Health Check - The weekly update on the NHS from Ipsos Healthcare
In a letter addressed to thousands of GPs, Dr Laurence Buckman criticises Andrew Lansley's radical reorganisation of the NHS as "complex, incoherent and not fit for purpose, and almost impossible to implement successfully, given widespread opposition across the NHS workforce". Buckman argues that the bill would turn the NHS into a competitive marketplace, ultimately to the expense of patients. The full letter is available on the The Guardian website. To read the full story, go to The Guardian.
A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine challenged the idea that females are born with all the oocytes that they will ever have, and that that no more are created after birth. The study was looking into ‘oogenial stem cells’ (OSCs), cells that exist in mice. Researchers found humans also possess these cells and that, when these were transplanted into mice, they were able to develop into oocytes. These oocytes were then successfully matured and fertilised to form mouse embryos. This discovery might break new ground for future fertility-preservation strategies. Read the full story at The Telegraph
Director of the national NHS Sustainable Development Unit, Dr. David Pencheon, argues that sustainability will be key to helping the NHS save the £20 billion it needs to in order to improve services and patient care. In the same way that updating heating and lighting systems in NHS buildings will lead to energy efficiencies and reduced costs, recycling medication could help reduce the £300 million that the NHS currently loses annually through discarded medication. It is estimated that 2.5% reduction in current wastage could save up to £89 million. Research commissioned by the NHS and published last month indicates that there is some support for this idea amongst the public with 52% of 1,000 people saying they would be likely to take recycled medication. However, the pills would have to have been returned unused by a patient and have undergone safety checks. Dr. Pecheon argues that savings such as these would be beneficial for patients in the long term, as it would free up money to be spent on illness prevention, reducing the need for costly drugs in the future. Read more at BBC News.