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Medical News Summary, 16 May 2016

Hello, welcome back to the weekly News Summary here at The Medic Portal. This week’s blog will cover the highlights in medical and news from the 9th to the 15th of May. This week has seen an extension in the junior doctor’s contract negotiation, the publishing of figures relating to the NHS and the news that ten cities in the UK exceeding the air pollution limits.

Junior doctors contract negotiations

Junior Doctors Strike. Photo credit: John Gomez/ Shutterstock
Junior Doctors Strike. Photo credit: John Gomez/ Shutterstock

The last opportunity to reach a deal on the junior doctor’s contract is being extended into next week. Both the British Medical Association and the government have agreed to continue negotiations until Wednesday the 18th of May.

The talks are being hosted by a conciliation service, Acas and are seen as the last chance for the two sides to agree on a new contract for junior doctors. The talks come after the British Medical Association conducted a series of strikes that included the first ever full walk-out by doctors in the history of the NHS.

Prior to the UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt agreeing to the talks, the government had announced that they would be imposing the new contract from this summer. The main area of concern being discussed is the issue of Saturday pay. If talks fail, the government has indicated that it will push ahead with imposing the contract.

Operation cancellations at 15-year high

Number of operations cancelled at 15-year high
Number of operations cancelled at 15-year high

NHS figures published this week shows that last-minute cancellation of operations is at a 15-year high. Figures show that 74,086 patients had their hospital procedures postponed due to both bed and staff shortage.

Those in the health industry have expressed their concerns that the new figures indicate how standards in the NHS are slipping and failing to keep up with the increasing demand placed on the NHS. It is thought that the delays in operations could have impacted negatively on thousands of patient’s quality of life.

The current target is that a patient’s operation should be rescheduled within 28 days, however this did not happen for over 5,000 patients last year. The figures did not include the thousands of operations postponed due to the junior doctor strikes.

WHO air pollution warning for UK

Pollution in UK cities dangerously high
Pollution in UK cities dangerously high

The World Health Organisation has warned that air pollution in the UK is “wreaking havoc on human health”. Currently, dozens of cities in Britain are exceeding air pollution limits which the world health organisation (WHO) has warned could cause thousands of premature deaths, especially in the youngest and oldest groups of our population.

It is thought that pollution could trigger fatal asthma attacks, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke and respiratory conditions. Pollutants in the air include substances such as sulfate, black carbon and nitrates.

It is thought that worldwide air pollution causes over three million deaths, 40,000 to 50,000 of which happen in the UK. Some of the cities in the UK with the highest pollution rates include London, Glasgow, Leeds, Oxford, Nottingham and Southampton.

Uploaded by Joelle on 16 May, 2016

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