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David Pencheon: How health professionals, organisations, and systems can invest in a healthy future

4 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

david_pencheon_3Our behaviour is more influenced by our surroundings than we think—it is a response to what happens around us: physically, socially, and culturally. We are shaped by norms more than we shape them. Consequently, when an influential group of people have the chance to re-set norms in visible and newsworthy ways, and where results benefit almost everyone both immediately and long term, why wouldn’t we seize the opportunity?

Well, health professionals and health organisations have such a chance. The case for divesting from fossil fuel is now very strong. The British Medical Association (BMA) is committed to this journey of divestment and, since its 2014 Annual Representatives Meeting (ARM), has been actively investigating how best to send out a powerful message on health and social justice. more…

BMJ Today: Overdetecting AAA and breast cancer, and how much do people care?

4 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

abdominal_aortic_aneurysmOverdiagnosis in screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm 
Johansson and colleagues discuss the assumptions and evidence behind such screening programmes, and call for a revisit of these programmes “because of reduced benefits in modern populations and because data suggest considerable harm.” more…

Richard Smith: Why the faithless need to work with faith based organisations

4 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

richard_smith_2014Perhaps because Britain is a land of atheists, the British don’t understand the importance of faith based organisations as well as they should. Stephanie Ferguson, director of the International Council of Nurses’ Leadership for Change Programme and a member of the board of directors of the Catholic Medical Mission Board, urged the audience at the C3 breakfast seminar last week to reach out to faith based organisations.

more…

Saurabh Jha: War on Death

3 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

Saurabh_JhaThomas Hobbes described life as pitifully “nasty, brutish, and short.” Thanks to the free market and the state, life is no longer a Hobbesian nightmare. But death has become nasty, brutish, and long.

Surgeon and writer, Atul Gawande, explores the medicalization of ageing and death in Being Mortal. Gawande points to a glaring deficiency in medical education. Taught to save lives and fight death, doctors don’t bow out gracefully and say enough is enough. We’re not taught about dying. We’re taught about not dying. more…

Stephen Cannon: How can cosmetic surgery be made safer for the public?

3 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

Council PortraitIn January, the Royal College of Surgeons published a consultation on proposals to improve standards in cosmetic surgery. It is open until Friday 6 March 2015.

Although the vast majority of cosmetic surgery is carried out in the private sector, we hope that doctors from across the different medical specialities, who work in the NHS and private sector, will respond and give us their views on how best to protect patients. We would value feedback from all medical professionals—not just surgeons—to help shape the final recommendations that we move forward with. more…

Janneke Hartvig Blomberg: Insights into infant feeding practices in Indonesia

3 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

unnamedExperts in nutrition, researchers, academics, and business leaders gathered in London last week for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)’s Symposium to progress thinking around infant and young child nutrition. When seeking to develop effective communications to bring about lasting change, understanding the motivations and cultural and societal beliefs that inform behaviours is essential.

Indonesia faces major nutritional challenges. Rates of childhood malnutrition are high and, according to the national nutrition survey Riskesdas (2013), 37.2% of children in the country are affected by stunting. more…

The BMJ Today: Mortality rates, umbilical clamping, and penis length

3 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

Clinical review

• Assessment and management of dementia
sota_dementia2Professor Helen C Kales and colleagues present a State of the Art Review on the assessment and management of dementia and introduce the DICE approach.

Research
• Quality and Outcomes Framework scores

Kontopantelis et al. publish a longitudinal spatial study on the relationship between the UK national primary care pay-for-performance programme, Quality and Outcomes Framework, (QOF), and all cause and cause specific premature mortality. Although mortality rates declined in the study period, there was no relationship between practice QOF scores and standardised all cause and specific cause mortality rates. more…

Peter Baker: Men’s health—a problem hidden in plain sight?

2 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

peter_bakerThe poor state of men’s health must be one of the biggest health issues routinely not talked about. It is ignored or sidelined by virtually all national governments and by global public health organisations, such as the World Health Organization. It is barely addressed by policymakers, professional organisations, public health non-governmental organisations, researchers, or practitioners. more…

Emma Rourke: Could you give up chocolate for a month?

2 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

ERourkeThis March, the British Heart Foundation is asking people to “give chocolate the finger” and embark on a strict no-chocolate “dechox” regime.

There can be no denying that it is a worthy cause, with cardiovascular disease accounting for almost a third of deaths worldwide, and representing one of the most significant healthcare challenges faced by our generation (World Health Organization. Cardiovascular diseases: fact sheet No 317. WHO, 2007). Furthermore, as the prevalence of obesity and the metabolic syndrome increase, we can expect a corresponding rise in diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. These facts set the scene for the latest in the recent onslaught of charity campaigns promoting self-deprivation in a bid to encourage donations. more…

The BMJ Today: The NHS, freedom to smoke, statistical refreshment, and the etymology of coughing

2 Mar, 15 | by BMJ

New today on thebmj.com

NHS signageWhat should the NHS look like after the election?
The views of an eminent group of clinicians, policymakers, managers, and others can be heard in a recording of The BMJ breakfast roundtable, held at the Nuffield Trust’s annual health policy summit.

Leading their wish list for policies after the election are calls for a focus on quality improvement, less waste, better data, and—perhaps inevitably—more money. Thorny issues include how to improve morale and leadership within the NHS, and how or whether politics can be left at the hospital door. more…

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