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Emma Rourke on why we need to GULP

25 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

ERourkeLast week, Food Active, based in Liverpool and funded by the North West Directors of Public Health, launched a campaign encouraging people to Give Up Loving Pop—or GULP. To gulp something implies urgency and hunger, and it’s certainly true that UK consumers possess an insatiable desire for the fizzy stuff, each putting away an average of 103 litres of carbonated drink per year. more…

The BMJ Today: The perils of whistleblowing and the Russian roulette of NHS management

25 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

Here’s a flavour of what’s new on thebmj.com today.

Features
feature_managementWhy would a hospital consultant go into management? Taking the job of NHS trust chief executive requires a doctor to ditch job security, probably earn less money, and be saddled with problems they don’t have the power to solve, finds Richard Vize. Dr Mark Newbold, a former NHS trust boss who has been through the mill himself, calls for strong and explicit support for new chiefs. more…

David Zigmond: The extinction of care by treatment—our healthcare’s heart failure

24 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

david_zigmond2At the end of last year, the media had a brief frisson over another dark story from our NHS: seven recent suicides and one homicide involving people who were acutely mentally ill. The transient newsworthiness came from the probability that the deaths were preventable: psychiatric beds were sought for these patients, but none were available. Typically, the media story has rapidly passed from view and memory, but the vast problems it signifies are still very much with us. What are these problems? How have they arisen and what can we do about them? more…

Richard Smith: A global university for healthcare workers

24 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

richard_smith_2014WHO estimates that the world is short of 12.9 million healthcare workers, and Devi Shetty, the cardiac surgeon and chairman and founder of Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals, thinks that radical steps are needed to provide these workers. Money for healthcare for all will come, he believes, but it cannot be achieved unless healthcare workers are available to provide the care.

India, for example, needs three million doctors and six million nurses in addition to millions of community health workers. The country needs 500 new medical colleges, and Shetty is keen that the very poorest who have “magic in their fingers and passion in the hearts” should be able to train as doctors. more…

Richard Smith: Surgeons spend their time putting a price tag on human life

24 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

richard_smith_2014Physicians and surgeons across Asia, Africa, and Latin America spend their time putting a price tag on human life, said Devi Shetty, cardiac surgeon and chairman and founder of Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals, at the World Summit on Innovation in Heath in Doha last week. His mission is to reduce the costs of health to make healthcare available to as many people as possible. more…

The BMJ Today: Women’s satisfaction with pain relief during labour

24 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

Good morning. Here’s what is new in The BMJ.

remifentanilResearch
Analgesics in labour. Are women more satisfied with pain relief obtained through a patient controlled device delivering remifentanil or epidural analgesia? Dutch researchers report on a head to head randomised trial comparing the two treatments.

News
Avoidable deaths. Improper monitoring and other errors led to the deaths of hundreds of people with mental health conditions in psychiatric wards and prisons, concludes an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. more…

Elizabeth Loder on the proliferation of medical research reporting guidelines: A checklist too far?

24 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

elizabeth_loderIf reporting guidelines and checklists are the answer, what is the problem? That’s easy: their development was motivated by the realization that critical information was vague, missing, or misreported in an unacceptably high proportion of published medical research papers. Reporting guidelines take aim at this problem by specifying a minimum set of items that should be included in a published study report. These, of course, depend upon the study type, so there are different checklists for different sorts of research. The grand-daddy of them all is the CONSORT checklist, developed in 1996 to guide reporting of randomized controlled trials. more…

Kallur Suresh on the portrayal of young onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice

23 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

Generation Q 12 June 2012Imagine you’re a world renowned professor of linguistics at New York’s Columbia University. You’ve written game changing books on how children develop their language proficiency in early life and are regularly invited to give scholarly lectures in academic institutions worldwide. You’re at the peak of your academic career, but start to notice that you struggle to find crucial words during your lectures and get lost while jogging on the familiar campus. It’s a very scary experience, one that you don’t necessarily want to acknowledge to yourself or share with others. more…

Richard Smith: Writing an obituary of the living

23 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

richard_smith_2014Just as I think everybody should have a living will, a plan for their funeral, and clear instructions on whether you want to be buried or cremated, so I advise thinking about your obituary or even obituaries. If you are a doctor you can be sure to get one in The BMJ so long as somebody writes one, but you might fancy trying for the newspapers. You might write it yourself, but many publications are sniffy about self-written obituaries. So you might do better to get somebody to write one for you, and that’s why Sir Anthony Grabham rang me. more…

The BMJ Today: Expanding, limiting, and personalising healthcare

23 Feb, 15 | by BMJ

Research

hospital_ward

• Does early discharge increase the risk of complications and death? A cohort study from Sweden in patients over 50 with hip fracture found an increased risk of death in patients who stayed in hospital for 10 days or fewer.

Expanding coverage of health insurance in Massachusetts increased access to knee and hip replacement and reduced disparities related to race and ethnicity but not income. more…

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