Daily digest April 8 2015
Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here
NHS has withered under coalition, say 140 doctors
Leading doctors in the NHS have accused the coalition government of a catalogue of broken promises, funding cuts and destructive legislation which has left the health service weaker than ever before.
In a letter to the Guardian, more than 140 senior doctors write that ‘we invite voters to consider carefully how the NHS has fared over the last five years, and to use their vote to ensure that the NHS in England is reinstated’.
The signatories to the letter include: Clare Gerada, former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners; John Ashton, retired director of public health; and Simon Capewell, professor of public health at the University of Liverpool.
Read more on the Guardian website: click here
Patients dying of diseases other than cancer are ‘unfairly treated’
Thousands of dying patients with conditions other than cancer are ‘unfairly’ missing out on specialist end-of-life care, according to a major new report.
Urging a ‘major overhaul’ of the way palliative care is delivered in the UK, experts from the London School of Economics and Political Science said part of the problem was that services had ‘traditionally’ been geared towards people with cancer, with a lack of care options for the majority of people who die from other conditions every year.
As reported in the Independent, people aged over 85, black, Asian and minority ethnic people and people living in poorer areas are also more likely to miss out on vital care and pain relief, or to be given the option to die at home or in a hospice.
Read more on the Independent website: click here
Transgender help on NHS for children rises fourfold
The number of children aged 10 or under who have been referred to the NHS because of transgender feelings has more than quadrupled in five years, according to new figures.
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust said referrals over the period included 47 children aged five or under, and two children just three years old, the Daily Telegraph has reported.
The trust, the UK’s only centre specialising in gender issues in under-18s said that in total, the number of under-11s referred to the unit has risen from 19 in 2009-10 to 77 in 2014-15 and parents said they had sought help after children became deeply distressed about their gender.
Read more on the Telegraph website: click here
A&E wait times worst for more than a decade
Accident and emergency units have had their worst three months for more than a decade, with 440,000 people waiting more than four hours for treatment so far this year, The Times has reported.
The target to treat 95 per cent of patients within four hours was missed for the second quarter in a row, with only 91.8 per cent dealt with quickly between January and March.
A dire start to the year meant the target was missed for 2014-15 as a whole, the first time this has happened since 2003-4, and health officials blamed a rising tide of frail patients.
(£) Read more on the Times website: click here