The latest statistics on smoking in pregnancy have been published by NHS Digital. They show that just under 11% of pregnant women were known to be smokers at the time of delivery in 2018-19. This is similar to the level recorded in 2017-18, but down from 15% in 2008/09. Commenting the figures, Clare Livingstone, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “It is very concerning that the number of smokers in pregnancy is not falling.
The Care Quality Commission has carried out an extensive patient survey and published its findings on their website. They have reported that patient satisfaction for NHS hospitals has fallen for the first time in six years, plus increasing delays in receiving a bed, help from staff and relief from pain due to growing demand. On a positive note fundamental needs are being met in terms of food, hydration and rest.
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The Guardian reports that care chiefs have warned that the government’s failure to get to grips with the escalating financial crisis in social care has put tens of thousands of older and disabled people at risk of being denied basic support such as help with washing and dressing.
The Nursing Times reports that a campaign to secure public funding for Jean Purdy, whose ground breaking work helped lead the birth of the world’s first test tube baby Louise Brown. Jean was left off three plaques at the Royal Oldham Hospital, which honours the innovators of IVF, and the council has been fighting for her to be recognised.
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Britain’s doctors have urged ministers to scrap controversial rules that force migrants to pay upfront before they can receive NHS care for serious illnesses such as cancer. The British Medical Association has become the first body representing medical staff to call for the complete abolition of the charges, which have been heavily criticised by MPs and health charities.
The BBC reports that a team at the University of Dundee is testing thousands of drug combinations to find a way to stop sperm working. Researchers are using robots to help develop a male contraceptive pill. Men could begin testing the pill once a suitable compound is identified.
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Owners of the Meifod and Vicarage Care Home in Rhos in Wrexham, Wales have announced its closure. The statement comes just one week on from the news another Wrexham-based care home had its residents removed after Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and Wrexham Council terminated their contract with the provider.
Orchard Care Homes say the decision to close was an incredibly tough one to make and blamed financial instability as the main reason.
Recent press coverage in Chichester by The Observer about the appeal for food donations for the Four Streets Project has resulted in a number of businesses coming forward. Domino’s Pizza have offered to donate food to the project on a regular basis, along with Greggs who are to organise donations on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and Marks and Spencer are also in talks with the charity about the best way the company can provide support. The charity’s founder, Donna Ockenden said: “We are delighted. It was a real worry to us when Eat closed its doors so quickly.”
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) chief executive Gary Doherty has said he wouldn’t want his family “waiting as long as some patients” during an exclusive interview with North Wales Live. He also revealed the health authority would be seeking a “troubleshooter” to help to get it out of special measures. On waiting times he said: “I don’t believe we are where I would want to be because I wouldn’t want my family waiting as long as some people are waiting for care.”
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Four years after being placed into special measure, Betsi Cadwaladr Health board is still in the same situation. Whether on finances, targets, or even infrastructure, it is failing people across north Wales. In a recent Senedd debate, Welsh Conservative leader Paul Davies said: “The reality on the ground is that whilst report after report criticises both the health board and the Welsh Government, real people in north Wales are simply not receiving the care they need and deserve.”