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Showing posts from September 2014

Heart disease warning factors 'missed by many adults'

While a third of people are worried about getting dementia or cancer, only 2% are afraid of coronary heart disease, a survey by the British Heart Foundation has found.

And one in ten adults confessed to not knowing how to look after their hearts.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is responsible for about 74,000 deaths in the UK each year.

About one in five men and one in eight women die from the condition.

To read the full article please click here.

Posted by: on September 29th, 2014 @ 09:43 AM
Tagged with: health healthcare NHS

NHS whistleblowing 'problems persist'

Whistleblowers still face real problems in speaking out in the health service - despite the push to create a more open culture, campaigners say.

Promoting whistleblowing was a key recommendation of the public inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal.

A number of steps have since been taken in England, but Patients First warned that a "culture of fear" still existed.

It has produced a dossier of 70 cases, highlighting problems like bullying and mismanagement of complaints.

The document is being handed in as part of Patients First's submission to an independent review of whistleblowing, which was set up by the Department of Health in England and is being led by Sir Robert Francis, who was in charge of the Stafford public inquiry.

To read the full article please click here

Posted by: on September 22nd, 2014 @ 08:53 AM

Lack of vitamin D may 'raise dementia risk'

People lacking in vitamin D have a higher risk of developing dementia report several media outlets, including BBC News and The Independent.

A study found people severely lacking in the sunshine vitamin were twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease compared with people with healthy levels (50nmol/l or more).

The findings are based on a study of more than 1,650 people aged 65 and above who were followed over a period of about six years to see if they developed dementia.

Researchers found the higher the vitamin D deficiency, the higher the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

They found severe vitamin D deficiency (less than 25nmol/l) is associated with approximately twice the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Moderately low levels of vitamin D (between 25nmol/l and 50nmol/l) are associated with a 50% increase in risk.

This study was able to show an association between low levels of vitamin D and the risk of developing dementia. But it does not prove that vitamin D deficiency causes the disease.

Other factors that can increase the risk of developing dementia, including a poor diet, lack of activity and general poor health, can also cause a low vitamin D level.

More research is needed to establish whether eating vitamin D-rich foods, such as oily fish, or taking vitamin D supplements could delay or even prevent dementia.

Posted by: on September 18th, 2014 @ 10:23 AM

Is it time for a mental health waiting target?

Waiting time targets have become synonymous with the NHS in England. They apply to everything from A&E units and ambulance calls outs to routine surgery and cancer treatment.

But it's not just an English phenomenon. Other countries in the UK have introduced their own.

The exception is mental health. It should come as no surprise - mental health care is often said to be the poor cousin of the NHS family. Figures show that the condition gets 11% of the budget, but accounts for 28% of the disease burden.

The result is that many people go without help. An estimated three quarters of people with a mental illness receive no treatment. For physical disorders, the rate is nearer a quarter.

To read the full article click here.

Posted by: on September 17th, 2014 @ 08:44 AM

Can technology help defuse the dementia time bomb?

Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. It is an umbrella term for the symptoms of around 100 different brain diseases, that cause problems with memory, language skills, mental agility, understanding and judgement. Alzheimer's is the most common, accounting for nearly two-thirds of cases.

44 million people worldwide now have dementia, and this figure is expected to triple by 2050, as the global population ages. In the UK alone, dementia currently affects more than 800,000 people, with the annual cost of care per person greater than the average salary.

Although some medical treatments do slow the progression of some types of dementia, there is currently no cure. Round-the-clock help is often needed, but for many a live-in carer is not practical or affordable. So scientists have started to look at ways that technology can support people with dementia and help them live independently for as long as possible.

For the full article click here.

Posted by: on September 16th, 2014 @ 08:37 AM

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