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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round-up of NHS and healthcare stories.

GPs essential to NHS

The next government should take a more positive approach to the role of GPs in the NHS, according to the Royal College of General Practitioners. In its manifesto for the next government, the College revealed that 90 per cent of the NHS' work is carried out in general practice and that the future government should not underestimate the importance of GPs. ìWe ask all political parties to acknowledge the unique and valuable role that GPs perform in the NHS,î the manifesto concluded.

Patients want more information

NHS patients want more information, more involvement in decisions about their care, more help when transferring from hospital to home and easier access to their GPs, a report has revealed. The report, which was conducted by the Picker Institute Europe and draws together the views of nearly one million NHS patients, also found that priority areas which have been the focus of coordinated action and investment, such as waiting times, cancer care and coronary heart disease, have seen major improvements. Angela Coultler, chief executive of the Institute said: ìThe results of these patient surveys demonstrate that politicians need to listen to what the public is saying and make sure that their views count.î

Lifestyle health problems need focus

The NHS should tackle health lifestyle problems such as stress and obesity, Prime Minister Tony Blair has urged. Blair reasoned that lifestyle problems should be tackled through prevention so that ìwe help you, you help yourself, and the family benefits and the country benefitsî. Child health problems should also be tackled, Blair added, suggesting proposals such as access to a school nurse, increased investment in school meals and sports, and better food labelling.

Statins may halve prostate cancer risk

A man's chance of developing advanced prostate cancer is halved if he takes statins, a recent study has found. The study, involving 34,000 health professionals over a ten-year period, also found that statins reduced the risk of men developing the most deadly form of prostate cancer by two thirds. The study was revealed at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research and was conducted by researchers from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, US.

Type I diabetes reversed

Doctors in Japan have successfully reversed Type I diabetes in a 27-year-old woman. Medical professionals from Kyoto University Hospital transplanted islet cells from the pancreas of the patient's 56-year-old mother into the patient's liver. As a result of the operation, the woman no longer has to take daily insulin injections. The procedure marks the first time that doctors have successfully transplanted pancreas cells from a living donor.

30th September 2008

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