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New NHS brain scan for Alzheimer's, a warning from Simon Stevens and should ketamine be reclassified as a class B drug?

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 11 December.

As the Government’s much-trailed G8 Dementia Summit gets underway in London today, the Telegraph has front-page news of a new brain-scan that can rule out Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the paper, Prime Minister David Cameron will announce the brain-scan ‘breakthrough’ and promise it will be available on the NHS as he pledges to lead a ‘global fightback’ against dementia.

The Independent and the BBC meanwhile focus on the Prime Minister’s pledge to double annual funding for research into dementia by 2025 – from £66 million a year to £132 million.

In other news, the Telegraph reports that the new boss of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has said current healthcare systems ‘won’t cut it’.

Speaking at an international conference in Qatar, Stevens apparently declared that systems need to be more open with the public about the quality of care being provided, predicting advances in technology and improved access to information will ‘force healthcare providers to improve the quality of what was on offer’.

Mr Stevens said: ‘We need to get serious about useful innovation; urgent about reshaping our care systems and open to a profoundly changed relationship with the people we serve.’

The Independent says that a damning report by ombudsman Dame Julie Mellor has claimed that deaths at ‘scandal-hit’ Furness General Hospital were not properly investigated because senior midwives ‘failed to identify bad practice’.

And finally, the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs has recommended that ketamine, currently a class C drug, be upgraded to a class B drug thanks to new evidence on bladder damage, the Guardian reports.



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