New vaccination lowers pneumonia incidence among elderly people

Researchers at University Medical Center (UMC) of Utrecht have discovered a vaccine that lowers incidents of pneumonia among elderly people. The research, carried out among 85,000 Dutch subjects over the age of 65, the research reveals that vaccination halves the number of hospitalisations. The ‘Community-acquired pneumonia immunization Trial in Adults’ - CAPiTA – studied the effect of vaccine PCV13, which targets 13 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae, the main cause of pneumonia. “It... Readmore

NHS Trust placed into special measures having “not given sufficient priority to safety”

Whipps Cross University Hospital in east London, part of Barts Health NHS Trust, has been placed into special measures after services were rated as inadequate by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). An inspection team led by England's Chief Inspector of Hospitals Sir Mike Richards found a culture of bullying and harassment, low staff morale, and too few doctors and nurses to ensure good standards of patient care after spending six days at the hospital in November 2014. Inspectors also rated urgent... Readmore

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals publishes findings on BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

The Care Quality Commission's (CQC) Chief Inspector of Hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards has published his findings on the standards of treatment and care at BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital in Guildford. The hospital is one of the first independent hospitals to be inspected under CQC’s new methodology which looks at whether services are safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs, and well led. CQC identified five areas for improvement: (i) the provider must ensure that CQC is notified... Readmore

MHRA appoints chair of new Devices Expert Advisory Committee

Dr Peter Nightingale has been appointed as chairman of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Devices Expert Advisory Committee (DEAC). The DEAC has been formed following an independent review on MHRA access to clinical advice and engagement with the clinical community. It will be responsible for providing independent, expert strategic advice to the agency in support of its role to ensure that medical devices are acceptably safe and are used both safely and effectively. Dr... Readmore

Alzheimer’s Research UK announces plans for three Drug Discovery Institutes

Alzheimer’s Research UK has announced plans to launch a £30m Drug Discovery Alliance involving three flagship Drug Discovery Institutes at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and UCL (University College London). Each Drug Discovery Institute will have 90 new research scientists employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. With dementia affecting over 830,000 people in the UK and costing the UK economy... Readmore

Healthcare leaders to address first UK e-Health week

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, National Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh and National Director for Patients and Information Tim Kelsey are to be the key attendees when UK e-Health Week comes to London’s Olympia on 3-4 March. A world-class learning and networking opportunity, e-Health Week brings together the latest e-Health innovations with those who commission, implement and use them on the frontline. Tim Kelsey, national director for patients... Readmore

New European project gets set to revitalise antibiotic development

 Thirty-three European academic partners and five pharmaceutical companies have joined forces to launch a new €167 million project -COMBACTE-MAGNET – as part of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) antimicrobial resistance research programme (New Drugs 4 Bad Bugs (ND4BB)). Overseen by the University Medical Center Utrecht, it is envisaged that COMBACTE-MAGNET will bring highly innovative studies and activities related to prevention and treatment of infections caused by multi-drug resistant... Readmore

Department of Health proposes new pharmacy standards

The Department of Health has put forward proposals which would give a new defence against criminal prosecution for pharmacy professionals should they make a dispensing error. The proposals are contained within a consultation (due to run until 14 May 2015) which will also gauge the opinion of pharmacy professionals, patients, the public and stakeholders as to changes to the regulation of pharmacy premises. The proposals are UK-wide and have been developed by a multi-disciplinary Board drawn... Readmore

GMC responds to ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ review

An independent review into creating an open and honest culture in the NHS has been welcomed by the General Medical Council (GMC). The review, led by Sir Robert Francis QC, provides many recommendations as to how to create a culture in which NHS staff feel safe to make disclosures about any aspect of the quality of care, malpractice or wrongdoing at work without fear of recrimination. The team undertaking the review spoke to individual NHS workers, as well as with employers, trade unions, professional... Readmore

A&E waiting time target missed by widest margin ever

Figures released today by NHS England show that the four-hour A&E waiting time target has been missed by the widest margin since it was first introduced 10 years ago. Many, including the GMB, the union for NHS and ambulance staff, have said that the figures are unsurprising and make clear that patients and staff are paying the price for the government’s failure to manage and invest sufficiently in the NHS. Today’s figures adds to the unwelcome news yesterday that eight hospitals have... Readmore

Chancellor Osborne pledges extra £2bn for NHS

An extra £2bn is to be pumped into the NHS according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Mr Osborne told the BBC that the billion-pound was a“down payment” that he is able to make due to the strength of the UK economy. The chancellor’s plan for the NHS, to be officially announced as part of his Autumn Statement on Wednesday, has already come under fire from shadow chancellor Ed Balls who accused Mr Osborne of making unfunded spending commitments. Mr Balls has said that... Readmore

Foundation trusts need to deliver greater efficiencies says regulator

NHS foundation trusts are being urged to tighten up contract and agency staffing costs and increase their efficiency savings by the healthcare regulator Monitor. Foundation trusts (which make up two-thirds of all NHS trusts) are under increasing strain – both financial and operational. A&E targets have been missed, staff morale is low, and the foundation trust sector as a whole is projecting a deficit of £271 million at the end of financial year 2014/15. David Bennett, Chief Executive... Readmore
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