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Confessions of a Junior Doctor reveals the sad truth about the NHS

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Channel 4’s Confessions of a Junior Doctor reveals the sad truth about the NHS and why so many Doctors and Nurses are leaving.

It’s no secret that healthcare workers have some of the toughest professions and the Channel 4 documentary Confessions of a Junior Doctor shows that things are only getting worse.

There is only a single word that can describe the Junior Doctors featured in the show – and that is exhausted.

The show follows three trainees at different stages in their careers as they speak openly about their day-to-day lives working in an NHS Hospital.

In a single day, Dr Holly Lomos is responsible for between 50 and 75 patients and admits since starting the job she hasn’t finished work on time once. She says: “The most difficult thing when you start as a new doctor is realising that you’re not going to be able to help everybody”.

The current strain on the NHS to provide services to an increasing number of patients on an ever decreasing budget is taking its toll on junior doctors and other healthcare professionals as moral reaches an all-time low.

On top of low moral, recent changes to taxation laws (IR35) and NHSI recommendations mean that staffing shortages are also hitting the NHS hard.

Last year almost a third of junior doctors left the NHS after two years and applications to work in the NHS from EU countries has dropped by 92%.

You can watch Confessions of a Junior Doctor on Channel 4.

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Midwifery

Royal College of Midwives to end campaign to promote ‘normal births’

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The Royal College of Midwives ends their campaign for “normal births” to avoid making mothers who opt for medical interventions feel like failures.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been running a continuous campaign since 2005 to encourage expectant mothers to give birth without medical interventions such as; epidurals, inductions and caesareans.

Currently, around 40% of mothers give birth without medical interventions. 20% less than 30 years ago. But experts say a significant number of these are due to the increase in more risky pregnancies.

Prof Cathy Warwick, the Chief Executive of the RCM, said;

“There was a danger that if you just talk about normal births – and particularly if you call it a campaign – it kind of sounds as if you’re only interested in women who have a vaginal birth without intervention”.

“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth. Unfortunately, that seems to be how some women feel.”

“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth. Unfortunately that seems to be how some women feel.”

Midwives, will instead, start to use the term “physiological births” to describe those without interventions.

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Pancreatic cancer patients to have routine access to life extending drug after new deal

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NICE has recommended nab-paclitaxel for routine NHS use after the company agreed a confidential price discount and provided more evidence on its effectiveness.

Nab-paclitaxel, also known as Abraxane, made by Celgene will be routinely available as an option for patients with pancreatic cancer that has progressed.

When Abraxane is added to a standard chemotherapy, called gemcibatine the evidence has found it extends life by an average of 2.4 months.

If other combination chemotherapy treatments are unsuitable for a patient, NICE recommends offering Abraxane instead of this standard chemotherapy on its own.

It works by blocking the action of the proteins within cancer cells that cause them to grow and divide.

NICE has reviewed its guidance from 2015 which did not recommend Abraxane for routine NHS use for not being cost-effective.

Professor Carole Longson, director of the centre for health technology evaluation at NICE, said: The life expectancy of pancreatic cancer is poor, with patients usually living for only up to 6 months. It’s incredibly important that patients and families affected by this disease are able to have routine access to this life extending treatment.”

There are almost 10,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer each year in the UK, and less than 1% survive for 10 or more years.

This is a final appraisal determination for Abraxane. The company, healthcare professionals and patient/carer organisations now have until Friday 1 September to appeal the decision.

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