Daily digest May 20 2015

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

Did the Filipino nurse murder 11 more?

A coroner is probing up to 11 more deaths linked to killer nurse Victorino Chua, the Daily Mail has reported.

A judge handed the ‘sinister and truly wicked’ psychopath a 35-year sentence yesterday for murdering two patients and poisoning 19 more at Stockport's Stepping Hill Hospital, but senior coroner John Pollard revealed last night that he is planning inquests into 11 further suspicious deaths.

In each case, there were grounds to believe the patients died after being poisoned by the Filipino nurse and inquest juries may conclude that the patients were unlawfully killed, exposing the hospital to further huge compensation claims.

Read more on the Mail Online website

Report exposes ‘appalling’ end of life NHS care

Hundreds of thousands of people endure a painful, undignified or lonely death because of ‘appalling’ end of life care right across the health service, a harrowing report has revealed.

As reported in the Times, the health service ombudsman says that too much treatment ‘falls short’ as patients near death, and the failure of doctors to recognise or accept that a patient is dying can lie at the root of the problem.

Patients have also suffered unnecessarily because the wrong medication is commonly prescribed or administered poorly and one mother was forced to call an emergency doctor from another hospital to give her dying son, writhing in agony, strong enough pain relief, the report said.

(£) Read more on the Times website

Mentally ill not police’s responsibility, says Theresa May

Theresa May will pledge to free up police officers from having to care for people with mental health issues with millions of pounds to provide beds, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Police have complained of effectively playing the role of health workers when called to deal with vulnerable people because there are no beds to take them and they have to be held in police cells. It is estimated that 40% of police time is taken up dealing with mental health issues when officers should be combatting crime.

The Home Secretary will today announce £15 million to fund extra beds in hospitals, care homes and other health facilities to take people detained under the Mental Health Act.

Read more on the Telegraph website

Firm ‘tried to exploit Ebola crisis for gain’

Public health experts involved in the response to the Ebola crisis have condemned what they described as a ludicrous, insulting and opportunistic attempt to exploit the disease for corporate gain by the world’s largest privately-held coal company, the Guardian has reported.

As part of a PR offensive to rebrand coal as a ‘21st-century fuel’ that can help solve global poverty, it has emerged that at the height of Ebola’s impact in Africa, Peabody Energy promoted its product as an answer to Africa’s devastating public health crisis.

Greg Boyce, the chief executive of Peabody, a US-based multinational with mining interests around the world, included a slide on Ebola and energy in a presentation to a coal industry conference in September last year. The slide suggested that more energy would have spurred the distribution of a hypothetical Ebola vaccine – citing as supporting evidence a University of Pennsylvania infectious disease expert.

Read more on the Guardian website


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