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Daily digest June 29 2015

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Many stroke victims ‘could be saved by GP receptionists’

Teaching doctors’ receptionists to spot the warning signs of strokes could save thousands of lives a year, research suggests.

As reported in the Daily Mail, Oxford University researchers say many patients phone surgeries not realising they are having a stroke and are told to come back for an appointment in several days or weeks.

Such delays are deadly because patients who do not receive treatment within a few hours are far less likely to survive. Researchers say these deaths could be prevented if receptionists were simply put through an hour’s online training.

Read more on the Mail Online website

No amount of alcohol is safe after link to cancer found

Alcohol-lovers could be advised against drinking any alcohol at all after experts found a link to cancer, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Current guidelines allow women three units a day and men four – equivalent to a large glass of wine or two cans of beer – but male twins who drank a ‘safe’ level of 21 units per week over a month developed dangerous inflammation in the body.

Now medics are calling for a substantial change to government recommendations, which advise women to drink no more than 21 units per week and men 28 units, with Institute of Alcohol Studies director Katherine Brown saying ‘the World Health Organisation advises there is no safe level of drinking for cancer prevention so we would expect our guidelines to include this information’.

Read more on the Mirror website

Clinical case legal fees to be capped

Ambulance chasing lawyers who cost the NHS £259 million a year are to have their fees capped, the Daily Express has reported.

The absence of a limit means lawyers can claim extortionate amounts no matter how small the case but new plans, which could save the NHS up to £80 million a year, include a proposal to fix legal costs for claims under £100,000.

Rather than a lump sum, the lawyer’s fee will reflect a percentage of the patient’s compensation and limits have already been introduced for other areas of personal injury claims such as road accidents.

Read more on the Express website

Number of children admitted to hospital with high blood pressure trebles

Rising numbers of children are being treated in hospital for high blood pressure amid concerns they are eating too much salt, figures reveal.

Admissions have trebled in the last ten years and include nearly 400 children under five, the Daily Mail has reported.

The figures, obtained by Channel 4’s Dispatches from 29 NHS organisations, show that 1,064 children under 16 were admitted to hospital with high blood pressure from 2012 to 2014. Of the trusts who broke admissions down into age groups, 391 children were aged 0 to five, 197 six to ten and 429 11 to 16.

Read more on the Mail Online website

 

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