New NHS guidelines urge GPs to draw up end-of-life plans for over 75s
Doctors are being told to ask all patients over 75 if they will agree to a ‘do not resuscitate’ order.
New NHS guidelines urge GPs to draw up end-of-life plans for over-75s, as well as younger patients suffering from cancer, dementia, heart disease or serious lung conditions.
They are also being told to ask whether the patient wants doctors to try to resuscitate them if their health suddenly deteriorates.
The NHS says the guidance will improve patients’ end-of-life care, but medical professionals say it is ‘blatantly wrong’ and will frighten the elderly into thinking they are being ‘written off’.
In some surgeries, nurses are cold-calling patients over 75 or with long-term conditions and asking them over the phone if they have ‘thought about resuscitation’. . . [Full text]
Jonathan Petre and Stephen Adams
Women have successfully sued the NHS for hundreds of thousands of pounds – despite giving birth to healthy babies.
The mothers won the huge payouts after claiming that procedures to stop them having children – including abortions – went wrong.
The women received the cash for reasons including the pain suffered in childbirth and the discomfort of pregnancy.
Last night the former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, hit out at the move, saying: ‘A healthy child is an occasion for thanksgiving rather than for taking the NHS to the cleaners and using up precious funds which could otherwise be more usefully employed.’
And TV presenter and mother-of-two Kirstie Allsopp, who has urged women to have children while they are still young, said she understood that people who had suffered a serious medical malpractice or had a disabled child needed support, but added: ‘It seems to me that to be able to sue the NHS after the birth of a healthy baby is simply not something the majority of people would agree with.
‘The NHS hasn’t got an infinite amount of money. I think parents in that position should think twice.’
The successful legal claims have been made by at least 40 women over the past ten years. . . [Full text]
Two in three family GPs refuse to follow NHS advice to give statins to 40 per cent of adults, survey finds
Laura Donnelly, and Edward Malnick
Family doctors said guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), advising 40 per cent of adults to take the pills, were “simplistic”. They insisted they would not allow the “mass medicalisation” of the public.
The guidelines, published in July, say drugs to protect against strokes and heart attacks should be offered to anyone with a one in 10 chance of developing heart disease within a decade.
It means 17.5 million adults, including most men aged over 60 and women over 65, are now eligible for the drugs, which cost less than 10p a day.
A number of cardiologists have defended the guidance, which Nice says could cut 50,000 deaths a year from strokes and heart attacks.
But the advice has divided experts, with prominent doctors accusing Nice’s experts of being too close to the pharmaceutical industry. [Full Text]
Investigation finds hundreds of GP surgeries are closing their lists to new arrivals, forcing out existing patients or facing closure
Soaring numbers of GP practices are demanding to close their doors to new patients and force current patients to go elsewhere as doctors warn that services are “teetering on the brink of collapse”.
New figures show that last year 104 GP practices applied to NHS authorities for permission to stop accepting patients – more than twice as many as two years before.
A further 45 surgeries asked to “shrink” their practice boundaries, throwing existing patients off their lists, while 100 more practices are threatened with closure, an investigation by Pulse magazine found.
Doctors said they were unable to cope with “vast numbers of people” moving into some parts of the country, forcing them to close their lists to newcomers, or divert existing patients to new surgeries.
Dr Maureen Baker, chairman of the Royal College of General Practice, said the situation was “extremely distressing” and having a “severe impact” on patient care. . . [Full text]
Mail on Sunday
Sanchez Manning, Stephen Adams
Children as young as nine will be given controversial drugs on the NHS to prepare them for sex-swap surgery, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
The treatment, which halts the onset of adulthood, is aimed at youngsters who believe they are trapped in the wrong body. But critics accused the clinic offering the puberty- postponing injections of ‘playing God’.
‘I think many people will be horrified at the thought of a nine-year-old being provided with a drug that effectively stops them developing and maturing naturally,’ said Conservative MP Andrew Percy.
Others insisted that undisputed research shows that the vast majority of under-16s who are troubled about their gender do not go on to take the drastic step of surgery. Many turn out to be gay, but no longer feel confused about whether they are male or female.
Although the gender treatment is reversible, there are concerns about the long-term effects on brain development, bone growth and fertility.
The drugs, known as hypothalamic blockers, stunt the development of sexual organs so less surgery is required if a child chooses to change sex after reaching adolescence. . . [Full text]