General 

No-show women at cervical screening 'unaware of test'

No-show women at cervical screening 'unaware of test' Nearly a quarter of women who don’t make cervical screening appointments are unaware that the process even exists, according to a UK survey. University College London researchers said more creative ways of reaching them were needed, like using social media instead of sending letters. Women who miss out tend to be younger from poorer families or non-native English speakers, the research found. Cervical cancer screening has been falling in the UK since 2011. The death of reality TV star Jade Goody from…

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General 

'Ban parents from leaving engines on', says guidance

'Ban parents from leaving engines on', says guidance Parents should be banned from leaving the car running while waiting outside school gates, to cut air pollution, according to official health guidance. The guidance also calls for councils to set up clean-air zones that could ban the most polluting vehicles or introduce charges. The authors have called for “clean air” to be given the same importance as “clean water”. Air pollution contributes to 29,000 deaths each year in the UK. The report is by two government bodies – Public Health England…

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Allergies 

Allergy shots: Uses, effectiveness, and side effects

Allergy shots: Uses, effectiveness, and side effects Experiencing allergies can be miserable, with watery eyes, a runny nose, rashes, and breathing problems. Some allergy sufferers try many treatments to keep their allergy symptoms at bay. For some, medications and avoidance of the allergen (the substance that causes the allergic reaction) fail, so allergy shots may be the only option left. Fortunately, allergy shots can alleviate allergic reactions after repeated exposure. What are allergy shots? An allergy shot may be used if previous medication and avoidance of the allergen hasn’t alleviated…

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General 

Should the long-term ill have free prescriptions?

Should the long-term ill have free prescriptions? Prescriptions in England should be free to everyone with a long-term medical condition, the Prescription Charges Coalition campaign group says. Some people end up needing hospital treatment because they cannot afford their medication, it says. It wants conditions such as Parkinson’s to be added to the list of specific illnesses that require free medicines. But health officials say they have made sure people with chronic illnesses have access to affordable prescriptions. ‘Not right’ Zoe Oakley, a bus driver and mother of two from…

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General 

Vulnerable told to expect cuts to council care

Vulnerable told to expect cuts to council care The elderly and disabled in England are being told to expect cuts to care services and rises in charges after council chiefs unveiled spending plans. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services said £20.8bn was expected to be spent on care this year, a cash rise of 5% since last year. It follows a £1bn cash injection announced in the Budget which ministers said would relieve the pressures. But ADASS said £824m of savings were still having to be made. The…

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General 

A&E cuts will hit 23m people, British Medical Association says

A&E cuts will hit 23m people, British Medical Association says Nearly 23 million people in England – more than 40% of the population – could be affected by proposed cuts to A&E departments, doctors are warning. The analysis of NHS plans by the British Medical Association also warned the changes were being rushed through without the evidence they will work. The proposals have been put forward by local managers seeking to make savings under the direction of NHS England. Bosses have argued services in the community will be boosted in…

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General 

Suntans on children 'are not healthy'

Suntans on children 'are not healthy' A suntan is a sign of skin damage, not glowing health, NHS England and the Met Office are reminding parents in Britain just days after a heatwave. A survey suggests a third of parents mistakenly believe going brown is good for children. A quarter have even encouraged their children to tan. A few said they had allowed their children to use sun beds. The findings come from interviews with 1,000 parents with children aged 11 and younger. Hottest June day since summer of 1976…

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General 

Abortion should not be crime, says doctors' union

Abortion should not be crime, says doctors' union Doctors have backed decriminalising abortion, as momentum gathers to overhaul the 1967 Abortion Act. Currently women in England and Wales have to prove to a doctor that carrying on with the pregnancy is detrimental to health or wellbeing to get permission for a termination. Without permission, abortion is a criminal offence. But medics at the British Medical Association’s annual conference voted to scrap that rule. ‘Complex and sensitive’ The organisation wants abortion to be treated like any other medical procedure and therefore…

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General 

Middle-aged workers 'spend more time sitting than pensioners'

Middle-aged workers 'spend more time sitting than pensioners' Most middle-aged office workers now spend more time sitting down than pensioners, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found 45 to 54-year-old Scots spend on average 7.8 hours per weekday sitting down. That compares to 7.4 hours of sedentary time for the over-75s. Sedentary time is defined as time spent in any waking activity done while sitting, including working, eating, watching TV or time on a computer. The study group said the figures highlighted the potential health…

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General 

BMA chief: NHS is 'running on fumes'

BMA chief: NHS is 'running on fumes' The NHS in England is “running on fumes”, the leader of the British Medical Association is warning. Dr Mark Porter hit out at the government at the start of the union’s annual conference. He accused ministers of putting patients at risk and “picking the pockets” of NHS staff because of the squeeze on wages. But ministers rejected the criticisms, saying they were putting more money into the health service. Dr Porter launched the attack as doctors gathered in Bournemouth. NHS staff shortages: Why…

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