Welcome back to this week’s edition of the news summary at The Medic Portal. This blog brings you the key health stories that occurred from 26th to 2nd July. This week marks ten years since the indoor smoking ban and figures released show more UK nurses are leaving than joining the profession. Research has shown that drugs used for heartburn could cause an increased risk of dying early if taken for long periods.
Data released has shown that the smoking ban has caused nearly two million smokers to quit in ten years. The number of smokers in Britain has fallen by 1.9 million since the smoking ban was introduced. The ban has protected countless people from passive smoking as well as changing public attitudes towards smoking and as a consequence reduced the number of people suffering with smoking-related chronic illnesses.
A survey by the Nursing and Midwifery Council has indicated that more nurses and midwives are leaving the profession in the UK than joining it. Figures show that this is happening for the first time since 2008. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) said that the downward trend is most prevalent amongst British workers with many leavers citing working conditions as the reason. Other reasons for leaving the profession included staffing levels, personal circumstances and disillusion with quality of care to patients. The survey indicated that many younger nurses and midwives are choosing to leave the profession.
Researchers have discovered that proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs that are used to treat heartburn may increase the risk of dying early. PPIs have previously been linked to health problems such as kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. The NHS issues 50 million prescriptions each year to treat heartburn, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. The study included medical data from 275,000 PPI users and found that there was an increased risk of death due to taking the tablets. Experts are recommending that PPI treatment be kept as minimal as possible and patients do not take them for a long period of time if it is not required.