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​#GPnews: ‘Four times’ as many children on antidepressants

15:45 Shadow ministers have reacted to NHS England’s latest figures on mixed-sex hospital wards, accusing the Government of ‘humiliating’ patients.

Hospitals breached mixed-sex accommodation rules 908 times in July 2017, the second-highest number of breaches on record since January 2011.

The highest figure was 1,036 in January 2016, at the height of last year’s winter crisis.

Labour shadow health minister Justin Madders said this went against pledges made in the Tories’ 2010 and 2015 election manifestos.

He added: ‘This unprecedented failure on mixed-sex wards has left thousands more patients humiliated and lacking the basic dignity and respect they expect when being treated in hospital.’

15:00 An investigation by BBC Scotland has showed that four times as many pre-teenage children were on antidepressants last year compared with seven years ago.

The number of Scottish under-12s prescribed the medicines was 252 last year, up from just 57 in 2009/10.

Among all under-18s, the numbers doubled from 2,748 in 2009/10 to 5,572 last year.

The Scottish Government said the growing number of prescriptions reflected more young people seeking help.

However, Alison Johnstone, health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, suggested it could also be related to pressure on GPs and their limited referral options.

She said: ‘GPs and child mental health services have been under huge strain and the Scottish Government must do more to invest in those services to meet demand.

‘Ministers are failing to meet the target for young people being treated within 18 weeks of referral.’

12:20 Women who eat a lot of junk food are at a higher risk of developing cancer – even if they are slim despite their poor eating habits, reports the Mirror.

A new study found eating high-energy, low-nutrient foods contributed to a 10% higher risk of developing the disease, while previous research had indicated this was only the case in the overweight.

The researchers analysed data from 90,000 post-menopausal women in the US, focusing on eating habits and cancer diagnoses.

Lead investigator Prof Cynthia Thomson, from the University of Arizona, said: ‘The demonstrated effect in normal-weight women in relation to risk for obesity-related cancers is novel and contrary to our hypothesis.’ 

09:50 Reasearchers in Australia may have found the cure for peanut allergy, reports the Independent.

Allergic children were given a probiotic treatment called lactobacillus rhamnosus, with a peanut protein or a placebo for 18 months.

Two-thirds of participants were freely eating peanuts in their diet without symptoms four years on, the scientists said.

The news comes as peanut allergy remains the most common cause of anaphylaxis death in the Western world.


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