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Meningitis jab uptake 'worryingly low'

Meningitis jab uptake 'worryingly low' School-leavers are putting themselves at risk of deadly meningitis if they do not take up the offer to be vaccinated against the disease, nurses are warning. People living in England who are aged 17 and 18 are eligible for the free jab. The Royal College of Nursing says only a third took up the offer last year. Charlotte Hannibal, now 21, lost both her legs and all of the fingers on her left hand due to the disease. She had just started university when she…

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Maternity 'must improve' at baby-deaths hospital trust

Maternity 'must improve' at baby-deaths hospital trust Maternity services at a health trust at the centre of a baby deaths inquiry must improve, inspectors have said. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered an investigation into the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust in April. A Care Quality Commission (CQC) report said overall care had got better but safety in maternity services “needed further improvement”. The trust said challenges needed to be resolved and it wanted to work more closely with GPs. Read more news for Shropshire Inspectors visited the trust’s Princess…

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Time spent frail in old age 'doubles'

Time spent frail in old age 'doubles' The amount of time spent needing daily care at the end of life has doubled in England over the past two decades, a study suggests. The Newcastle University study found men spent 2.4 years on average needing regular care and women three years. This includes everything from help with washing and dressing each day to round-the-clock care. Researchers said it suggested there needed to be a sharp increase in the number of care home places to cope. It comes as ministers consider a…

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Plants 'hijacked' to make polio vaccine

Plants 'hijacked' to make polio vaccine Plants have been “hijacked” to make polio vaccine in a breakthrough with the potential to transform vaccine manufacture, say scientists. The team at the John Innes Centre, in Norfolk, says the process is cheap, easy and quick. As well as helping eliminate polio, the scientists believe their approach could help the world react to unexpected threats such as Zika virus or Ebola. Experts said the achievement was both impressive and important. The vaccine is an “authentic mimic” of poliovirus called a virus-like particle. Outwardly…

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Japanese fungus spreading in UK hospitals

Japanese fungus spreading in UK hospitals More than 200 patients in England have been infected or contaminated with a drug-resistant fungus first found in Japan, health officials have confirmed. Hospitals are on the lookout for further cases and are putting in place measures to help control any further spread of the fungus, Candida auris. Public Health England says in some cases patients will have no symptoms, but the infection can cause serious bloodstream and wound infections. So far, no UK patient has died from it. The first UK case emerged…

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Scottish ministers urged to lead fight against 'period poverty'

Scottish ministers urged to lead fight against 'period poverty' Ministers are being urged to make Scotland a world leader in fighting “period poverty” by making sanitary products free for those who need them. Labour MSP Monica Lennon says access to the products should be “a basic right”. She wants schools, colleges and universities to be required to provide free items in their female toilets. In July, the Scottish government announced a six-month pilot project in Aberdeen aimed at women and girls from low-income households. At least 1,000 people should receive…

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Breast cancer helpline founder paid herself £31,000

Breast cancer helpline founder paid herself £31,000 A national breast cancer charity is being investigated after its founder paid herself £31,000, in breach of charity law. Wendy Watson, who launched the National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline in 1996, has resigned as a trustee. Financial irregularities were uncovered by the Charity Commission, which has issued an official warning for “significant breaches of trust”. Lawyers for Mrs Watson and the charity described the payments as “an error”. Mrs Watson, of Derbyshire, founded the charity four years after she became the first woman…

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Sarah Reed death: Mentally ill 'should not be assessed in prison'

Sarah Reed death: Mentally ill 'should not be assessed in prison' The mother of a woman who killed herself while she was in prison has said mentally ill people should not be assessed in prison. Sarah Reed, 32, died in Holloway Prison, north London in February last year. She was waiting to be assessed to see if she was mentally fit to plead after being charged with assaulting a nurse in a secure psychiatric unit. The government said it took prisoners’ mental health “extremely seriously”. Sarah’s mother Marilyn Reed said…

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Type 2 diabetes rise in children 'disturbing'

Type 2 diabetes rise in children 'disturbing' More than 600 children and teenagers are being treated for type 2 diabetes in England and Wales, and the rise in cases is a “hugely disturbing trend”, local councils are warning. The figures come from a report by child health experts which found 110 more cases among under-19s in 2015-16 than two years previously. The youngest children affected are aged between five and nine. Council leaders said urgent action on childhood obesity was needed. The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England…

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Eggs scandal: EU food safety chief calls for end to 'blaming'

Eggs scandal: EU food safety chief calls for end to 'blaming' Media playback is unsupported on your device The EU’s food safety commissioner has called for an end to countries “blaming and shaming” each other, after eggs were found to contain traces of an insecticide dangerous to humans. Vytenis Andriukaitis said EU ministers and regulators should meet urgently. Eggs, coming mainly from the Netherlands, have been found to contain fipronil, which is banned by the EU in the food industry. A row has erupted over how long Belgian and Dutch…

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