Welcome back to the new edition of the news summary blog. This blog is published weekly at The Medic Portal and will keep you up to date with the key stories in health news. This post covers the main stories that occurred from 17th to 23rd of April. This week, data shows that more than 100,000 patients are waiting at least two weeks to see a cancer specialist and hospital shops have agreed to limit sales of sugary drinks. Research published also indicates that children who have regular bedtimes are less likely to become obese.
Over 100,000 patients are waiting at least two weeks to be seen by a cancer specialist following a referral. The NHS aims for 85% of cancer patients to begin treatment within 62 days after referral, however this target has been missed for the past three years. The maximum time that someone can wait on the NHS is two weeks. If the wait is longer than two weeks hospitals and surgeries will offer a list of alternative clinics for the patient. Longer waiting times cause greater stress to patients as well as reducing the effectiveness of some treatments.
Shops within hospitals have agreed to limit the number of sugary drinks they sell. WHSmith, Marks & Spencer, Subway and Greggs have all agreed to cut down the proportion of sugary drinks that they sell in their hospital shops. NHS England has asked the retailers to limit the drinks to no more than 10% of the total they sell by next April. Those companies who fail to comply with the targets could face a total ban on selling sugary drinks in their hospital shops. The plans aim to reduce the levels of obesity and tooth decay within England.
Researchers have discovered a link between household routines in childhood and obesity.The study analysed data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study that asked parents questions about their child’s routines and whether or not they had a regular bedtime. The children were then weighed at age 11 to see if they were obese. The results showed that those with an inconsistent bedtime were almost twice as likely to be obese aged 11 as those who had a regular bedtime. Although this study indicates some link between sleep routines and obesity, it is not conclusive. It is also possible that those children with irregular bedtimes were more likely to have an unhealthy lifestyle.