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'Private sector pay' for NHS, bionic eye to cure the blind and 'great hope' for new dementia drug

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

NHS chief Simon Stevens is courting controversy after saying that NHS pay must match the private sector to stop staff leaving the service, the Independent reports.

Questioned by MPs about the impact of the ongoing 1% pay freeze for public sector workers on the health service, Mr Stevens said: ‘Ultimately the health service needs to pay the going rate relative to the private sector in order to recruit and retain the staff that we need.’

Both the Express and theTelegraph splash their front pages with news of a potential cure for blindness, after a trial of a ‘bionic’ eye gave one man vastly improved vision.

Retired engineer Ray Flynn, who suffers from dry form age-related macular degeneration, had a neurostimulation device attached to a camera fitted into his eye which medics said acts as an artificial retina.

Professor Paulo Stanga, consultant ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, said: ‘Mr Flynn’s progress is truly remarkable.He is seeing the outline of people and objects very effectively.’

Lastly, data on the potential dementia drug Solanezumab are about to be unveiled that show it slows the decline in memory for people with Alzheimer’s disease, the BBC reports.

Apparently the original trial of the drug - described as the ‘great hope’ in dementia research - ended in failure, but having looked more closely at subgroups in the trial scientists believe the drug is effective for people in the earliest stages of disease.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Stevens looking to drive down private pay scales even further!?!?!
    Or perhaps a swallow in the midst of winter heralding a neurone firing intelligently at last!?!?
    Don't hold your breath!!!

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  • Solanezumab - cost $10,000 /patient/yr ; 800,000 patients with dementia in UK - ave life expectancy of dementia ~ 3 yrs = you don't need to do the maths. Could build 16,000 residential homes for the same cost

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