What is A Paperless Prescription And How Can It Help Me? The way prescriptions are issued is changing. This new service is known as the NHS Electronic Prescription Service. All GP surgeries are changing over to the new system as they become ready. Here at Murrays Pharmacy we are already set up to receive electronic prescriptions in order to provide you with this more convenient service. What will it mean for me? The new service will be more convenient because you will no longer have to visit your GP to pick up a paper prescription. Instead you GP will send it electronically to the Murrays Branch pharmacy of your choice ready for you to collect. Your prescription will then be waiting for you at the pharmacy for collection or, if you have requested delivery, it will be delivered to your door. What do I need to do? It is a good idea to tell your surgery now where you would like your prescription to be sent. Alternatively, speak to someone at your local Murray’s Pharmacy for more information. You can register online by nominating us as your chosen NHS EPS branch here at our Murrays Pharmacy website. What are the benefits of paperless prescriptions? Paperless prescriptions are: • Convenient – the service means you need not make an extra trip to the GP surgery to collect your paper prescription. • Hassle free – the service allows your pharmacist to prepare your prescription, reducing wait times at the pharmacy. • Confidential - the service allows your GP to send us your prescription electronically with complete confidentiality. For further information on the NHS Electronic Prescription Service, speak to a pharmacist at Murrays Pharmacy throughout the West Midlands, Birmingham Stourbridge, Worcester or contact your GP.
“Veg diet key to living longer,” reports today’s Daily Express front page headline. Its story is prompted by a large, well-designed, long-term study into vegetarian dietary patterns and their effects on reported mortality (death). The main finding was that vegetarians had a 12% reduction in the risk of death from any cause compared with non-vegetarians. However, the researchers’ definition of ‘vegetarian’ was quite broad and may horrify some vegetarians as it included people who ate meat and fish once a week or less. Dietary patterns were only measured at the start of the study, and these can change over time. The study also had a relatively short follow-up to determine whether dietary patterns might affect the risk of death. It’s also worth noting that vegetarians tended to live healthy lifestyles, and this could have influenced the results. While this study cannot show direct cause and effect between diet and death risk, it highlights an important point. Even if you do not want to stop eating meat there is plenty you can ‘borrow’ from the ‘vegetarian lifestyle’ to improve your health, such as eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Where did the story come from? The study was carried out by researchers from Loma Linda University, California and was funded by the US National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It was published in the peer-reviewed journal, JAMA Internal Medicine. The results of the research were generally well covered in the media. However, the Mail Online website presented speculation as fact in its headline: it states that people who avoid meat have better health due to low blood pressure. Although this is a possible and plausible explanatory factor, the current study did not investigate the blood pressure of vegetarians. What kind of research was this? This was [...]
“Electronic cigarettes have helped almost nine out of ten smokers quit tobacco completely” the Metro reports. The claim is based on the results of an online survey on e-cigarette use and their effects on tobacco consumption. The survey’s participants were mainly recruited via the websites of two leading manufactures of e-cigarettes. The survey responses report an overall positive experience of e-cigarettes, for example: 75% of the sample said it had been several weeks or months since their last cigarette 91% said that use of the e-cigarette had ‘substantially decreased’ their craving for tobacco cigarettes 70% didn’t have as much of an urge to smoke A significant limitation to the study is that the survey was self-selecting; people using the brand’s websites chose to take part. It could be the case that people with a positive experience of using e-cigarettes were more likely to take part than people with negative experiences. So the results may not be representative. Also, the study did not assess whether these people actually quit smoking as a result of e-cigarette use. This means the results cannot be compared to the effectiveness of stop-smoking treatments that have been properly tested and does not prove that e-cigarettes are an effective method of helping people to quit smoking. Further research comparing e-cigarettes with other forms of ‘quitting tools’ (such as nicotine patches) in the form of a large randomised controlled trial or cohort study is required. Where did the story come from? The study was a cross-sectional survey carried out by researchers from the University of East London and was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Addiction. The study received no sources of financial support. The Metro’s headline that ‘Electronic cigarettes ‘help nine out of ten smokers quit tobacco completely’ appears to have been wrongly interpreted from the results [...]
Unite members are protesting against £46m in cuts and plans to replace ambulance technicians with care assistants Around 450 ambulance service workers are on strike across Yorkshire in a dispute over cuts in patient care, a trade union has said. Members of Unite who work for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust picketed 17 stations across the region. Unite regional officer Terry Cunliffe said the dispute came after the ambulance service "de-recognised" the union in a row over how planned changes would affect patient safety. He said the dispute concerned £46m of cuts and plans to introduce a care assistant role – for which there would be six weeks' training – to replace ambulance technicians. "We say that's not sufficient to turn up to emergencies and provide life-saving patient care," Cunliffe said on a picket line at ambulance headquarters in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, on Tuesday. "It's not a political decision. I'm not sure what alternative we have. "Our members are left with no voice in the National Health Service. That's unacceptable to us and we won't be silenced." Cunliffe warned Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust: "You must listen to us on patient safety issues." The majority of ambulance staff, including members of other unions, were continuing to work. Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust said it expected the action to put pressure on services but provisions had been made. Source: Guardian
The body representing doctors in Britain has called for a delay in the launch of a new non-emergency helpline, saying it is putting patient safety at risk. The British Medical Association (BMA) has written to Sir David Nicholson, the chief executive of the NHS, to highlight its concerns about the 111 advice line service, which is due to go live in England on Monday. Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's GPs committee, questioned the quality of advice given out and said patients had been forced to wait for hours for advice, the BBC said. He also said the "chaotic mess" of the 111 service was straining parts of the NHS that were already stretched, potentially putting patients at risk. Buckman said: "There have been widespread reports of patients being unable to get through to an operator or waiting hours before getting a call back with the health information they have requested. "In some areas, such as Greater Manchester, NHS 111 effectively crashed because it was unable to cope with the number of calls it was receiving. The quality of advice being given out has also been questionable in some instances." He added: "The BMA has been warning the government about the problems with NHS 111 for almost two years. They must finally act to ensure that patient safety is guaranteed." Calling for a delay of the launch until it is "fully safe for the public", he said: "We cannot sacrifice patient safety in order to meet a political deadline for the launch of a service that doesn't work properly." Ministers admitted on Tuesday the introduction of the 111 telephone service had "teething problems". Labour spokesman Lord Hunt of Kings Heath warned of reports "up and down the country" of staff shortages and long waiting times to get through to [...]
A leading architect of the government's NHS changes in England has warned they may be undermined by new rules opening the health service to more competition. Dr Michael Dixon told GPs' journal Pulse that regulations on tendering out services should be rephrased. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 doctors have written to the Daily Telegraph claiming the legislation makes "virtually every part" of the NHS open to private firms. The government insisted there was no policy to privatise NHS services. Budget responsibility Dr Dixon said clinicians would feel the whole process had been "a complete waste of time" unless the rules were changed. He said he feared GPs "will walk" from the entire clinical commissioning process if this was not done. The regulations are currently before Parliament, with the reforms taking effect in a month. New local clinician-led organisations will take over responsibility for much of the health budget. The rules for buying services set out in the regulations ban unnecessary restrictions on competition and say all providers - NHS or otherwise - should be treated equally. 'Eye off ball' Critics have said this is a blueprint for privatisation and goes against government assurances. Dr Dixon has been a leading champion of the changes, but he is worried that the proposed rules will mean doctors could get bogged down in the procurement process rather than getting on with making services better for patients. He said the danger with the current wording of the rules "is that it seems to put a duty upon the commissioner to go for competition with all contracts that are made". Dr Dixon said: "The aim of clinical commissioning was to innovate to redesign, to try and ensure that we do more outside of hospital and in primary care. "Now, if that is their aim and they start [...]