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#GPnews: Help GPs diagnose bowel cancer sooner, say researchers

16:15 Health minister Lord Prior has set up a panel that will look a reducing unnecessary regulatory burden in the NHS, to free up frontline staff to care for patients.

The panel, which will include senior figures from the Department of Health, its arm’s length bodies, and membership organisations, will review the 'burdens and benefits' of current NHS and social care regulatory activity and will then 'challenge their use and necessity', said the Department of Health.

The panel's first session will look at data and information requests at a national and local level, it added.

Lord Prior said: 'To address fundamentally the burden of red tape across health and social care, we need to look through the lens of those on the frontline. We will make changes to deliver tangible benefits for both staff and patients.'

14:30 Most patients with bowel and rectal cancers who are diagnosed in an emergency setting did not previously display 'red flag' symptoms, a UK study has found.

But reserarchers found that 17.5% of bowel cancer patients and 23% of rectal cancer patients with emergency diagnoses had previously presented with 'red flag' symptoms such as blood in stools and lengthy changes in bowel movement.

Several papers, including the Metro said this meant GPs were 'missing basic signs of cancer'.

Cristina Renzi, lead researcher and Cancer Research UK scientist at University College London, said: ‘This study shows that most patients – who are picked up through the emergency route – can be harder to diagnose as they often don’t show typical bowel cancer symptoms.

‘However, in most cases they visit their doctor for various reasons multiple times during the months leading up to their diagnosis, which could represent opportunities to diagnose the cancer earlier.

‘It’s important to find ways to ensure these patients can be diagnosed at an early stage. And this study highlights the need to support GPs and give them the tools to diagnose and refer patients promptly when they feel it’s necessary.’

11:25 Frail elderly people are being discharged and sent home from hospital in the middle of the night with no support, MPs have warned.

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) blamed fragmented working of health and social care services, the Telegraph also reports.

One case looked at included an 85-year-old woman with dementia sent home at 11pm without food or drink and no ability to use the toilet.

The MPs urged the Government to ensure no elderly person was sent home against their will between 11pm and 6am.

Health Service Ombudsman Julie Mellor blamed ‘the chronic underfunding of social care’, but a DH spokesperson said it was investing 'billions’ in integrating health and social care, improving the experience of patients.

09:35 People with acne may have longer lifespans, new research has suggested.

Scientists had found spotty teens looked more youthful in middle age than their clear-skinned peers and decided to find out why.

Now they think they know, with the cohort found to have longer protective caps on the end of their choromosomes, so called telomeres, reports the Telegraph.

Lead researcher Dr Simone Ribero, from King’s College London, said: 'For many years dermatologists have identified that the skin of acne sufferers appears to age more slowly than in those who have not experienced any acne in their lifetime.

'Whilst this has been observed in clinical settings, the cause of this was previously unclear.

'Our findings suggest that the cause could be linked to the length of telomeres which appears to be different in acne sufferers and means their cells may be protected against ageing.’

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