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GPs plan seven-day trials to combat A&E crisis

A six-month trial will see GP surgeries open in the evening and on weekends to help reduce the number of unnecessary A&E visits in north west England.

A £2million grant from the Central Manchester CCG is being shared between practices in Radcliffe, Heywood and Middleton and Greater Manchester to make improvements to their patient services. They have decided to use these funds to increase access to GP surgeries.

Maria Bryant, the RCN officer for Manchester Central, welcomes a trial that may ease the pressure on A&E services but says it is too early to asses the impact on nurses.

The trial is set to begin in October and if it is successful the changes could be implemented throughout Greater Manchester.

UK to hold first G8 summit for dementia

The UK will host the first G8 summit dedicated to tackling the rising levels of dementia, this December.

Health ministers from G8 countries are being invited to discuss how to coordinate efforts and shape an effective solution to dementia. This includes looking for effective therapies and responses to slow dementia's impact.

The summit aims to identify and agree a new international approach to dementia research, to help break down barriers within and between companies, researchers and clinicians and to facilitate cooperation and team working.

They will draw on the expertise and experience of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation, the World Health Organisation, physicians, national research organisations, key opinion leaders, researchers and industry.

Skin cancer death rates higher in men in the UK

Death rates in men with malignant melanoma, are 70 per cent higher than those for women in the UK, according to research from Cancer Research UK.

This is despite similar numbers of men and women being diagnosed with the disease each year.

Out of the 6,200 men to develop skin cancer each year 1,300 die, compared with 900 of the 6,600 women who develop it. The gap is predicted to widen in the future as the death rates continue to increase for men but remain stable for women.

A decade before the midwife shortage ends

It may be another decade before England has enough midwives according to figures from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). It is estimated that England is short of 5,000 full-time midwives.

The RCM looked at the changes in the number of midwives since 2010 and projected these forward. Based on this, it seems it could be the middle of the 2020's before the shortage is eliminated.

Effectiveness of NHS health check programme

Experts have questioned the effectiveness of the NHS Health Checks programme.

Danish researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre published a review which concluded that general health checks could lead to unnecessary diagnoses and treatments.

The researchers looked at 14 trials of health check programmes last year and found no consistent evidence that they improved health or reduced death rates.

Dr Paul Cosford, the medical director at PHE, has supported the programme saying that in the estimates carried out by the DH, the heath checks could prevent a number of heart attacks, premature deaths and diabetes. A panel has been set up to review the model in light of the research.

Link between culture and good health in Scotland

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Date: 12 September 2013 Event: The Future of Primary Care Conference Location: London
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Reading for pleasure, dancing and visiting a museum can all lead to good health and more life satisfaction in Scotland new research has suggested.

In an analysis published by the Scottish Government, cultural engagement and visiting cultural places or events is having a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

This remained true even when other factors such as age, economic status, income, area deprivation, education qualification, disability or long-standing illness and smoking were accounted for.

People who were encouraged to participate in cultural activity as children were more likely to continue to do so into adulthood.

Stop smoking services help 146,000 people

Nearly 146,000 people have stopped smoking since the beginning of the NHS's stop smoking services started a decade ago according to research in the British Medical Journal. They have helped 20,000 people stop smoking in 2010/11 alone.

The number of smokers who used the service and set a quit date more than tripled from just over 227,000 in 2001/02 to nearly 788,000 in 2010/11. The total number of people who had not smoked for over four weeks rose from just over 80,000 to almost 270,000.

Until 2013, smoking cessation services were provided by England's 151 primary care trusts. Since April 2013, local authorities have been in charge of the budget, where they can run services how they want to, but are encouraged to follow national guidelines.

Midwife-led care better than non-midwife care

Midwife-led pregnancies and births are less likely to require forceps, epidurals or ventouse delivery in comparison to births not led by midwives according to research.

Experts from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the National University of Ireland, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Warwick conducted the analysis which was published in the Cochrane Library.

They looked at data involving 16,242 women from 13 studies carried out in Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

They also found that women overseen by midwives were less likely to give birth prematurely but did have slightly longer labours by an average of 30 minutes.

Scottish government funds healthcare projects

The Scottish government has awarded £1.9 million to almost 100 charities from the Scottish third sector fund to aid healthcare projects.

The funding will support both small and large national charities such as Action for ME , Downs Syndrome, Scotland and the National Aids trust, to deliver a range of health projects, support services and advice in local communities.

The minister for public health, Michael Matheson said that the voluntary sector is playing an important role in health and social care as providers of services and as advocates and campaigners for those in the community who need it.

NMC council member from Northern Ireland

A new council member from Northern Ireland has been appointed to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which completes the overhaul of their council.

Maura Devlin is a registered nurse and health visitor and will take up her position from 1 October.

Ms Devlin is head of the HSC Clinical Education Centre, which provides training to nurses and midwives employed in Northern Ireland's health and social care trusts.

She has previously held a number of executive roles including interim chief executive of the Northern Ireland Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery.

The new council consists of six nurses or midwives and six lay members, including members from each of the four countries of the UK.

DH panel to consider healthcare pioneers

A DH panel has been appointed to consider bids from regional areas interested in becoming integrated healthcare workers.

The panel will select the best examples of the way that healthcare, care and support and other services for groups, such as the elderly and those with diabetes, can work together.

The applicants will be encouraged to work innovatively, share findings and work on any barriers that may prevent joined up care. The panel members include national and international experts such as Jennifer Dixon (chair of Nuffield Trust) and Chris Ham (The King's Fund).

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