Daily digest May 18 2015

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

Nurses may call strike over seven-day NHS plans

Nurses will take industrial action if the government tries to cut pay to deliver its election promise of a ‘truly seven-day NHS’, the leader of Britain’s biggest nursing union has warned.

In what he called ‘a strong warning to the Secretary of State’, RCN general secretary Peter Carter told the Independent that any ‘attacks on unsocial hours or weekend working payments’ would be a ‘red line’ for nurses.

With the NHS in financial crisis, experts have questioned whether extra hospital staffing in the evenings and at weekends – promised in the Conservative manifesto – can be achieved without either holding down or cutting pay rates.

Read more on the Independent website

NHS chiefs tell Cameron £8bn election pledge ‘is not enough’

NHS bosses have launched an unprecedented appeal to David Cameron to ‘put his money where his mouth is’, warning that a promise of £8 billion extra will not be enough to stop rationing and rising waiting lists, the Times has reported.

Leaders of hospitals, mental health and community care trusts want a guaranteed spending escalator each year of this parliament, more money for social care, £2 billion for one-off changes and political cover for unpopular closures or changes in local services.

In their letter to the prime minister, 51 health bosses say the ‘hard reality’ is that the NHS will need at least £8bn ‘plus funding for transformation and for social care’ and they call for an immediate cash injection, warning that without concrete promises by the autumn’s spending review, they will have to tell the public what will be cut.

(£) Read more on the Times website

Immigrants ‘afraid’ to seek medical treatment

Migrants who have permission to be in the UK are avoiding seeking vital medical treatment for fear of being arrested, a charity has warned.

Doctors of the World, which runs a clinic in Bethnal Green, east London, said 83% of the patients it spoke to for its annual survey had no access to the NHS, the Guardian has reported.

Fear of being arrested, administrative, legal and language barriers and a lack of knowledge or understanding of the healthcare system and their rights were cited as reasons for not pursuing conventional healthcare routes.

Read more on the Guardian website

Nut allergy and asthma warning

Children with asthma may not realise they are allergic to peanuts because the symptoms are so similar, a study suggests.

As reported in the Daily Mail, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing are seen in both conditions, US scientists said and of more than 1,500 children from the respiratory clinic at Mercy Children's Hospital, Ohio, they found one in ten tested positive to peanut sensitivity.

Lead author Robert Cohn, a medical director at Dayton Children’s Hospital, Ohio, said: ‘Many of the respiratory symptoms of peanut allergy can mirror those of an asthma attack… this study demonstrates children with asthma might benefit from a test for peanut sensitivity.’

Read more on the Mail Online website


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