15:35 Being ‘in a positive mood’ on the day of your flu jab can increase its protective effect, according to findings by researchers at the University of Nottingham.
With flu vaccination estimated to only be effective in 17-53% of older adults compared with 70-90% of younger people, the researchers set out to understand how negative mood, positive mood, physical activity, diet and sleep affected the protective effect.
Studying 138 older people having the jab over a six-week period, they found that only good mood was associated with higher levels of antibody.
Professor Kavita Vedhara, from the university’s Division of Primary Care, said: ‘Vaccinations are an incredibly effective way of reducing the likelihood of catching infectious diseases.
‘But their Achilles’ heel is that their ability to protect against disease is affected by how well an individual’s immune system works. So people with less effective immune systems, such as the elderly, may find vaccines don’t work as well for them as they do in the young.
‘We have known for many years that a number of psychological and behavioural factors such as stress, physical activity and diet influence how well the immune system works and these factors have also been shown to influence how well vaccines protect against disease.’
The study was published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.
11:50 Welsh schoolchildren will receive on-site mental health help from CAMHS practitioners under a new scheme being launched by the Welsh Government.
The £1.4m pilot scheme will be rolled out in 28 secondary schools, six middle schools and 190 primary schools in three areas in north-east, south-east and west Wales.
It will begin at the end of this year and conclude in the summer of 2020, at which point the Welsh Government will decide on whether to expand it across the country, reports the Guardian.
Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething said: ‘One in four people in Wales will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives. Getting the right treatment at an early stage can in many cases prevent long-term adverse impacts.
‘This unique new initiative we’re unveiling today will see specialist NHS Wales services extend into the classroom. This will ensure children, teachers and others charged with caring for children in our schools, receive support to promote good emotional and mental health. It will help identify and address issues early, helping to prevent more serious problems occurring later in life.’
09:50 This morning we reveal that the English GPC, when it meets in November, will be taking a decision on how to go forward with the potential plans for industrial action.
This year’s LMCs Conference voted that the GPC should ballot the profession on closing patient lists en masse. So far a GPC survey has shown just over half of practices would be willing to participate.
But is this sufficient to stage an industrial dispute?