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Minister says NHS should be like Asda, online symptom checkers miss one in eight emergencies, and overweight teens think they’re healthy weight

The NHS should be more like Asda, according to newly appointed health minister Lord David Prior, who told a King’s Fund conference this week that supermarkets and large companies are far better at listening to their workforce and acting on concerns.

The Independent reports Lord Prior said the levels of bullying in the NHS were ‘alarming’ and required urgent action, adding: ‘Too many people in the NHS have been switched off; the level of bullying in the NHS, in the NHS staff survey, is 24%’.

The Daily Mail reports that as many as one in eight emergencies could be being missed by patients relying on online symptom checking tools like those on NHS Choices.

Research from Harvard Medical School has raised questions about the efficacy of relying on online tools to self-diagnose, at the same time as the NHS launched its digital strategy to promote self-care and save money.

The study found NHS Choices performed better than 23 comparable symptom checker websites, only missing 13% of emergencies, but the authors urged caution to anyone relying on online tools.

A third of obese or overweight teens believe they are a healthy weight and could be putting themselves at risk of chronic illness like cancer and heart disease, the Guardian says.

Research published in the International Journal of Obesity measured the BMI of 5,000 13 to 15 year olds and asked them to self-assess their weight, and found 39% of those who were overweight thought they were a healthy weight.

Prof Jane Wardle, of CRUK’s Health Behaviour Research Centre said: ‘We need to find effective ways of helping too-heavy teenagers slim down and maintain a healthier weight, and it’s vitally important that we find out whether it helps if they are more aware of their weight status. There are no easy answers.’


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