Welcome to this week’s news summary blog keeping you up to date with the highlights in medial news. This post will cover the news from 24th to 30th October. With it being Halloween over the weekend, Dentists this week have issued a warning that Halloween sweets could be causing teeth decay. This week the General Medical Council has issued a report that indicates that doctors have the highest level of dissatisfaction than ever before and guidelines have been published that suggest that doctors should outline treatment options to patients to allow them to decide on their treatment themselves.
Dentists this week have issued advice to parents to reduce the damage of Halloween sweets on children’s teeth. The dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery has said that the state of children’s teeth in the UK is a “national scandal” due to poor diet and the fact that children do not regularly visit a dentist. Dentists have suggested that trick-or-treaters should be given alternative treats such as stickers or balloons rather than sweets. Additionally, children should save their sweets to have them with a meal rather than eating them in intervals – this can reduce the impact on their teeth. Currently in the UK children under the age of ten have over 179,000 teeth extracted every year – and almost a quarter of three-to-five year olds have dental decay. Another area being targeted by public health experts is the number of sugary drinks being consumed by children. Campaigns are being pushed to encourage children to drink water rather than drinks with high sugar content.
Doctors are currently experiencing higher levels of dissatisfaction than ever before according to the General Medical Council. This is partly due to growing workloads, increasing financial pressure on the NHS and the ongoing junior doctor dispute. The results were published as part of the General Medical Council’s (GMC) sixth annual report. Over three years the number of doctors who applied to train as specialists has dropped by 12% to under two thirds of doctors. Nearly half of the group that did not go on to train as specialists said that their main reason was burnout, causing them to need a break. The report gives an insight into the high financial and social pressures currently being placed on the NHS and how things need to change to improve morale.
The Royal College of Surgeons have released new guidelines in an attempt to avoid hospitals being sued. Doctors are being advised to stop telling patients which treatment they should have and start advising them on their decisions and treatment options. Clinicians should take patients through treatment options and outline the advantages and disadvantages. The new guidelines come after the Supreme Court awarded a diabetic mother £5million after her baby was born with disabilities because medical staff failed to advise her of the risks and benefits of a natural birth over a caesarean.