IN BRIEF Alcohol-related deaths are continuing to fall, according to figures from Public Health England. National figures for alcohol-related mortality for men are down 1.9 per cent since 2012 and down 7.3 per cent over a five-year period. The figures for women fell 1.4 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively. There were more than one million hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions in 2012/13. To view the data, go to Robert Francis, the barrister who led the review into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, has agreed to become a patron of the Florence Nightingale Foundation. Mr Francis, who specialises in the NHS, said: ‘I believe the foundation is a beacon of everything that is valuable and admirable about the vocation of nursing.’ The foundation awards scholarships to advance the study of nursing. People who diagnose themselves as HIV-positive through home tests must be able to access support from healthcare professionals quickly, according to Welsh assembly member Rebecca Evans. Since April 6, it has been legal for people to home-test for HIV and the tests are expected to be introduced in the UK later this year or in early 2015. Welsh minister for local government Lesley Griffiths said people who home-test should follow up with a clinical test. A group for respiratory nurses has launched across Europe. The European Respiratory Nurses Association aims to give nurses with an interest in respiratory care ‘a greater voice’ and to improve the care for patients. Its website will direct nurses to key resources and publications. Go to A quarter of people who committed suicide between 2009 and 2012 in Scotland had visited A&E in the three months before they died. Analysis of the 3,059 deaths during this period, published by the NHS National Services Scotland, also found that 16 per cent had visited A&E in the 30 days before they took their lives. Health professionals may have missed opportunities to engage in suicide prevention strategies, says the report. The Welsh government has launched a respiratory health delivery plan aimed at improving the care of people with a range of acute and chronic lung conditions. Health minister Mark Drakeford said respiratory disease kills one in seven people in Wales, making it the third largest cause of death. Launching the report, he said that to improve outcomes for all, patients need to be more involved in their care plan. The lives of five children could be saved each day if more money was invested in preventive health services, say experts. In its first annual report, the children and young people’s forum, a group of organisations that includes the RCN and a range of children’s charities, says more needs to be done to reduce the number of children dying needlessly. Health Education England has been asked by the government to develop a training programme for GPs in treating children with long-term conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy. 10 may 7 :: vol 28 no 36 :: 2014

COMPLACENCY IN ASTHMA MUST END Healthcare professionals should be better educated to recognise the factors that increase the risk of asthma attacks and deaths, a UK-wide study has found. The inquiry, the National Review of Asthma Deaths, whose findings are published on May 6 – World Asthma Day – calls for an end to complacency around asthma care so that more is done to save lives. The inquiry project team, managed by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), investigated 195 asthma deaths over a 12-month period from February 2012. It found there were failings in routine asthma care in primary care in 70 per cent of the deaths. There was room for improvement in the care received by 83 per cent of those who died. The report also recommends that people with asthma should have a structured review by a doctor or an asthma nurse at least once a year. RCP’s clinical effectiveness and evaluation unit clinical director Kevin Stewart said: ‘Too often we have been slow to detect signs of poor asthma control and slow to act when these have been present, with tragic consequences for some families.’

Race is on to meet health visitor target by 2015 An extra 2,333 health visitors will need to be appointed in under a year to meet the government’s target to boost their numbers in England by 4,200. In 2010, the coalition government pledged that thousands more health visitors would be recruited across the country by April 2015, amid concerns about dwindling numbers. Responding to a parliamentary question last week, health minister Dan Poulter said there are an additional 1,867 health visitors in post compared with May 2010, adding that thousands more are in training. National training body Health Education England told Nursing Standard that 2,046 students completed health visitor training in 2013/14. This takes the number of extra health visitors that have been trained since 2010 up to 3,913. Unite lead professional officer Obi Amadi said: ‘The numbers are brilliant, but our concern now is that the new health visitors are able to get a job where they want to work.’


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02/05/2014 16:03

Complacency in asthma must end.

Healthcare professionals should be better educated to recognise the factors that increase the risk of asthma attacks and deaths, a UK-wide study has f...
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