In the news this week... 7th to 13th November

The information commissioner has ordered the health secretary to publish the Department of Health’s risk assessment on the restructuring of the NHS (Guardian, 11.11.11).

A Patient Association report has detailed the 'shameful' stories of 16 elderly patients treated by NHS (BBC, 09.11.11).  Along with the Nursing Standard they have launched the CARE campaign which aims to improve care of elderly people in hospital (Telegraph, 09.11.11).

Delays in discharging patients are up 11 per cent on last year, previously the rate had been falling (BBC, 08.11.11).

Cancer diagnosis time has fallen significantly over the years; bowel cancer is now diagnosed after 75 days, rather than 96 (BBC, 08.11.11).

Emergency Care Assistants (ECAs) with just eight weeks training are doing the job of paramedics in some trusts (Telegraph, 07.11.11).

Asthma admissions is the north west of England are 77 per cent higher than national average (onmedica, 11.11.11).

Other news in brief...

The government has claimed that their flu pandemic strategy means the UK is one of the best prepared countries in the world (onmedica, 10.11.11).

A review in the BMJ had found no 'consistent evidence' that government exercise schemes improve physical fitness or health (Telegraph, 07.11.11).

Draft guidance from NICE may mean that all high risk over 25s will be screened by GPs for type 2 diabetes (onmedica, 10.11.11).

New government health campaign to encourage families to look for early signs of dementia in their elderly relatives begins (BBC, 07.11.11).

£442 million is spent on painkillers in NHS in England (BBC, 08.11.11).

Eight thousand patients have been killed in last 13 years due to NHS 'blunders and errors' (Telegraph, 07.11.11).

A new Parkinson's treatment can improve movement by up to a third researchers have found (BBC, 08.11.11).

The NHS is one of the best healthcare systems in the world a report has found (Telegraph, 09.11.11).

A private firm to run an NHS hospital for the first time; Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire has been taken over by Circle Healthcare in a £1 billion deal (Guardian, 10.11.11).

A technique to communicate with patients in a vegetative state has been discovered by scientists (BBC, 10.11.11).

A shortage of consultants means a Staffordshire A&E may close at night (BBC, 10.11.11).

Australia has passed legislation that means cigarette packaging must be plain (Guardian, 10.11.11).

Junior doctors are still working more than 48 hours a week according to the Royal College of Surgeons (Telegraph, 11.11.11).

Mini-strokes or TIAs lower people's life expectancy a study has found (Telegraph, 11.11.11).

A single blood cell receptor essential for malaria infection has been identified by researchers (Telegraph, 10.11.11).

A new breast cancer drug - Faslodex - will not be available on the NHS; evidence that it is better than others is 'uncertain' says NICE (Telegraph, 10.11.11).