Welcome back to the weekly edition of the Medical News Summary blog. This week’s edition will cover the main headlines in medical news from the 5th of October to the 11th of October.
This week it was announced that NHS trusts are in a £930 million deficit in the first three months of the financial year. The £930 million deficit is greater than the whole previous years overspend. The accounts covered hospital, ambulance, mental health and some community services. Last year NHS trusts overspent by £822 million. The overspend has put NHS trusts under increasing pressure to make savings. The increasing number of agency staff has been highlighted as the largest potential saving. The deficit highlights the increasing complexity of the increasing demand on the NHS. Nigel Edwards the chief executive of the Nuffield Trust think-thank has said that “it is becoming increasingly impossible to provide quality standards, timely access to care and financial control at the same time”.
New figures published show that the incidence of Lyme disease has quadrupled in the last 12 years. The statistics show that 1,100 people were diagnosed in 2013. Experts in the field have suggested that the increase in the incidence of Lyme disease is due to factors such as the increased number of housing developments in rural areas and the change in Britain’s climate. Lyme disease can cause neurological damage, fatigue and is carried by infected ticks. Diagnosed Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics but can cause serious health implications if left untreated.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has aimed to defuse the ongoing row between in a letter written to Dr Johann Malawana, the chair of the junior doctors committee at the British Medical Association. In the letter Jeremy Hunt offered a guarantee that their pay would not be cut nor would they have to work longer hours. Hunt has expressed that junior doctors working full time will not be expected to work more than 48 hours per week. In addition to this, Hunt has asked NHS Employers to develop a new contract to ensure that junior doctors are at least as well paid as they are now.
New figures published by the World Obesity Federation suggested that two-thirds of people in Britain will be either overweight or obese by 2025. It is thought that within ten years 70% of men and 62% of women will be overweight which will place a large burden on the NHS. Obesity and diabetes currently cost the UK over £5 billion every year and this is predicted to rise to £50 billion by 2050. The figures for Britain are a huge contrast to other European countries such as Belgium and Germany where the number of overweight or obese people is expected to remain the same. The World Obesity Federation have suggested that the government should enforce a tax on fatty and sugary foods and that healthy foods should be made cheaper to tackle the problem.
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