and you’ll do IVF.

“The weakness of the study is they’ve done it in a huge lab in Belgium, so that they need exit and do the identical study in Africa now. But when here is real potentially you’re talking about bringing IVF to corners of the area where there is no such thing as a IVF. Here’s enormous, the aptitude implications for this might be quite amazing.”

The researchers anticipate starting out in Ghana, Uganda or Cape Town.

Trusts question national pay deals

Health trusts demand urgent debate on national pay

Negotiations a few new national pay deal are ongoing

A body representing greater than 200 NHS trusts across England says new ways of negotiating pay should be considered.

The chief executive of the root Trust Network (FTN), Chris Hopson, has questioned whether national agreements can deliver the savings needed for the health service.

He said it was time to think of setting pay regionally or trust-by-trust.

Unison has warned against putting in danger current proposals, covering a couple of million NHS workers.

A new national deal on pay, terms and prerequisites for many NHS staff in England appears tantalisingly close.

Trade unions are consulting on changes to the Agenda for Change scheme, covering multiple million workers. Some of the main modifications is a clearer link between annual pay increments and function.

Mr Hopson said NHS trusts completely supported the deal at the table.

However, he argued that after you examine the challenges trusts face over the following five years – a flat budget, rising costs, and the necessity to improve care at nights and weekends – it might not be enough.

“Drop within the ocean”

Pay takes up 60-70% of a mean trust’s costs, and safety concerns mean that’s impossible to chop staff numbers within the same way as other public services, Mr Hopson said.

While acknowledging that any improvements are welcome, he said he estimated the present deal on offer would secure an ordinary hospital annual savings of about £250,000, out of the £11m needed, which some people might call “a drop inside the ocean”.

In particular, Mr Hopson questioned whether enough was being done to reform annual increments – awarded no matter pay deals as staff increase experience.

“Can the NHS, for instance, continue to afford a system that offers 60% of staff a 2% pay increase each year, regardless of performance, on top of any cost of living increase?”

The time had come to examine a special approach, he added.

“Trusts now have a pressing need for the NHS to begin discussing the various ways lets set pay, terms and stipulations including staring at whether we must always set pay nationally, regionally or trust by trust – the exact same debate because the education service is now having.”

This is a concept that’s already being pursued by a consortium of trusts within the south west of britain.

Pay “cartels”

Janet Davies from the Royal College of Nursing said abandoning national pay negotiations does not resolve the severe financial pressures within the NHS.

“Our experience shows that the price of moving to individual negotiation can outweigh any potential benefit.

“Nor will the NHS have the ability to raise the quality of care by moving to a system of pay cartels. The current Agenda for Change system is a clear and fair system that permits employers to devise ahead with certainty and to reward experience,” Ms Davies said.

Christina McAnea, from Unison, warned against jeopardising the changes being considered by unions.

“If the FTN is saying the present proposals aren’t enough it puts everything in danger.”

She said most trusts were failing to pick out up savings that were there for the taking under the prevailing arrangements, and she or he urged them to inform the govt. that the efficiencies demanded couldn’t be achieved.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said changes to NHS employee contracts were long overdue.

“Patient care lies on the heart of this. For this reason discussions has been about creating a much stronger link between providing good quality patient care and annual pay progression – with a miles stronger emphasis on behaviours referenced within the NHS Constitution around compassion, dignity and respect.”

Baby success for brand spanking new IVF screen

Baby born using new IVF screening technique

Connor Levy’s parents were looking to conceive naturally for four years.

A baby have been born within the US using a brand new method for screening embryos during IVF that could dramatically reduce costs, researchers report.

Connor Levy was born in May after the test, devised at Oxford University, helped doctors pick an embryo with the proper chance of success.

Only one in three attempts at IVF leads to a toddler as abnormalities in an embryo’s DNA are common.

Large trials at the moment are had to see how effective the strategy is, experts say.

If there are abnormalities with the packages of DNA, called chromosomes, within the embryo then it’s going to not implant inside the womb or if it does the foetus won’t reach term.

It is a difficulty which increases rapidly with age. One quarter of embryos are abnormal in a woman’s early 30s, but this soars to a few quarters by the point a girl reaches her late 30s and early 40s.

Some clinics already offer a sort of chromosome screening, however it can add between £2,000 and £3,000 to the price of IVF inside the UK. Connor’s mother, Marybeth Scheidts, said it’s going to have cost her $6,000 (£4,100) for the test in Pennsylvania.

The new test takes good thing about the dramatic advances in sequencing the human genome. Within 24 hours it may make sure the correct collection of chromosomes are present.

Dr Dagan Wells from Oxford University told the BBC: “Current tests are adding a big amount of cash directly to an already expensive procedure and that’s limiting access; most patients are having to pay for this out of pocket themselves.

“What our technique does is it will provide you with the collection of chromosomes and other biological information regarding the embryo at a within your budget – probably about two thirds of the cost of existing methods of screening.”

How to select the correct embryo to implant is an immense issue in fertility clinics

He says trials are actually had to see if it might probably improve IVF success rates.

Tears of joy

The baby and an additional pregnancy due to the screening method can be announced on the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference.

Marybeth Scheidts, 36, and her husband David Levy, 41, have been seeking to conceive naturally for four years and likewise tried artificial insemination.

In the screening three of the 13 embryos produced were healthy. Without chromosome screening, selecting the correct embryo would was all the way down to luck. Instead they were successful on their first attempt.

Marybeth told BBC News Online that the years of trying were tough: “It takes its toll, there have been some days i might break down and cry, i wished to cover in my bedroom and say stop.

“Then to determine him… all this difficult work and we have now finally got our little tiny man or woman named Connor.”

Dr Michael Glassner, the fertility doctor at Main Line Health System where the IVF befell, said such techniques would become more common.

“When you have ever sat around the desk from a patient that has failed or is in that crossroads of taking into consideration another cycle and also you look of their eyes where they’re barely ready to hold directly to their hopes and dreams – anything that’s so significantly going to affect pregnancy rates goes to become standard.

“So i believe five years from now you fast forward – yes i believe it will become standard.”

Commenting at the study, Stuart Lavery, a expert gynaecologist and director of IVF at Hammersmith Hospital, said: “Here is amazing science.

“They done the work in humans, they’ve pregnancies – so it is a pretty powerful proof of concept study using a thrilling technique.”

He also praised the researchers for saying proper trials had to be conducted before it was used widely.

Cancer patients ‘struggling alone’

Many cancer patients are struggling alone, charity says

One in four patients surveyed lacked support

Thousands of cancer patients struggle to administer their treatment and recovery because they get no support from family or friends, a charity has said.

A survey by Macmillan Cancer Support suggests one in four newly-diagnosed patients lacks support.

It equates to about 70,000 people within the UK struggling to appear after themselves without a help.

The research also found greater than half doctors have had patients refuse treatment as a result of an absence of support.

About 325,000 patients are diagnosed with cancer per annum within the UK.

A survey of virtually 1,800 patients found that folks lacked support because friends and family lived too far-off, had other commitments, or patients simply had no-one to show to.

Of those questioned, 12% said they’d not had a trip from family or friends in additional than six months.

Half of these who said they were isolated had skipped meals or not eaten properly because of loss of help.

And greater than 1 / 4 have been unable to clean themselves properly, while 60% had not been ready to do household chores.

Missed appointments

Isolation had also had an impact on treatment itself with one in 10 missing medical appointments and 18% unable to select up prescriptions.

Most health professionals questioned in a separate survey agreed that loss of support at home caused a poorer quality of life for patients and half believed it can even cut patients’ life expectancy.

Macmillan Cancer Support has launched a report calling on health professionals to invite patients in regards to the support they’ve and direct them to other sources of help.

Chief executive Ciaran Devane says isolation could have a really shattering impact on people living with cancer.

“Patients are going hungry, missing medical appointments or even deciding to reject treatment altogether that can be putting their lives in danger – all due to an absence of support.

“But these figures are only the end of the iceberg.

“Because the variety of people living with cancer is decided to double from two to four million by 2030, isolation turns into an increasing problem and we have to address this now.”

Lis Blyth, 66, from Surrey, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.

She said living alone and having no energy during her treatment meant she lived on ready-made meals.

“There have been days after I went to bed having had nothing greater than a tumbler of milk and a biscuit because i used to be too exhausted to cook.

“That was four years ago, but even now, because of the long-term negative effects of the treatment, I’m often still too exhausted to get on a bus and shop for food.”

She added that once her initial diagnosis, not one of the hospital staff she came into contact with asked how she was or if she could support herself at home.

Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head information nurse, said: “Health professionals should check about a person patient’s social circumstances.

“But it is important they’re prepared with lists of support groups and other available resources if you want to recommend these to a patient who seems to be socially isolated.”

Robots to assist those with dementia

Robots to aid individuals with dementia in Western Isles

The robots would be used to attach those with their carers

NHS Western Isles is putting robots into the houses of folks with dementia as a part of a pilot scheme to assist them to continue to live independently.

A relative or carer – potentially hundreds of miles away – can drive the machine across the house to envision that everything is alright.

The pair may also have a talk through a two-way video call system.

The Giraff robots are 1.5m (4ft 11in) tall with wheels, and a TV screen rather than a head.

A relative or carer can call up the Giraff with a pc from any location. Their face will appear at the screen permitting them to chat to any other person.

The operator could also drive the robot round the house to review that medication is being taken and that food is being eaten.

NHS Western Isles would be piloting the Giraff for the 1st time in Scotland, as component of the ecu Union project Remodem, which aims to enquire methods to support individuals with dementia living in remote communities.

‘High hopes’

Health board bosses said earlier trials in Australia showed that folks with dementia weren’t terrified of the machines. They hope the robots may help people living alone in remote areas to feel less lonely.

Chief executive Gordon Jamieson said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have the Giraff here with us to trial and we’ve got high hopes for the way it will possibly improve the standard of life for some dementia patients.

“As a brand new technology for us, the robot can also potentially be utilized in many other areas of healthcare to enhance quality of care, live access to specialists, and accelerate consultations, irrespective of location.”

He added: “Having seen the Giraff in action, i’m extremely impressed with how easily it could be moved around by the ‘controller’ so that they can clearly see the surroundings of the patient, and will have a talk and meaningful interaction, irrespective of distance.”

Beef products ‘pose no health risk’

Horsemeat scandal: Beef products ‘pose no health risk’

UK and French supermarkets are among those that have withdrawn ready-meals

All processed beef products are edible but consumers ought to be prepared for more unwelcome news inside the ongoing horsemeat scandal, the govt. says.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said “nothing seen thus far presented a health risk”.

Mr Paterson, who’s to update MPs in a while the newest developments, said it looked as though an “extensive” criminal conspiracy may need taken place.

Legal action is about to start in continental Europe on Monday, he added.

Mr Paterson has already said a moratorium on EU meat imports, which was called for, just isn’t allowed under EU rules.

In France, the govt has summoned meat industry representatives to talks and a few ready meals were withdrawn after horsemeat was present in some beef-labelled foods sold in Europe.

Mr Paterson said reports from France suggested the difficulty have been pinned right down to two abattoirs in Romania.

‘Continue buying’

The controversy surrounding contamination of meat products has spread in all places Europe, affecting countries including Sweden, Poland and the Republic of eire.

Last month, Irish food inspectors announced they’d found horsemeat in some burgers stocked by a variety of UK supermarket chains, including Tesco, Iceland and Lidl.

Mr Paterson told the BBC a factory in Luxembourg, which was associated with the French cases, needed to issue warnings to 16 different countries. He said he failed to know the way widespread the difficulty was but “we need to be prepared for more unwelcome news”.

Tests were continuing and it was the responsibility of the retailers to “convince their consumers of the validity and quality in their products”, he said.

Mr Paterson added that the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) advice was to continue buying and eating processed beef products, but when any evidence of a major threat to health emerged “we will be able to act very swiftly”.

The FSA has ordered food businesses to conduct authenticity tests on all beef products for significant levels of horsemeat and the deadline for the 1st set of results is Friday 15 February.

Last week Findus UK took its frozen beef lasagne, made by the Comigel food processing company in France, off the shelves after some were found to have as much as 100% horsemeat in them.

Findus UK said the one product on sale inside the UK using ingredients from the French supplier were its beef lasagne and all other beef products on sale within the UK were DNA-tested and cleared.

The FSA has asked Findus to check their contaminated beef lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone as animals treated with “bute” aren’t allowed to go into the food chain. The consequences are expected within the following couple of days.

The Chief Medical Officer for England, Dame Sally Davies, said: “It’s understandable that individuals may be concerned, but it surely is very important to stress that, even when bute is located to be present at low levels, there’s a very low risk indeed that it will cause any harm to health.”

High Street butchers

Six French supermarket chains – Carrefour, Monoprix, Auchan, Casino, Cora, and Picard – have also withdrawn ready-meals from Findus and Comigel.

Findus France has said it would take action inside the French courts, believing itself to be the victim of fraud.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson: “This can be a case of fraud and a conspiracy against the general public”

But the corporate that supplied the beef, Spanghero – based in southern France – has also said it was the victim of fraud and intends to sue its Romanian supplier.

Romania’s president, Traian Basescu, said if false labelling have been performed with the intention of creating money that might discredit the rustic for a very long time and lift the chance of export restrictions.

Constantin Savu, a representative of Romania’s National Food Safety Authority, said greater than 25 abattoirs there have been authorised not just to butcher horsemeat but additionally to export it inside the EU.

Meanwhile, High Street butchers inside the UK say they’re experiencing a spike in trade, some by up to 30%.

Brindon Addy, chairman of the Q Guild representing 130 butchers across England, Scotland and Wales, said: “It’s obviously great news for those butchers who’ve found it difficult to compete with the massive supermarkets during the past .

“People slip into the ease of supermarket shopping, but whenever there’s a scare – be it horse meat or BSE- they always get back.”

Between fresh and processed, the united kingdom consumes more fresh or frozen beef.

The UK still produces and consumes more of its own beef than it imports

Ireland and Brazil are major suppliers of the UK’s imported processed beef

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