Daily digest August 18 2015

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

'Soft-touch’ doctors should be disciplined for over-prescribing antibiotics

Doctors should face disciplinary action for handing out too many antibiotics – because unnecessary prescribing has now reached crisis point, says the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

GPs are writing ten million prescriptions for antibiotics annually for coughs, colds and minor infections, even though these do more harm than good and are fuelling antimicrobial resistance.

NICE published guidance today telling doctors to delay treatment to see if symptoms clear up on their own, and to stop giving drugs for minor throat or urinary tract infections.

Read more on the Telegraph website

Pregnant women take up classes on self-hypnosis births

Hospitals are reporting a steep rise in demand for classes in 'hypnobirthing', which focuses on relaxation and self-hypnosis during labour, the Guardian reports.

When Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust in Essex began offering hypnobirthing classes in 2012, it was running one class a month, teaching about 48 women a year. After steady increases in 2013 and 2014, the trust made the decision to offer the course free. It now runs 10 hypnobirthing courses a month and predicts it will instruct between 720 and 960 women in hypnobirthing in 2015.

Almost 25% of women who give birth at the trust took a hypnobirthing course and almost one in six of the trust’s midwives are trained hypnobirthing instructors.

At the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust the numbers are less dramatic, with about 5% of mothers using hypnobirthing, but the trust has seen a threefold increase in the number of women taking classes in the past five years.

Read more on the Guardian website 

Psychologists confirm playing violent video games is linked to aggression

A review of almost a decade of studies has found exposure to violent video games is a risk factor for increased aggression.

But researchers say there is insufficient evidence to conclude that playing games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto leads to criminal acts.

The findings have prompted a call from the American Psychological Association for more parental control over the use of violent video games.

Read more on the Sky News website 

Flu jab drive aims to address last year's 'failure'

Ministers are urging the public not to be put off having the flu jab this winter by failures of the vaccine last year.

They say those who qualify for a free jab, or spray, should take up the offer this winter because it gives the most effective cover against flu.

Last winter, it emerged the seasonal flu vaccine gave barely any cover against the main strain of flu encountered in the UK.

The World Health Organization decides on the constituents of the vaccine for different parts of the world in February each year.

Read more on the BBC website

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