Welcome back to this week’s edition of The Medic Portal’s News Summary Blog! This summary will cover the highlights in medical news from the 1st to the 6th of November 2016. This week has seen research published that suggests that General Practitioner appointments should be extended to 15 minutes, children’s sleep is being disturbed by media devices and the government have announced a war against hospital superbugs.
Research has been published that looked at 125,000 children’s sleep patterns and found a clear association between using media devices and sleep problems. Some of the sleep problems recorded included not getting enough sleep, reduced sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. Evidence has previously shown that sleep is as important as healthy eating and exercise for a child’s development. In addition to this, children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight, most likely because they tend to crave sugary foods to give them the energy to stay awake. Experts recommend that in addition to banning media devices in the bedroom, children should also try relaxation techniques and sleeping in a dark, tidy bedroom environment.
A new study published by researchers at Cambridge University has found that some general practitioners are carrying out consultations in as little as two minutes. The study examined 440 general practitioner’s (GP) consultations and found that the average time a patient spent with a GP was just over ten minutes. The shortest consultation in the study was two minutes 15 seconds, whilst the longest was over half an hour. The study found that those patients who spent longer with a doctor did not report higher levels of satisfaction and those who had the highest level of satisfaction were often those who had the shorter appointments. The study which was published in the British Journal of General Practice calls for the British Medical Association (BMA) to extend GP appointments to at least 15 minutes. A study by the BMA of 15,000 GPs found that nine in ten believed that ten minutes was not long enough for an appointment.
The government has announced a new war against hospital superbugs such as E.coli. Although superbug strains such as MRSA and C.difficilie have reduced in the UK over the last decade the number of cases of E.coli is rising and killing over 5,500 in 2015. The campaign will focus on hand-washing and hospitals will also be required to publish E.coli rates in wards. The government have also appointed a new national infection advisor, Dr Ruth May and a stricter inspection regime for hospitals. E.coli can cause respiratory, urinary and surgical site infections and can lead to life-threatening sepsis. It also makes up nearly two-thirds of antibiotic-resistant infections.
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