Challenges in the Creation of a Seven-Day NHS: Leaked Update (BBC News)

Summary

A confidential Department of Health review of government plans for a seven-day NHS in England, “leaked” to the Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 News, identifies 13 potential risks; including concerns over staff-shortages, workforce overload and the general lack of resources / capacity for doing more with less.

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Reference

Seven day NHS pledge faces ‘staff shortages’. London: BBC Health News, August 22nd 2016.

Posted in BBC News, Commissioning, Community Care, Department of Health, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, National, NHS, NHS England, Quick Insights, Standards, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study: Dementia Early Detection and Biomarkers Research Programme (MRC / NIHR)

Summary

The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study will explore improvements in biomarker research and the development of tests to detect Alzheimer’s Disease early on. This research programme will be funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

“The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will recruit 250 volunteers from existing study cohorts led by the Dementias Platform UK”.

The ultimate aim is to improve the success rate of clinical trials for treatments in Alzheimer’s Disease – many of which have failed – probably due to the interventions under investigation starting a too late a phase in disease progression, after irreparable damage has taken place.

The biomarkers and tests under investigation will include:

  • Monitoring alterations in movement and walking (“gait”) assessments, using wearable devices.
  • Ophthalmological assessments of the retina.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) brain scans.
  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the magnetic fields produced by nerve cells.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) brain scans to measure electrical currents associated with brain activity.
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) brain scans, to detect build-up of rogue proteins or other changes associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Thinking and memory (cognitive) assessments, to measure the ability of participants to pay attention, solve problems and remember.
  • Clinical assessments, including blood and urine samples and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

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Reference

World’s most in depth study to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. London [Online]: Medical Research Council (MRC), August 22nd 2016.

Posted in Alzheimer's Society, Charitable Bodies, Commissioning, Diagnosis, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, National, NIHR, Quick Insights, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Earlier Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease? (BBC News / Acta Neuropathologica Communications)

Summary

Recent animal research, using rats, suggests there may be a cheap and non-invasive method of detecting Parkinson’s Disease early – before symptoms develop – by identifying changes in the eye.

The same study also offers early evidence for a newly formulated version of the anti-diabetic drug Rosiglitazone as a promising neuroprotective therapeutic for Parkinson’s Disease (similarly assessed in terms of changes to retinal thickness, again in rats at least).

“Together, these findings suggest that retinal changes may be a good surrogate biomarker for PD, which may be used to assess new treatments both experimentally and clinically”.

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Reference

Parkinson’s could potentially be detected by an eye test. London: BBC Health News, August 18th 2016.

This relates to:

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Reference

Normando, EM. Davis, BM. [and] De Groef, L. [et al] (2016). The retina as an early biomarker of neurodegeneration in a rotenone-induced model of Parkinson’s disease: evidence for a neuroprotective effect of rosiglitazone in the eye and brain. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. August 18th 2016; 4(1): 86.

Posted in Animal Studies, BBC News, Diagnosis, For Doctors (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, Parkinson's Disease, Pharmacological Treatments, Quick Insights, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Early Indications Suggest Zika Virus Might Damage Adult Brains Resulting in Long-Term Neurological Conditions (NHS Choices / Cell Stem Cell)

Summary

The Zika virus has been linked with microcephaly in human babies, and has also – more tentatively – been linked to Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), but until now was not thought likely to affect the adult population beyond minor short-term symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain, vomiting and headaches.

Recent research on mice genetically engineered to have an immune deficiency to the Zika virus indicates that this virus may cause long-term damage in mammalian brain regions where new brain cells are produced (neurogenesis).

“The researchers found that Zika virus was concentrated in the two sections of the brain where there is active cell division in adult mice. These were the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the anterior forebrain and the subgranular zone (SGZ) of the hippocampus”.

Evidence of pronounced Zika infection in these two brain areas appears to result in an increase in cell death and reduced cell division, in mice at least.

More research is required before assessing the potential implications for humans; such as any long-term neurological damage resulting in a likely adverse impact on memory and thinking skills, superficially not dissimilar to Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Reference

Animal research suggests Zika could affect the adult brain. London: NHS Choices; Behind the Headlines, August 19th 2016.

This relates to:

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Reference

Li, H. Saucedo-Cuevas, L. [and] Regla-Nava, JA. [et al] (2016). Zika virus infects neural progenitors in the adult mouse brain and alters proliferation. Cell Stem Cell. November 3rd 2016. 19, pp.1-6. [Epub ahead of print; August 18th 2016].

Posted in Animal Studies, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), In the News, International, NHS Choices, Quick Insights, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Updates to Public Health Outcomes Framework 2016 to 2019 (Department of Health / BBC News)

Summary

The original Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) specified desired outcomes for public health. It concentrated on:

  1. Increasing healthy life expectancy.
  2. Reducing health inequalities and differences in life expectancy.
  3. Reducing inequalities in the healthy life expectancy between communities.

A new document updates the precise outcome(s) specifications and elaborates on how these outcomes can be measured:

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Reference

Public Health Outcomes Framework 2016 to 2019. London [Online]: Department of Health, August 16th 2016.

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Improving outcomes and supporting transparency. Part 2: summary technical specifications of public health indicators. Updated August 2016. London: Department of Health, August 2016.

Childhood Obesity Strategy

Contemporary developments, of likely interest. The plan for reducing England’s rate of childhood obesity over the next 10 years involves encouraging the food industry to cut the amount of sugar in food and drinks; and helping primary school children to eat more healthily and be more physically active.

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Reference

Mundasad, S. (2016). Childhood obesity: doctors criticise ‘weak’ government strategy.  London: BBC Health News, August 18th 2016.

This relates to:

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Childhood obesity: a plan for action. London: Department of Health, August 2016.

Further analysis / commentary:

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Reference

Pym, H. (2016). Obesity plan – step in the right direction or missed opportunity? London: BBC Health News, August 18th 2016.

Posted in BBC News, Commissioning, Community Care, Department of Health, Diagnosis, Falls, Falls Prevention, For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), Hip Fractures, Housing, Hypertension, In the News, Integrated Care, Management of Condition, National, Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Nutrition, Public Health England, Quick Insights, Standards, Statistics, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Updated UK Dementia Atlas (Department of Health / BBC News)

Summary

The Department of Health’s updated dementia atlas reveals the “postcode lottery” of regional variations in how well the local services in different areas perform in the prevention, diagnosis, support and care for people with dementia.

The dementia atlas maps five themes of care, based on NHS England’s Well Pathway For Dementia, using benchmarks for each:

  1. Prevention.
  2. Diagnosis.
  3. Support.
  4. Living with dementia.
  5. End of life care.

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Reference

NHS dementia atlas reveals patchy care. London: BBC Health News, August 16th 2016.

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Reference

Dementia Atlas: Putting a focus on dementia [Interactive Atlas]. London [Online]: Department of Health, August 2016.

UK Global Dementia Friends Ambassador

The Alzheimer’s Society has appointed actress Carey Mulligan as the first UK Global Dementia Friends Ambassador. She will prioritise dementia awareness raising and promote the importance of making communities dementia-friendly.

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Reference

Mulligan: we should talk about dementia. London: BBC News, August 16th 2016.

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Carey Mulligan aims to change global attitudes towards dementia. London: Department of Health, August 16th 2016.

Posted in Acute Hospitals, Age UK, Alzheimer's Society, Antipsychotics, BBC News, Charitable Bodies, Commissioning, Community Care, Department of Health, Diagnosis, End of Life Care, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, Local Interest, Management of Condition, Mental Health, Models of Dementia Care, National, NHS, NHS England, Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Patient Care Pathway, Patient Information, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Standards, Statistics, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Education and Training Framework: Learning Disabilities Core Skills (HEE / Skills for Health / Skills for Care / NHS England)

Summary

Health Education England, Skills for Health and Skills for Care have produced a comprehensive resource, designed to support the education, training and workforce development needs of persons working with people who have learning disabilities.

“This Framework was commissioned and funded by the Department of Health and developed in collaboration by Skills for Health, Skills for Care and Health Education England”.

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Reference

Learning disabilities: core skills education and training framework. London: Health Education England (HEE), August 2016.

Related interest:

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How NHS England is transforming care for people with a learning disability and/or autism – Hazel Watson. [Online]: NHS England, August 8th 2016.

Posted in Commissioning, Community Care, Department of Health, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), Guidelines, Integrated Care, Management of Condition, National, Person-Centred Care, Quick Insights, Standards, UK, Universal Interest | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment