Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 28 November to 4 December 2018

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 06 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5126


“Low priority” items are targeted

NHS England launched a fresh crackdown on GPs’ prescribing of “low priority” items in a bid to save £70m (€79m; $89m) a year. The consultation asks for views on restricting items such as silk garments and bath oils for treating eczema, dronedarone for atrial fibrillation, and minocycline for acne. It also proposes switching prescriptions of some items that could be replaced by safer or cheaper alternatives, such as needles used for pre-filled and reusable insulin pens. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.k5034)


New fathers get mental health screening

If partners of pregnant women or new mothers have anxiety, depression, or more severe disorders such as psychosis they will be offered a comprehensive mental health assessment and signposted to professional support if needed, in an expansion of perinatal mental health services to be set out in the forthcoming NHS long term plan. An estimated one in 10 men experiences anxiety and depression in the first six months after the birth of a baby.

Volunteers cut pressure on frontline NHS staff

Hospital volunteers play a vital role in improving patient experience and relieving pressure on frontline staff, the King’s Fund found.1 Nearly 300 hospital staff in England were surveyed, including nurses, doctors, and support staff. They said that hospital volunteers provide vital practical help such as picking up medicines, as well as companionship, comfort, and support to patients. Almost a third of frontline …

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