GPs should take a third of A&E attendances, Angelina Jolie removes her breasts and other health news
A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Wednesday 15 May.
GP surgeries should be set up at hospitals to ease the growing pressure on accident and emergency units, which are struggling to cope with an ‘unsustainable’ increase in patients, a report from the UK’s emergency doctors has warned.
The Guardian reports GPs, as well as nurses and specialists in looking after frail elderly people, need to assess and treat as many as 30% of the patients arriving at hospital and keep them away from the casualty departments, according to the College of Emergency Medicine (CEM), which represents the NHS’s 4,000 A&E doctors.
A report by the college, based on a survey of conditions at 131 of the UK’s 248 A&E units, calls for a major overhaul of how emergency care is delivered. It urges a big expansion of what it calls ‘co-located primary care services’ - especially GP services and urgent care centres - to look after between 15% and 30% of those arriving as emergency cases.
Meanwhile, again we have some further clues towards the quest for eternal life, as The Telegraph reports on a new study indicating that women’s immune systems may hold the answer. A new study has shown that women’s immune system’s age slower and that is why on average they tend to live longer than men.
The study showed that levels of key white blood cells, responsible for fighting off infections, become lower in men as they get older compared to women. The average life expectancy for men in the UK is 79 years compared with 82 years for women, while in Japan women live nearly six years longer than men on average.
However the news pales compared to the biggest piece of health news in the world: a movie star removing her breasts. Yesterday Angelina Jolie wrote this piece for the New York Times and the news went viral across the world.
Continuing coverage this morning saw Sky News reporting that Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt feels very ‘emotional’ about his partner’s decision to go public on having the double mastectomy, as she could easily have kept it a secret. The Oscar-winning actress revealed she underwent the procedure and reconstruction after learning she carried the BRCA1 gene, which gave her a 87% chance of developing breast cancer.
Mr Pitt told USA Today: ‘I’m quite emotional about it, of course. She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don’t think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results.’