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Independents' Day

‘Super-gonorrhoea’ outbreak, tackling ‘bed blocking’ cut deaths and lives ‘at risk’ from postcode lottery of care

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

An outbreak of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea across the north of England has triggered a national alert, reports The Telegraph.

The azithromycin-resistant strain was first detected in Leeds in March, but has since spread and cases have now been reported in patients from Macclesfield, Oldham and Scunthorpe.

Public Health England said it was ‘concerned that the effectiveness of current front-line dual therapy for gonorrhoea will be threatened if this resistant strain continues to spread unchecked’.

Elsewhere, The Times reports that tackling ‘bed-blocking’ can save lives after a district hospital in Derby cut bed occupancy from 94% to 90% - and found death rates fell by around 5%.

According to the paper, the hospital introduced daily ward rounds by senior doctors, increased the number of beds in community facilities and made surgical beds available for medical patients in order to reduce the number of beds occupied.

Lastly, the BBC reports that ‘lives are being put at risk’ by variation in standards of care across the NHS in England.

It comes from the latest Atlas of Variation report – which found amongst other things a two-fold higher rate of early cancer diagnosis and quick stroke treatment between the best and worst areas.

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