Daily digest April 27 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

NHS ‘is using next winter’s funds to avoid a spring crisis’

The NHS is spending funds now that were intended to cope with pressures next winter amid fears of a ‘spring crisis’.

Health officials have been told to keep running schemes, set up this winter to ease the burden on hospitals until the end of April, amid concerns about poor emergency department performance. As a result, a number of areas said they are spending funds now that would normally be spent much later in the year, in a bid to relieve pressures.

The admission from NHS organisations about how they are using resources during a period of unseasonably warm weather suggests services could come under even greater strain closer to winter. The clinical commissioning groups for NHS Dudley, NHS Southampton City and NHS Stafford and Surrounds said the timing suggested officials were under ‘political pressure’ to avoid bad publicity about NHS performance in the run-up to the general election.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website: click here

Always seeing the same GP raises risk of missed cancer

Patients who always see the same GP are more likely to have cancer symptoms missed, research has shown.

A study, carried out by academics at the University of Bristol and Cancer Research UK, found that if doctors know patients well, they could mistake warning signs for ongoing medical problems or depression.

The study of 18,500 patients found that people with bowel cancer who saw their normal GP were diagnosed, on average, a week later than others.

Read more on the Daily Mail website: click here

£29 HIV kits give results in 15 minutes

The world’s first HIV self-testing kit based on a pinprick of blood has been launched and can tell you in 15 minutes whether you have the virus.

The test is more than 99.7% accurate and could help identify the estimated 26,000 people in Britain who are infected but don’t know it.

The BioSURE HIV Self Test carries the European wide specialist CE mark, having passed rigorous tests and correctly identified 999 of every 1,000 negative samples and 997 of every 1,000 positive samples.

Read more on the Daily Mirror website: click here

British scientists develop broccoli pill to help in arthritis fight

British scientists have developed a pill that harnesses the power of broccoli to help end the agony of osteoarthritis.

Researchers say one dose of Sulforadex or SFX-01, the synthetic version of a compound called sulforophane, is the equivalent of eating 5.5lb of the vegetable. Sulforophane blocks the inflammation and damage to joint cartilage associated with arthritis but is too unstable to be used in a medicine.

Nearly nine million Britons have osteoarthritis and there is no cure or effective treatment other than joint replacement or pain relief. Andrew Pitsillides, who co-led the research at London’s Royal Veterinary College for UK drug company Evgen Pharma, said: ‘The potential for SFX-01 is massive.’

Read more on the Daily Express website: click here

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