News

Daily Digest March 16 2015

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

Mental illness costs UK £550bn in lost earnings

Poor childhood mental health has cost £550 billion in lost earnings and tax revenue over the past 40 years, according to the first comprehensive study of the problem.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that people who experience mental illness in childhood will lose more than £300,000 each in income, on average, during their lifetime, the Times has reported.

The study revealed that adults who struggled with psychological problems as children go on to work fewer hours, earn less money and are also more likely to experience unemployment.

(£) Read more on the Times website: click here

Obesity on the rise for UK’s poorest children

Rising food prices, low wages and cuts to social security benefits mean the poorest children are more likely to be obese than they were a decade ago when TV chef Jamie Oliver launched his healthy school dinners campaign, a report has found.

Although the incidence of child obesity has fallen in the UK over the last few years, it is growing in low-income households, for whom healthy food is less accessible.

According to the report by the Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, low-income households are now spending up to 35 per cent of their budget on food, compared with a national average of 12 per cent, and eating unhealthier food, as reported in the Guardian.

The report says: ‘While health and dietary breakthroughs in schools during the late 2000s have improved the health of children as a whole, they have disproportionately benefited higher-income households and have failed to make an impact on households on the lowest incomes.’

Read more on the Guardian website: click here

Older GPs ‘should stop work at 4pm’

Older GPs should be allowed to stop work at 4pm ‘when their concentration goes’, official guidance suggests.

The advice claims that tailoring working arrangements to suit ‘individual needs’ will enable doctors to ‘survive and thrive’ in their profession, amid increasing workloads, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

The recommendations, issued by the NHS England Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire area team, urge family doctors to ‘look after each other’ by staggering shifts.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website: click here

Plan to let critically ill die at home ‘may repeat flaws of death pathway’

A plan to draw up a ‘death list’ of how every ill or older person wants to die has been criticised as a dangerous and worrying idea, the Daily Mail has reported.

The Commons Health Select Committee yesterday called for a new database listing whether people would prefer to die at home or in hospital and MPs on the committee said a register of preferred options would help to stop patients who want to die at home dying in hospital.

But Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist at East Kent Universities NHS Foundation Trust, said the plan simply perpetuates the ‘central flaw’ of the discredited Liverpool Care Pathway and risked making the same mistakes.

Read more on the Daily Mail website: click here

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.