This site is intended for health professionals only

#GPnews: GP practices affected by new NHS cyber attack

Top stories

GPs to be asked to ‘peer review’ all referrals

Practices across three towns close lists amid ongoing GP shortages

16:30 People only need to eat three portions of fruit and vegetables a day to boost their life expectancy, according to a major global study.

This modest level of consumption was linked to a death rate reduced by one fifth, reports the Telegraph.

Of the 130,000 adults in 18 countries participating in the Lancet-published study, people who had their vegetables raw saw the best results.

15:40 GP practices in Lanarkshire, Scotland, have been affected by a new NHS cyber attack, with the BBC reporting that there were cancelled appointments as a result.

Meanwhile, patients were asked to stay away from A&E departments run by the NHS Lanarkshire health board.

Acute division medical director Dr Jane Burns said: ‘I would ask that patients do not attend our hospitals unless it is essential.

‘If you do turn up at A&E and do not require emergency care you may be sent away from the department or you may experience a lengthy wait.

‘Emergency care will still be provided for those who do require to be seen.’

12:20 London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a strategy to reduce health inequalities in the capital. His report said this comes as there are wide discrepancies between boroughs – and genders.

For example, women living in Tower Hamlets can on average expect to spend over 30 years of their lives in poor health, whilst for men in Enfield this is less than 12 years. Across all boroughs, men spend an average 16 years in ill health compared to 20 years for women.

The strategy includes aims to tackle poor air quality, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health stigma, physical inactivity and child obesity.

Mr Khan said: ‘Leading a healthy life should not be determined by where you live – it is unacceptable that a person’s wealth, background and postcode has such a major impact on their overall health. I want every single Londoner to be able to enjoy a healthy and happy life.

‘London has the potential to become one of the world’s healthiest major cities. If we are to achieve this ambition, we must start by reducing some of the massive inequalities that exist in the capital.

‘From improving air quality and reducing childhood obesity to promoting good mental health and decreasing social isolation, all of us have a part to play in improving the health of Londoners.’

09:50 A new preventative treatment for heart attacks has been hailed as  the ‘biggest breakthrough since the discovery of statins’.

A research team, led from Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, found that injecting a targeted anti-inflammatory drug called canakinumab – normally used only for rare inflammatory conditions – lowered the risk of heart attacks and may also slow cancer progression.

Dr Paul Ridker, who led the research team, said the study had ushered in ‘a new era of therapeutics’, reports the Guardian.

He said: ‘For the first time, we’ve been able to definitively show that lowering inflammation independent of cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk.

‘This has far-reaching implications. It tells us that by leveraging an entirely new way to treat patients – targeting inflammation – we may be able to significantly improve outcomes for certain very high-risk populations.

All patients taking part in the four-year trial received high doses of statins combined with canakinumab or a placebo. Those receiving the anti-inflammatory drug saw their risk of a cardiovascular event reduced by 15% and the need for bypass surgery or stent reduced by more than 30%.

However, despite this, the team found no overall difference in death rates between the two groups of patients.

Seen something interesting? Email or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews