Kings Fund: Statistics for March/April

This week in healthcare: 18 February 2013

As doctors call for pregnant women to be tested for alcohol intake, Channel 4 News has spoken to youngsters left permanently brain damaged by their mothers’ drinking. Tomorrow nearly 70 medical professionals and the FASD Trust will publish the first clear guidance into Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Whistleblowing legislation is to be overhauled and a government consultation held to investigate whether the Public Interest Disclosure Act (Pida) 1998 is failing to protect those who speak out from being victimised, harassed and even sacked by their employers.

Fizzy drink – what’s the cost?

In today’s news, the Guardian reports that the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has put forward a 10-point action plan to help end UK’s status as the ‘fat man of Europe’. Britain’s 220,000 doctors are demanding a 20% increase in the cost of sugary drinks, fewer fast food outlets near schools and a ban on unhealthy food in hospitals.

The Telegraph reports that baby formula milk should carry bigger cigarette packet-style warnings that breastfeeding would be better, Save the Children has claimed.Also on the Guardian, Staffordshire’s police and crime commissioner says detectives are examining ‘information not in the public domain’ in regards to the Mid Staffordshire scandal.

 

Elsewhere, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned NHS bosses against allowing a culture that is “legalistic and defensive” in dealing with staff who raise concerns over patient care, according to the BBC. Hunt says in the letter:

“I would ask you to pay very serious heed to the warning from Mid Staffordshire that a culture which is legalistic and defensive in responding to reasonable challenges and concerns can all too easily permit the persistence of poor and unacceptable care.”