Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 6-12 March 2019

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 14 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1125

Mental health

Benefit changes and loneliness increase “care deficit”

Growing social and economic hardship is resulting in “a substantial care deficit” in communities in England, NHS mental health trust leaders warned. A new report by NHS Providers looked at levels of demand reported by frontline care leaders across their services and at what lay behind the growing pressure.1 The report identified widespread concern about cuts to benefits and the effect of the universal credit. It also suggested that loneliness, homelessness, and financial hardship were adding to pressure on mental health services.


Guidance issued on flash glucose monitors

NHS England published clinical guidance for the availability of flash glucose monitors for patients with type 1 diabetes, setting out funding arrangements for clinical commissioning groups and clear criteria on which patients qualify. It followed an announcement in November that patients meeting the criteria could get the devices on prescription from April 2019 regardless of where they lived.2 A BMJ investigation showed how a postcode lottery denied tens of thousands of patients access to the devices, which work from a small sensor attached to the skin.3


Scotland needs 82 more paediatricians, college warns

Children’s health in Scotland is at risk because there are too few doctors to deliver the necessary standards of care, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health warned. Its workforce survey concluded that Scotland needs at least 82 extra full …

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