17:05 And the tweet of the day has to go to actor and comedian David Schneider. Earlier in the day, he posted an image of a superb metaphor which ridicules Jeremy Hunt’s imposition of the junior doctor contract – suggesting the health secretary is stretching out NHS services so thinly, it is becoming ‘dangerous’…
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) April 6, 2016
16:35 The Just Health crowd-funding campaign, which sees NHS staff legally challenging the Department of Health over the junior doctor contract imposition, seems to have received a financial boost by today’s strike. Having earlier in the week raised a staggering £100,000 already, the funding page now has £121,000 raised.
14:30 It turns out you can die of a broken heart, according to a new study reported in the Guardian.
Researchers in Denmark found that people recently bereaved have a higher risk of atrial fibrillation.
For the one million Danish people studied, there was increased risk of developing a heart flutter for a year after the death of a life partner (with the highest risk 8-14 days after the bereavement) – particularly for people under 60 whose partners had died unexpectedly.
According to the study, published in the journal Open Heart, the ‘risk of developing an irregular heartbeat for the first time was 41% higher among those who had been bereaved than it was among those who had not experienced such a loss’.
12:20 More on the junior doctors strike, as the cast of Green Wing join their real-life equivalents to support the strike.
— The BMA (@TheBMA) April 6, 2016
Pickets are continuing across England, and we’ll have more on that throughout the day.
12:00 The number of people living with diabetes worldwide has gone from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million today, the World Health Organisation has found.
It warned that it was part of an ’unrelenting march’ and numbers would continue to increase unless ‘drastic action’ was taken, the BBC reports.
The surge in diabetes was mainly due to Type 2, the report said.
9:30 The Department of Health take an altogether different line. They call the strike ‘irresponsible’.
A spokesperson said: ’This strike is irresponsible and disproportionate, and with almost 25,000 operations cancelled so far, it is patients who are suffering. If the BMA had agreed to negotiate on Saturday pay, as they promised to do through ACAS in November, we’d have a negotiated agreement by now. We ask doctors to look at the detail of the contract and call on the BMA to cancel their plans to escalate strike action even further.’
Second junior doctor strike 2016
9:15 Junior doctors are today striking for the fourth time and have an unlike ally – the Patients Association.
Chief executive Katherine Murphytold the Independent: ’Junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS and it is vital that they are able to provide the safe and effective care that patients need. Such a highly trained and valuable part of the NHS should not be disregarded so lightly. At a time when financing the NHS is already at breaking point, we should not further risk losing more doctors whose training is funded by the public purse.’
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