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#GPnews: NHS loses legal battle over HIV drug

16:45 Chair of the Health select committee Dr Sarah Wollaston has spoken out this afternoon on today’s High Court ruling which declared that NHS England can fund a drug that can prevent HIV - despite health bosses arguing it was not their responsibility.

NHS England has since claimed that it will challenge the High Court’s decision in the Court of Appeal, according to the Daily Mail. 

But the former GP Dr Wollaston did not agree with the move:

14:20  A mother has called for the chickenpox vaccination to be part the NHS’s routine childhood immunisation schedule after her son spent five days in hospital with a severe case of chickenpox (apparently the ‘worst case’ the doctors had ever seen).

According to the Guardian, two-year-old Jasper Allen had bad chickenpox sores all over his body which became infected, resulting in doctors putting him on an intravenous drip with antibiotics, antiviral drugs and morphine.

The chickenpox vaccine is currently available only to those who are in contact with someone who is immunosuppressed or would be at greater risk if they got chickenpox, for example those undergoing chemotherapy.

Public Health England indicated that the policy would not change imminently but said: ‘The expert advisory body the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is currently undertaking a review of a childhood vaccination programme against chickenpox in the UK, based on the available scientific evidence, including consideration of the cost-effectiveness of any programme. This review is likely to be concluded next year.’

11:35 Our sister publication, The Commissioning Review, has more on that HIV story.

It quotes the Mr Justice Green saying: ’No one doubts that preventative medicine makes powerful sense. But one governmental body says it has no power to provide the service and the local authorities say that they have no money. 

’The Clamant is caught between the two and the potential victims of this disagreement are those who will contract HIV/AIDs but who would not were the preventative policy to be fully implemented.’

10:55 NHS England has been told that it does have responsibility to fund a HIV preventative drug following a court case brought by an AIDS charity.

NHS England had argued that it had no power to commission preventative drugs, as this was within the remit of local authorities.

The Times correspondent has another take on this story:

There’ll be more on this story soon.

9:40 Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has not assessed or written up scans on more than 11,000 vital X-rays, the Birmingham Mail reports.

The CQC found that the shortfall dates back to at least January during an unannounced inspection on July 27.

It also told the Trust that it was concerned urgent scans are not always prioritised, meaning some GPs were not receiving patient results for more than two weeks.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • NHSE has to come clean. Trying to dump the cost to public health which is having its funds reduced.
    Fund it completely without taking monies from elsewhere within the NHS. If not explain why not and what is going to be stopped to fund it. Oh...they have devolved commissioning to CCGs. In the appeal explain how the NHS funds health care.
    Got to get real and either fund the NHS completely by increasing taxation or get cracking with privatisation. This road crash is going to lead to more disenchanted service users more complaints and an ever increasing disillusioned workforce. .

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  • For once, I will defend NHSE decision.
    You have to teach people responsibility. Why discriminate against the whole non LGBT population and condemn them to condoms instead of allowing them also to enjoy uninhibited sex lives with free anti- HIV prophylaxis. Why reserve this only for LGBT and dub them high risk. Nobody is high risk if he/she doesn't want to be in that category. It's a choice people make whether gay or straight and for our choices we pay. Why siphon precious money from the NHS for sick people into something which can be avoided by use of common sense which is a free commodity.
    I do not intend to offend any LGBT person having some lovely gay people as acquaintances and friends.
    It's the policy makers and those indulging in risky behaviours who need to think about their actions.

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