Daily digest August 6 2015

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Cancer survival ‘lagging in England’

England's track record for cancer survival remains poorer than other countries with similar health systems, a study suggests.

Published in the British Journal of Cancer, the research compares England's survival trends with figures for five other countries over 15 years and researchers say there have been steady improvements, but more needs to be done to close the survival gap.

The BBC reports that England's five-year survival for colon, breast, lung, ovarian, rectal and stomach cancers remained lower than Australia, Canada, Norway and Sweden, but NHS England says survival figures have never been higher in the country.

Read more on the BBC website

Playing loud music during operations puts patients at risk

Surgeons have been warned that playing drum and bass and other music during operations hampers communication with nurses and puts patients at risk, The Independent reports.

According to research by the National Journal of Nurses, which placed cameras in operating rooms in UK hospitals, music made staff repeat themselves, hindered communication, caused frustration and potentially risked patient safety. 

Drum and bass and dance music were often played loudest, with the volume raised for popular songs. In some cases, the findings show that nurses visibly struggled to hear instructions from surgeons.

Read more on The Independent website

NHS patients may face widescale charges, warns financial thinktank

Ministers will have to consider charging patients for seeing a GP, attending A&E, and using the food, power and water of hospitals, unless better long-term solutions for funding the NHS can be found, public finance experts have warned.

The Guardian reports that the Chartered Institute of Public Finance briefing says contributions towards the cost of treatments and patients taking out health insurance are among other options that should be considered if the comprehensive spending review in November fails to address the issue.

The document says that the hope of NHS leaders to save £22bn over five years to 2020-21 is optimistic and does not take account of David Cameron’s pledge to increase seven-day services, nor of the introduction of the new national living wage. 

Read more on The Guardian website

Healthy brain food diet could halve your risk of dementia

A diet designed specifically for the mind slows cognitive decline among ageing adults, even when the person is not at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers.

The 'Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay' (MIND) diet includes at least three daily servings of wholegrains, a green leafy vegetable and one other vegetable every day, Mail Online reports.

To arrive at their conclusions, the researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago studied 960 adults over 4.7 years who were free of dementia when they enrolled.

Read more on the Mail Online website

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