Daily digest May 19 2015

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

Stem cells could heal heart attack damage

Stem cells capable of repairing the irreversible damage of a heart attack have been discovered by scientists in a breakthrough that could offer new hope for hundreds of thousands of Britons.

Scientists have hoped that an injection of heart stem cells could encourage the organ to repair itself but have struggled to find cells which had a significant effect, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Now, researchers at the British Heart Foundation and Imperial College have discovered that a particular type of stem cell in the heart is crucial to the regeneration process. After the new stem cells were injected into damaged hearts they were able to pump double the amount of blood as before.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website

GPs struggle as more patients seek advice for non-medical problems

GPs spend a fifth of their time dealing with patients’ social problems and rising numbers of appointments are devoted to dealing with relationship and work difficulties, a survey has found.

Consultations equivalent to the time of 3,750 GPs a year are devoted to helping patients with non-medical problems and £400 million could be saved if people had other ways of getting help, according to Citizens Advice.

(£) Read more on the Times website

Childhood obesity is a timebomb, warns NHS chief

British children are facing a ‘rising tide’ of avoidable cancer, heart disease and diabetes linked to their weight, according to the head of NHS England.

As reported in the Daily Mail, Simon Stevens warned that obesity is becoming ‘normal’, with millions of parents not even aware that their sons and daughters are ‘seriously overweight’.

He said that unless the government and responsible adults take action to prevent ill health, taxes will have to rise to fund the ever-growing costs of care.

Read more on the Daily Mail website

Thousands of foreign nurses could be lying about their qualifications

Thousands of foreign nurses could be working in Britain with fake qualifications, experts have warned.

The fears come after it was revealed that Victorino Chua, a Filipino nurse, used bogus documents to secure a job at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Yesterday Mr Chua was convicted of murdering two patients by injecting insulin into saline bags and ampoules and poisoning 20 others.

Nazir Afzal, who led the Crown Prosecution Service in north west England, warned that the situation is 'extremely worrying and desperately concerning' for patients.

He told BBC North West: 'In all my 24 years as a prosecutor, I have never escalated concerns to another government department except in this case.

'I do not know whether there were hundreds or thousands or dozens. What I do know is the opportunities were there for them to lie about their qualifications, to obtain them fraudulently, and to cover up their disciplinary matters.'

Read more on the Daily Express website

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.