NHS CONSTITUTION IGNORED
AS PATIENTS ARE AT RISK OF MISSING OUT ON LIFESAVING BLOOD CLOT
THE NHS has broken its
constitutional promise to over 80,000 patients as new research shows
they are at risk of being denied their right to new, lifesaving
blood clot drugs.
Access to potentially lifesaving drugs for the treatment and
prevention of blood clots is being blocked by local NHS
organisations as the grip of austerity tightens on primary care,
according to new research.
Findings by Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity found that 63% of GPs
in the North West had encountered barriers to prescribing Novel Oral
Anti-Coagulant (NOAC) blood-thinning medicines for blood clots. The
overwhelming majority (85%) cited cost-restrictions imposed by local
commissioners as the main obstacle to patient access.
It is estimated that there are 83,500 new cases of potentially fatal
blood clots every year, with the total cost burden to the NHS at an
estimated £640 million. Traditionally these patients would have to
attend a hospital or specialist centre to receive blood-thinning
injections and then warfarin tablets that require regular visits to
hospital for monitoring. NOACs are the next generation of medicines
and are taken in tablet form, and do not require monitoring,
reducing the need for costly care and leading to long-term
cost-savings for the NHS. These cost-savings were well-documented by
NICE, who approved NOACs for venous thromboembolism (VTE), or blood
clots, in July 2012.
A year on and three quarters of the North West GPs surveyed by
Lifeblood are still entirely unaware of this positive NICE guidance
or do not know how to put it into practice. Further research by
Lifeblood shows that whilst 97% of hospitals in England have a
protocol in place for the management of suspected VTE, 61% have
still not updated it to include NOACs nor have they issued any
prescribing advice for the new treatments.
Professor Beverley Hunt, Medical Director of Lifeblood: The
Thrombosis Charity, said:- "The NHS Constitution grants
patients the right to NICE approved medicines if they are clinically
appropriate. We have shown today that many eligible patients in the
North West are being denied this fundamental right. Lifeblood has
long campaigned for the prioritisation of VTE in the NHS and we are
now global leaders in the prevention and treatment of blood clots in
hospitals. However, today's research shows that whilst we excel in
secondary care, we are falling well short of our own standards of
excellence in primary care, and ultimately letting patients down.
The Government has been very clear in its motivation for reform of
the NHS; to deliver patient-centred, evidence-based decision making.
In reality it would appear we are letting budgets dictate the
quality of care we deliver, and limit our willingness to embrace
innovation and new technologies that are proven to significantly
improve patient outcomes. NOACs present us with a real opportunity
to dramatically advance VTE care and it is vital that healthcare
professionals, commissioners and providers are able to deliver
integrated, high quality care across the entire patient pathway."
Professor David Fitzmaurice, Clinical Lead, Primary Care Clinical
Sciences, University of Birmingham, said:- "There is currently
a gap in our knowledge about the role of primary care in the
treatment and prevention of VTE. We do not know what information
high-risk patients receive prior to hospital admission or what
happens to them when they return to the community. Lifeblood's
research certainly paints a worrying picture as to the level of
support that GPs are receiving financially and in terms of
What we do know, is that primary care has a critical role to play in
the delivery of VTE care. Research is currently underway to identify
how we can: increase the knowledge of VTE prevention amongst primary
healthcare professionals; educate patients before and after a stay
in hospital; and ultimately reduce the cost burden on the NHS by
preventing readmission to hospital for recurring VTE."
and Country Fair 2013 is ready to go!
THE Southport Town and
Country Fair is going ahead as planned according to The Garden
Festival Company and it will be bigger and better. Te event will be
held over 31 May to 2 June at the Leisure
Lakes, Mere Brow (PR4 6JX);
instead of the
playingfeilds of Stanley Sports
College where it has been held in the past. The move means the event
will have better parking, more attractions and 3 arenas,
"packed full of entertainment!" For full information visit:-
WITH just a few days to go
until TT2013 gets underway, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has
announced that deposits for next year's festival will open from
Monday, 27 May 2013. Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark
Woodward explained:- "The deposit system is intended to help
TT fans secure a place on the ferry and book accommodation a year in
advance. We know from past experience that fans eagerly await the
opening of deposit bookings and we're expecting strong demand again
this year ahead of TT2014." For further information visit:-
Royle-ty Ricky Tomlinson joins The CAMRA Family
FAMOUS for playing Jim
Royle in the BBC's popular sitcom The Royle Family as well as
starring in movies "Mike Bassett England Manager" and
"51st State", Ricky Tomlinson is the newest member of
the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) after signing up during a local
Ricky joined the ranks of Real Ale enthusiasts at CAMRA after being
impressed by the beers on offer at the Clitheroe Beer Festival -
Making jokes and shouting a "cheers" to the crowds, he
stayed for a few pints whilst signing autographs and taking photos
with fans at the festival.
A long time beer lover, Ricky was invited to officially open the
Clitheroe CAMRA Real Ale Festival which took place over:- Friday, 16
May 2013, and Saturday, 17 May 2013.
"We are delighted that Ricky Tomlinson has joined CAMRA and
appreciate the support he gave the campaign at Clitheroe Beer
Festival. Seeing famous faces enjoying real ale will hopefully
encourage more people to give it a try!" Said Neil Walker,
CAMRA Press Manager.
The festival is 1 of hundreds organised by CAMRA around the UK, with
their large national festival happening just once a year; The Great
British Beer Festival, which is expecting 55,000 visitors, will take
place at the Olympia Exhibition Centre in London from:- 13 August to
17 August 2013 and feature over 800 real ales, ciders, parries and
beers from the UK and around the world.
and old back plans for minimum learner period to tackle crashes
THE driving public;
including under 25's; have spoken out in favour of a minimum learning
to drive period to tackle young driver crashes, as is currently
being considered by government. A survey by road safety charity
Brake and Direct Line out today reveals 84% of drivers agree we need
a minimum learning period, while even 69% of drivers under 25 are in
Brake is also calling for post-test restrictions on novice drivers,
such as a zero tolerance drink drive limit and a bar on late night
driving and carrying mates.
The survey of 1,000 drivers by Brake and
Direct Line also found:-
Widespread support for a range of post-test restrictions, including
70% support for a zero-tolerance drink drive limit for novice
drivers, and 63% support for this from drivers under 25.
88% think there should be a
minimum number of hours of supervised driving for learners, with 58%
thinking this should be at least 35 hours.
90% want mandatory lessons on
motorways and in difficult conditions for all learners.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety
charity, said:- "The government has an opportunity to make a
real difference to road safety and save a lot of young lives through
reforming our driver licensing system. Death and serious injury on
roads is devastating, especially so when it involves someone young,
with their whole life ahead of them. Evidence on how to reduce young
driver crashes is very clear; by introducing a system of graduated
licensing we can expect to make real inroads to ending the
devastation caused by young driver crashes. We're calling on
government to take bold steps by introducing all elements of
graduated licensing; including a minimum learning period and
post-test licence restrictions; but without compromising safety by
simultaneously introducing changes that would increase risk, such as
a lower minimum driving age."
Gus Park, commercial director at Direct Line, said:- "Young
drivers make up only one in eight licence holders, but are involved
in crashes that result in one in five road deaths and serious
injuries. We believe that these statistics can be changed
substantially through the implementation of graduated driver
licensing. It would have a positive effect on the driving behaviour
and habits of young people, particularly in the critical period just
after passing their test, and more importantly, reduce catastrophic
road crashes and save lives."
Traffic is the biggest killer of young people in Britain aged 15
24. Young drivers are also involved in a disproportionately high
number of crashes that kill and injure road users of all ages. Young
drivers (age 17 to 24) are involved in crashes that result in one in
five road deaths and serious injuries (20%) - 13 deaths and serious
injuries every day; despite only making up 12% of licence holders.
Young drivers are more likely to crash because a combination of age
and inexperience make them more likely to take risks on roads the
younger they are, and less able to handle those risks because of a
lack of experience.
Graduated licensing includes a minimum learning period, and post
qualification restrictions for a period, such as a zero tolerance
drink drive limit, a bar on having young friends as passengers and
restrictions on late night driving other than for work or education.
Evidence shows these are situations in which novice drivers are
particularly at risk.
Where graduated driver licensing has been introduced elsewhere in
the world, it has had a big impact on casualty reduction. Research
has shown that in the UK a system of graduated driver licensing
would prevent 200 deaths and thousands of injuries each year.
Reducing the age at which you can get a provisional licence would
negatively impact upon safety gains from introducing a minimum
learning to drive period. This is because the younger you are when
you can drive independently, the greater your risk of crashing.
Rachel Blacklidge, 19, from Preston, was driving home at 11.30pm on
23 February 2013. She had only passed her test two months before on
January 4. She picked up her cousin and 2 friends to go for a drive,
as they often did.
Rachel was travelling at 55mph on a 60mph road, when she lost
control on a bend, crashing through a bush and 2 fences before the
vehicle rolled over. One passenger's head was pushed through the
closed window by the force of the crash, leaving him with cuts to
his head. Rachel's cousin suffered cuts on her arms, while her other
friend injured his elbow. Rachel herself suffered severe whiplash, a
spinal injury, torn ligaments and cuts. The car was written off.
They were lucky to survive.
Rachel said:- "The crash has left me traumatised; I can't
believe I put my friends in so much danger. Just because a road sign
says 60 doesn't mean you have to go at 60 or that it's safe to do
so. It's so easy not to see something or judge something wrong,
especially when you're a new driver and not used to the road. Now I
feel very strongly about informing young drivers about road safety.
We're lucky to have survived with only minimal injuries; many other
young people aren't so lucky."
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop
the 5 deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every
day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road
crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education
programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (18 November to 24 November 2013),
and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's
support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable
events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work
to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives
have been torn apart by needless casualties.
Roof leak closes sexual health
A leaking roof has closed
the Wednesday sexual health service at Prince Street Clinic in
Waterloo, near Crosby. It is expected the clinic will be closed for
four weeks while repairs are carried out. The nearest similar
clinics are at Netherton Health Centre and the under 25s' PACE
clinic at Bootle Health Centre which are both open on Wednesdays.
Information about alternative clinics on other days can be found
Emergency hormonal contraception is available from community
pharmacies throughout Sefton and other sexual health clinics.