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Medical News Summary 28th June, 2016

Welcome to this week’s edition of the News Summary blog, which covers from the 20th to the 27th of June and shows the main news stories relating to health. Over the last 7 days, we’ve seen potential changes to general practitioner’s policy, the damaging effects of the UK office cake culture and campaigns for an opt-out transplant scheme.

Unnecessary GP Appointments Can Be Avoided

GPs to reduce number of unnecessary appointments.
GPs want to reduce number of unnecessary appointments.

General Practitioners are suggesting that workers should be able to self-certify sickness for up to two weeks. Their aim is to reduce the number of unnecessary GP appointments booked to acquire sick notes for work. The idea was suggested at the British Medical Association annuals conference due to the rising demand for GP appointments. Currently, the government has no plans to change the existing policy.

In addition to this, GPs want to be paid for carrying out the required health checks on those who want to apply for firearms licences. The health checks last up to an hour as all medical records must be examined to ensure that there is no risk in the patient owning firearms. The time taken to carry out one check means that six patients who are waiting for an appointment cannot be seen. It is hoped that if both of these changes are made, the strain placed on GP services will be lessened.

Don’t Let Them Eat Cake

Office cake culture contributes to obesity epidemic
Office cake culture contributes to obesity epidemic

It is thought that theCake Culture” seen in workplaces in the UK is fuelling the obesity epidemic and contributing to poor health. Professor Nigel Hunt the dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons has asked workers to bring fruit platters into the office as opposed to doughnuts or cake.

In the UK sugary treats are often consumed in offices to celebrate special occasions, company success or a return from a trip abroad. However, it is thought that this is contributing to the obesity epidemic and poor oral health.

Sugar has a detrimental effect when eaten outside of meal times, its contribution to dental caries increases when it is consumed at regular intervals. Professor Hunt is calling for a change in culture and encouraging workers to buy fruit, nuts or cheese to celebrate an occasion.

BMA Lobbying For Opt-Out Organ Donation

Should the rest of the UK join Wales in an opt-out organ donor system?
Should the rest of the UK join Wales in an opt-out organ donation system?

The British Medical Association are lobbying for an opt-out donor system. Doctors will aim to persuade ministers at Westminster to introduce an opt-out organ donation system. It is thought that this could prevent up to 1,000 deaths a year that are caused due to organ shortages.

The BMA will lobby Westminster, Holyrood and Stormont to follow the example of Wales which in December introduced an opt-out scheme.

In Wales, those who die in hospital are presumed to have consented to give their organs for donation.  Figures from the NHS agency, UK Blood and Transplant show that currently 6,485 people who are seriously ill are waiting for organs on the UK. Currently, three people die every day due to the fact that they cannot get a new organ – such as a heart or liver – before their health deteriorates.   

Uploaded by Joelle on 28th June, 2016

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