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More comfort for care home elderly, patients keep demanding antibiotics and a new treatment for stroke recovery

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 19 August

A Government review has concluded elderly people in care homes should be given more ‘home comforts’, the Daily Express reports today.

Care minister Norman Lamb said: ‘A willingness to take bits of furniture, bedspreads, curtains can be incredibly important in civilising care homes, making them real homes. The whole focus needs to be on personalising care as much as possible.’

A survey of 1,000 GPs by the charity Nesta showed 90% of GPs feel ‘under pressure’ to prescribe antibiotics and nearly half have prescribed them when it was not necessary, writes the Telegraph.

Apparently, 44% had handed out an antibiotic of little or no use to get demanding patients ‘to leave the surgery’.

Three-in-four people with asthma are putting themselves at risk because they are not keeping their condition under control, reports the Daily Mail. A survey of 464 asthma patients - carried out by Allergy UK and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK - found more than three quarters of patients use one reliever inhaler a week, when they should only get through one a month.

Finally, the BBC reports that deep brain stimulation could help stroke survivors recover normal function - if research in mice works out.

Lead researcher Prof Gary Steinberg said aiding recovery could be easier than trying to treat stroke.

He told the BBC: ‘The advantage of treating during the recovery period is it’s longer, potentially it could be years, so it has huge potential. I predict that the kind of study we’re doing will help to push stimulation as a therapy for stroke and you can image how import that would be for the millions of stroke patients with disability.’

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