Health Committee Seeks Opinions on Future of Social Care

The Health Committee of the British government has announced its inquiry into the impact of the comprehensive spending review on health and social care.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne recently announced the spending review in a Parliamentary statement.

There have already been criticisms from several sources on the provisions for social care included in the review, and the government has clearly decided to take these concerns on board.

The Health Committee has invited written submissions on the impact of the Comprehensive Spending Review on health and social care from medical professionals.

In particular, the Committee will be assessing:

  • The distribution of funding for health and social care across the spending review period;
  • Achieving efficiency savings: their source, scale and impact;
  • Achieving service transformation set out in the Five Year Forward View at scale and pace through transformation funds;
  • The impact and management of deficits in the NHS and social care;
  • The effect of cuts to non-NHS England health budgets e.g. public health, health education and Department of Health, and their impact on the Five Year Forward View;
  • Social care funding, including implications for quality and access to services, provider exit, funding mechanisms, increasing costs and the Care Act provisions;
  • Impact of the spending review on the integration of health and social care;
  • Quality and access in health and social care including the cost and implications of new policy objectives such as 7 day services;
  • Progress on achieving parity of esteem through funding for mental health services.

The Health Committee is seeking submissions of no longer than 300 words from people working at every level in the NHS.

Additionally, the thoughts of the general public will also be sought, with anyone having an interest in the topic able to submit their views.

It is expected that the committee will consider oral evidence related to this topic at some point in 2016, with the second quarter of the year, possibly after the new financial year begins, a likely date.

In accordance with this deadline, the Health Committee has set a final date for submitting evidence as Friday 22nd January, 2016.

All interested parties should ensure that their thoughts on the future of health and social care, clearly an extremely important subject area, are submitted by this date.

The Health Committee is a government department tasked with the examination of the policy, administration and expenditure of the Department of Health and its associated bodies.

 
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Researchers Attempting to Develop Double-Whammy Alzheimer’s Drug

A team of researchers in Ohio is currently attempting to develop a so-called wonder drug that tackles both Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes.

These conditions are known for sharing two destructive proteins that play a key role in the conditions and their development.

Clinical research being carried out at the University of Akron has raised expectation that a cure for the conditions could kill both birds with one stone in the foreseeable future.

With federal funding to the order of £200,000, this critical study could have global implications.

The US National Science Foundation has backed the researchers to produce an antidote to these two conditions, and the potential of a cure is certainly an exciting prospect for medicine and public health across the planet.

Recent years have seen a diabetes epidemic across the Western world in particular, with excessive added sugar in process food considered a major factor in this worrying trend.

The Daily Health Bulletin reported in March, 2011 that 280 million people worldwide (approximately 6.5 per cent of the world’s population) is diabetic.

Just months later, a study in The Lancet demonstrated that the number of adults with Type 2 diabetes has more than doubled in the last thirty years, soaring to almost 10 per cent of the world population.

And the burden on the National Health Service is also extremely well documented.

Official figures indicate that diabetes costs the NHS £1 million every hour. This amounts to a figure of over £8 billion per annum.

However, scientists working on the drug have noted that the majority of Alzheimer’s patients possess either Type II diabetes, or else are glucose intolerant.

Studies have indicated that diabetes sufferers aged 60 and over are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as normally adjusted individuals.

And it is believed that a chemical interaction between two destructive proteins present in both conditions plays a key role in their development, leading researchers to assert that treating them simultaneously should be feasible.

The search for one of medicine’s most valuable secrets is being led by American scientist Dr Jie Zheng.

The experienced expert in chemical and biochemical engineering believes that it will indeed  be possible to treat both conditions with a solitary tablet, and that this drug could emerge by 2025.

Both Alzheimer’s and Type 2 diabetes are caused by peptide aggregates, and feature extremely similar biological and structural functions.

An abnormal accumulation of Abeta peptides is linked to Alzheimer’s, while an abnormal accumulation of human islet amyloid polypeptide or hIAPP is linked to Type 2 diabetes.

The research is particularly building on previous studies that have suggested that animals fed a diet which would leave them vulnerable to diabetes can result in their brains being crippled with insoluble protein plaques; one of the features of Alzheimer’s.

 
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