A quick round-up of a selection of health-related stories in the news recently.

Cornwall specific health news:

Innovative ‘HOT Team’ project to address alcohol A&E figures

Addaction Cornwall launched a rapid response team to cut the number of people frequently attending the A&E Department at RCHT due to alcohol or drug issues.  The project was so successful that it’s being considered as a model for other areas.  Find out more on the Safer Cornwall website.


General health news:

Continuing Care funding

It is claimed that vulnerable people who are entitled to Continuing Healthcare funding are being denied it, and having to fund their own care.  Continuing Healthcare funding should cover the cost of social care for people with complex medical conditions, if the health problem is deemed the main reason they require such help. It is administered by Clinical Commissioning Groups. See the BBC’s website for more on this.

This report does not specifically mention Cornwall, and it should not be taken as an indication that Kernow CCG has difficulties in this area, or that it does not. For the KCCG information pages about Continuing Healthcare, see their website.


GP numbers

Gp numbers are showing a sustained drop for the first time in 50 years, according to a report by the Nuffield Trust.

See the BBC website for more details.


Sexually transmitted Infections are on the rise

There has been a 5% increase in the number of STIs diagnosed between 2017 and 2018.

See the BBC website for more details.


Food allergy legislation

It was announced this week  that food manufacturers will have to list all ingredients on pre-packaged food, to protect people who have a food allergy. Changes to the law will come into force by the summer of 2021, to give businesses time to change their processes.  This will be called Natasha’s law, after the girl who died after eating a Pret a Manger baguette that hadn’t been labelled with an ingredient she was allergic to.

See the BBC website for details.


Dementia risk

Some commonly-prescribed drugs for depression, epilepsy and a few other conditions may increase a person’s risk of dementia, according to researchers.

See the BBC website for details.


Dental care in care homes

The Care Quality Commission has issued a new report saying that dental care of residents in care homes is often neglected. The oral care of residents is not being viewed as a priority, in many cases, and appalling cases of neglect are given in the report. Staff training, and lack of access to dental professionals are both given as causes.  See the BBC website for more details, and the CQC website for the full report.


Hygiene  – kids and germs

A new report by the Royal Society for Public Health says that too much cleanliness is not bad for you, but too many germs might be.  Hands should always be washed after playing outside, contact with animals, contact with raw meat, and after going to the toilet.

For more information, see the Guardian report.  For a quick run-down of the hygiene hotspots in the home, see the BBC’s website.