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Archive for November, 2007

Chlamydia rapid testing – PRimage believe this is good news

Friday, November 30th, 2007

PRimage was interested to hear that UK researchers have developed a new 30-minute test for the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia. Chlamydia trachomatis infection is one of the commonest forms of sexually transmitted bacterial infections and if left untreated it can lead to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility.   Judy Viitanen understands that experts have suggested that “on-the-spot” diagnosis might improve the national Chlamydia screening programme and since results of the test are available in as little as 10 minutes, treatment could be started sooner.

Dodgy Donations

Friday, November 30th, 2007

The sagas continue, with the news that police are to be called in to probe illegal funding of the ruling Labour party.  PRimage wonder how much more is yet to come out on this – and also what this new blow will do to an already embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown!

PRimage ask why so many people lack access to dentistry

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Judy Viitanen believe that the Conservative health team are quite correct to raise concerns about the shocking reality that the new dental contract has led to more than 250,000 people losing access to NHS dentistry!  What’s your view and experience?

Dying at home ‘must be an option’ – PRimage agree

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

PRimage fully endorse the view from the leading cancer charity, Marie Curie Cancer Care, that the NHS must put more resources into enabling the terminally ill to die at home.    The charity has carried out a pilot scheme in Lincolnshire, in which people were offered the choice, and resulted in a dramatic increase in home deaths.  We believe it is vital that the key features of the charity’s pilot scheme are adopted and incorporated into a new end of life strategy currently being drawn up.

Judy Viitanen nursed her husband with terminal cancer – and has first hand experience of the great support that the charity provides to families who are caring for a dying relative at home.  Yes, patients can ask to die at home, but the sad reality is that often local healthcare resources don’t always permit this.  According to Marie Curie research an estimated 64% of patients want to die in their own homes, cared by their families, but in fact only 25% do so.   This situation has to change!

Alliance Boots appointments

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Ms Tricia Kennerley has been appointed managing director of Alliance Pharmacy and healthcare director for Boots. Mr Paul Bennett takes over as superintendent pharmacist of Alliance Pharmacy and professional standards director of Boots. Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team believe these are well deserved promotions – and we wish Paul and Tricia every success in their new roles.

UK illicit drugs trade tops £7bn

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

PRimage was astonished to read about the scale of the drugs trade in Britain – according to the Home Office there are about 300 major drug importers into Britain, 3,000 wholesalers and 70,000 street dealers producing a turnover of £7-8bn a year! Evidently by value it represents about a third of the size of the tobacco market in Britain and two-fifths of the trade in alcohol.

25 million identities ‘lost: PRimage view – what a blunder!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Like most people, the PRimage team are appalled that a government agency has lost the entire child benefit database in the post … it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘lost in the post’! These lost details represent every individual who has claimed child benefit in the UK, including their children’s names and home addresses – which could leave 25 million people at risk of ID fraud. Security experts have expressed astonishment that the missing child benefit data discs were not encrypted before being copied on to CDs and put in the post. Judy Viitanen believes it’s not enough for chancellor Alistair Darling to say that this represented an “extremely serious failure”, but that there was no evidence the details had fallen into the wrong hands. What’s your view on this monumental blunder?

Contraceptive Pill from Pharmacies – PRimage hope so!

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

PRimage was interested to learn that the contraceptive Pill could be bought from local pharmacies without seeing a doctor and without a prescription under a proposed change in the law. This move has been called for by Baroness Finlay, President of the Royal Society of Medicine. Lady Finlay wants an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to change where oral contraceptives can be given out – and she is seeking an MP to table the amendment, which it is thought would have a large amount of support in the Commons.

Judy Viitanen believes this would be a very sensible solution – and it would certainly make it easier for the four million women who take the Pill because pharmacies are more convenient than going to see a GP. PRimage totally agrees with Lady Finlay’s comment that she was sure that a pharmacist was capable of questioning patients to ensure the Pill was the right choice for them.

What’s your view?  Post a comment!

Health and Social Care Bill – PRimage comments

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team studied the details of the Health and Social Bill, which was announced in today’s Queen’s Speech, with great interest. The Bill will create the Care Quality Commission – which will be a new health and adult social care regulator. The Commission will be equipped with new powers, backed by fines, to intervene where hospitals fail to meet hygiene standards.

PRimage believe that the creation of this new Commission is good news for patients – and we are also heartened to see the Government’s stated committment to reforming the funding of social care.

The Bill will require the General Medical Council and other health bodies to use civil standard of proof in disciplining professionals. Healthcare organisations will be obliged to appoint a ‘responsible officer’ that works with the GMC and handles cases of poor professional performance by doctors.

In light of all the problems and public concern over superbugs and hospital acquired infections, PRimage welcome the fact that there will be a strengthened approach to infectious diseases and contamination, updating legislation to take into account scientific and international developments.

The Bill will also implement, following the inquiry into the case of Harold Shipman, the Government’s manifesto commitment to strengthen clinical governance and to ensure professional activity is more accountable to the public.  In PRimage’s view, this is crucial!