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Mental health spending varies dramatically among regions in England, analysis shows

Spending on mental health varies dramatically between regions in England, according to analysis from mental health charity Mind.

South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw spend nearly twice as much (£220) per person on mental health than Surrey Heartlands (£124), the analysis said. Nevertheless, spending continues to rise.

The three biggest spenders were found to be: South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw (£220.63); Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (£207.97); and North Central London (£205.11).

England’s antidepressant prescriptions double to 70m in a decade

Figures released by NHS Digital have revealed that prescriptions for antidepressants in the UK have risen to 70.9 million, almost doubling within a decade from the 36 million prescribed in 2008.

These figures cover all such drugs dispensed in England by the NHS, but do not include those dispensed in hospitals or through private prescriptions.

Prescription rates of antidepressants, which are used to treat conditions including depression and anxiety, have been steadily increasingly over the past few years, with 64.7 million prescriptions in 2016 and 67.5 million in 2017.

Public satisfaction with NHS falls to lowest point since 2007

Image Credit: Andrew Tatlow

Public satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to lowest levels since 2007, according to analysis of the 2018 British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey published today by The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust.

In polling nearly 3,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales, the survey found just 53% of respondents were satisfied with NHS services last year.

33% of antibiotics prescribed by NHS are given without associated diagnosis, England's Chief Medical Officer warns

A third of the antibiotics prescribed by the NHS are given out despite there being no medical evidence that they are necessary, England’s Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies has said.

The fight against antimicrobial resistance is being hindered by Doctors who hand out antibiotics in order to ‘validate’ that a patient is unwell, Davies claimed.

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Scandal dominated this week’s news after Sunrise Lee, a stripper turned Insys sales rep was alleged to have given a disreputable doctor a lap dance in an effort to persuade him to prescribe the potent opioid fentanyl to his patients. Meanwhile Vertex terminated COO Ian Smith over ‘personal behaviour’ while an Israeli biotech made the dubious claim that it had created a complete cure for cancer.

Health Secretary pledges to end transmission of HIV in England by 2030

Through better prevention, detection and treatment, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has pledged to end transmission of HIV in England by 2030.

Reaching the goal of “no new infections” by 2030 would make England one of the first regions to reach the UN’s zero infections target.

The work, which will be focused on prevention, will be supported in funding by £600,000 from Public Health England’s HIV Prevention Innovation Fund.

The funding will go towards 13 innovative schemes aimed at reducing the risk of people getting HIV and reducing stigma.

People in England will be able to pay the NHS to sequence their genetic data, if they share it with scientists

Image Credit: Christoph Bock

The NHS will provide paid-for health reports, informing patients as to the likelihood that they will develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s or cancer, as long as those people share their data.

People in England will be able to pay the NHS to sequence their genes, on the condition that they share their genetic information with scientists and researchers. Those with serious conditions will receive this service for free.

The project, which will be led by Genomics England (a company set up by the NHS), will see genetic data shared with scientists anonymously.

Diagnosis at stages 1-3 increases cancer survival rate significantly

Adults diagnosed with stage 1 skin, prostate or breast cancer have the same chance of still being alive the following year as the average person, according to data from the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England.

Survival rates are high for many cancers if diagnosed in stages 1-3, the data shows. However cancers diagnosed in stage four have lower survival rates. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest rate of survival in both men and women.

NHS App begins public rollout across England following successful testing

NHS England has announced that the NHS app, which will allow patients to book and manage their GP appointments alongside a range of other services, has begun its public rollout across England.

Private testing of the digital tool was deemed a success after it was trialled with over 3,000 across 30 GP practices.

More young people surviving cancer in England, despite significant economic divide

Mortality and five year survival rates in a range of different cancers among people aged 13-24 improved in England between 2001 and 2015.

However young people living in poorer areas were less likely to survive, according to a report published by Teenage Cancer Trust and Public Health England. While those living in the richest areas had 88% survival rate, those living in the poorest areas had survival rates of just 84%.

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