A&E doctors warn pressure is putting patients at risk, vaccine for malaria on the horizon and a needle test for osteoporosis
A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 8 October.
Six out of ten A&E consultants think their job is unsustainable, with excessive pressure putting patients at risk, according to a major new survey.
The College of Emergency Medicine has warned increased demand and complexity of work is causing staff sickness and burnout, the BBC reports.
Its survey of just over 1,000 UK consultants found 94% complained they were working excessive hours - with more than half saying they were regularly doing more than a fifth extra on top of their contracted time.
The report also uncovered a growing problem with consultants emigrating. Last year 21 consultants left the country, compared with three in 2008.
The Patients Association’s Katherine Murphy said emergency doctors need enough funding so they can do their jobs: ‘Patients have incredible respect for emergency medicine teams, but those teams need to be backed up with the funding they need to do their jobs without being stretched in this way.’
Over at the Telegraph we find the news that health secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged shadow health secretary Andy Burnham to drop his libel threat. In a letter he told his opposite number that their dispute should be resolved in Parliament and via the press ‘rather than the courts’.
The row erupted after Mr Hunt used Twitter to accuse Labour’s former health secretary of ‘attempts to cover-up failing hospitals’ during his time in office - an accusation Mr Burnham strongly denies.
A vaccine against malaria could be introduced in 2015, after the latest trial of treatment reduced the number of cases of the disease experienced by babies, the Guardian reports.
The RTS,S vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline nearly halved the cases of malaria experienced by children aged between five and seven months and cut the number of cases in babies aged 6 to 12 weeks by a quarter, trial results published in Durban, South Africa, showed.
The Daily Mail reports that a needle pushed into your shin could predict whether you are at risk of brittle bone condition osteoporosis. The gadget- which is made up of a probe with a tiny needle on the tip - may also help slash the risk of someone suffering a break.
The device works by measuring how much ‘give’ there is in the surface of the shin (or tibia). This helps doctors calculate how dense the body’s bones are and whether there is a risk of fracture.