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Two weeks in primary care...News Roundup

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Smoking Cessation

Record number of quitters in Stoptober

Nearly a quarter of a million people in England and Wales stopped smoking as part of Stoptober, NHS Smokefree said.

Stoptober has helped thousands of people try to quit by providing support packs, a 28 day app, social media activities, and tips and advice from healthcare professionals and celebrities.

Research from the University of Toronto has shown stopping smoking for 28 days can extend a life by up to one week.

Smokers who smoke an average of 13 cigarettes daily saved £141 and 24 hours of their time by quitting last month analysis from the ONS said.


Nurse receives grant to improve dementia care

A Birmingham nurse and the Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust have been awarded a £200,000 research grant to develop training for qualified nurses working with people with dementia in care homes.

Analisa Smythe, dementia project lead at the National Centre for Mental Health in Birmingham, and her co-applicant Catharine Jenkins have been awarded the money from the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

The grant will enable the evaluation of two types of training, one delivered in the workplace and one university based. If it is successful the training can be delivered to a large number of nurses in care homes to ensure improved care, leadership skills, increased confidence and a reduction of burn-out.


PHE supports weight loss supplement warning

PHE has said it supports the advice issued by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on the dangers of the weight loss supplement 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP).

DNP is not licensed as a medicine in the UK and has been classified as a hazardous chemical as a result of its toxicity. PHE is working with other agencies to raise awareness of this issue among healthcare professionals and the public.

DNP has been seen as dangerous since 1938 following adverse health effects but it is still being used by people, largely in the body building community, trying to alter their appearance.

There have been four deaths in the last two years due to DNP.

Women's Health

Numbers of cervical screenings decreased

The proportion of women aged 25 to 49 years who have had a cervical screening has fallen, revealed a new report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The proportion of women screened fell in every five year age group between 25 and 49 years from March 2012 to March 2013, but the largest decrease was among 35 to 39 year olds.

Women between the ages of 25 and 64 are invited for regular screenings under the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. This is intended to detect abnormalities within the cervix.


Breast cancer awareness mobile app launched

An app to encourage women to check their breasts regularly each month has been launched on behalf of Breast Cancer Care.

The app provides a step-by-step guide of what to look out for in order to detect any differences that may occur. The Breast Aware app is designed for iPads and iPhones, and is free to download.

Dr Emma Pennery, clinical director of Breast Cancer Care, says around two thirds of breast cancers are found by the person themselves so it's important to notice any unusual changes and report them to your doctor without delay.

More information and the app can be found at:

Forthcoming Events
Date: 13-14 November Event: Annual RCM conference Location: Telford Contact:
Date: 19 November Event: Nurse Clinics Conference Location: London Contact:
Date: 29 November Event: National Dermatology Conference Location: London Contact:


European Antiobiotic Awareness Day resources

A collection of resources for primary healthcare professionals to promote European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), held annually on 18 November, have been made available.

The TARGET Antibiotics toolkit, developed by the RCGP, PHE and the Antimicrobial Stewardship in Primary Care, provides information about prescribing antibiotics in primary care.

Some of the resources have been adapted from original materials produced by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The day is supported by the DH and its advisory committee on antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections.

The NHS and local authorities are also asked to support EAAD every year.

The resources can be accessed at:

Elderly Care

Fund for improving elderly care in Scotland

A £10m government fund in Scotland will look at ways to improve care and support for older people and adults with complex needs.

The fund will help to build on the skills of individuals and local communities to support people while they live at home.

The money will go toward supporting health, social care, housing and third sector partners to explore innovative local programmes which can be scaled-up and rolled out across the country.

Health secretary Alex Neil saidthe government was working to ensure people are able to stay in their own homes, or a homely setting, for as long as possible.


New statistics on malaria diagnosed in Britain

Over half of the malaria cases diagnosed in Britain were found in London alone in 2012, according to figures from PHE.

These figures show that over 600 of the 1378 cases reported were centred in the capital.

The statistics also found that 80 per cent of people who contracted malaria had not taken anti-malaria tablets during travel to areas where the disease was endemic.

Nearly 90 per cent of malaria cases imported to Britain since the beginning of the century were acquired in sub-Saharan Africa. Cases from Nigeria accounted for almost half. Ghana and Sierra Leone also had high rates.


Children in Wales missing out on insulin pumps

Some children with type 1 diabetes have not been provided insulin pumps by some health boards in Wales. There are currently 29 young patients waiting for insulin pump therapy from three health boards: Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff and Vale and Hywel Dda.

Welsh Health Boards work to mandatory guidelines which state that all children with diabetes have pumps.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said that despite guidelines it won't always be the case that the minute someone has been assessed for an insulin pump, that the pump will immediately be available.

The Welsh Government said that it expects all health boards to follow the mandatory guidelines.

Diabetes audit

Over 1.2 million people with diabetes had not met the blood pressure target of less than 140/80 in England and Wales. This is out of the 2.3 million patients that had their blood pressure taken during the National Diabetes Audit 2011-2012. Some CCGs and Local Health Boards met this target in 53 per cent of cases but in others it was met in less than 44 per cent of cases.

The audit records the three NICE-recommended treatment targets that should be monitored and met for people with diabetes: glucose control, blood pressure and serum cholesterol.

It is managed by the HSCIC with Diabetes UK and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and covers data recorded by 88 per cent of GP practices across England and Wales.

Vital Statistics
National Diabetes Audit

56.8%of patients with Type 1 diabetes did not receive all the checks

37.4%of patients with Type 2 diabetes did not receive all the checks

34%of patients aged 20-29 received all the checks

The audit is the largest of its kind and presents findings from 2.3 million people with diabetes, an 11 per cent increase on the previous years.

Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre


Call for opinions on NMC deadline approaching

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) has requested input from healthcare professionals, stakeholders and organisations about their experiences with the NMC.

The PSA will consider the feedback and views alongside the information that the NMC will submit to them about their performance.

The findings will be reported to the public, to Parliament and to health ministers across the UK.

The PSA carries out a performance review of the health and care professional regulators every year.

The deadline for submissions is on 5 December and the questionnaire can be found at:

General Practice

Contribute views to improve general practice

NHS England has called for GP practices, area teams, CCGs, health and wellbeing boards and other community partners to provide their opinions on how to improve general practice services.

NHS England aims to ensure general practice has a greater role in delivering integrated out-of-hospital services with better health outcomes, more personalised care, better patient experience and an efficient use of resources. This forms part of the wider NHS Call to Action which was launched in July this year.

Professionals can contribute their views by getting in touch with their local area teams.


New NHS England CEO has been appointed

Simon Stevens has been appointed as the new chief executive of NHS England, the Chairman Professor Sir Malcolm Grant announced.

Mr Stevens, who has 26 years of experience in healthcare management at frontline and national level both in England and internationally, will take over from Sir David Nicholson on 1 April 2014.

He said: 'The next five years are going to be extremely challenging for the NHS, but compassionate high quality care for all is as vital as ever. I believe that a broad new partnership of patients, carers, staff and the public can chart a successful future for our health service.'

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