Monday, December 19, 2011

Health News - private hospital satisfaction

Private hospitals achieve good patient ratings reports Health Insurance magazine this week, with the encouraging figures coming from the latest Dr Foster hospital guide. While the data only relates to patients who were in receipt of knee and hip replacements, this goes some way to illustrating the wider patient sentiment regarding private hospitals. Dr Foster's website decribes its service in the following way: "Dr Foster produces authoritative and independent guides to health services in the public and private sectors. Dr Foster's aim is not only to inform, but also to act as a catalyst for change." 

Health sites like Dr Foster - plus all the new diagnostic and treatment apps available, and on top of that, the many health blogs available - mean that it is very much a changed landscape these days. And with the more information available to the public, it means that the public's reactions, responses and manner of consumption are likely to become more sophisticated as time progresses and more information becomes available.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Miracle cancer drug...

Interesting news report over at Gizmodo concerning a "miracle drug" that has kept cancer at bay for 70 year old American, Don Wright.

Don has run 60 marathons in 41 US states since being diagnosed with myeloma (a form of cancer affecting white blood cells) eight years ago.

Amazingly, Mr Wright only takes one pill a day (pomalidomide) and has more trouble with his knee than with his illness.

In other cancer news, this week it emerged that patients in Wales could be asked to rate their care
as the government plans a major overhaul of services there. This is part of an overall strategy for cancer care in Wales entitled Together Against Cancer, with improvements intended to be rolled out by 2016. More info from walesonline.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Labour Question Patient Health Risks

Labour have accused the government of putting patient safety at risk by implementing the new NHS changes.  Risk assessments carried out by local health trusts have uncovered concern about the ability for facilities to cope with the increased workload involved in implementing massive structural changes and cost cutting, alongside maintaining the standard of patient care.

This week sees the Health and Social Care Bill enter yet another committee stage in the House of Lords. The controversial bill could lead to the abolition of strategic health authorities and primary care trusts, and could allow hospitals to fill budget shortfalls by catering for people with private health insurance.

There is widespread concern for the future care of the elderly, children and pregnant women in particular, with all being especially vulnerable and likely to suffer most from sub standard care. It is expected that the increased workload could lead to higher rates of sickness absence, further jeopardising patient care.

The big issue Labour have at the moment is the disclosure of the risk level, however the government claim the risk information has been published twice in 2011 as part of the impact assessment. It looks like the controversy over the bill is set to continue for some time, with few parties agreeing on the best way forward. 

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