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Hospital care ‘no better since Mid Staffs’, concerns over brain bleed treatment delay and a ‘super pill’ for diabetes



In a week of damaging headlines for the NHS there is no let-up today, as a damning CQC report claims there has been no improvement in patient safety or treating the ill with dignity, despite the impact of the Mid Staffs scandal. The report also found no improvement in assessment or monitoring of care in hospitals, the Guardian says.

Meanwhile the Independent focuses on the report’s conclusion that there has been a large increase in the number of emergency admissions for avoidable problems among elderly patients, with a 20% rise in the over-75s over the past five years, which is put down to ‘stark failings in community care’.

TheBBCreports concerns about delays in the diagnosis and treatment of brain haemorrhages caused by aneurysms, especially at weekends.

A National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death report analysis of over 400 cases of subarachnoid haemorrhage found good care for the majority, with 90% of hospitals able to provide CT scans seven days a week and 86% of patients treated using the latest endovascular techniques.

But it also found poor care in some areas, with GPs failing to recognise severe headache as a potential symptom and only 18% of patients undergoing a neurological examination when admitted to hospital.

And delays in care at hospital were more common at weekends, with only 30% of patients receiving care within 24 hours of admission to hospital at weekends compared with 70% on weekdays, while rehabilitation care after surgery ‘could be improved’.

Finally, a new ‘super pill’ could stop diabetes in its tracks, claims the Express. Scientists say experiments in mice suggest a new antidiabetes drug called MK2 added to metformin gives twice the potency of either drug to control insulin and glucose levels.

Researcher Dr Ira Tabas, from Columbia University in New York, said: ‘MK2’s compatibility with metformin makes it a very exciting potential drug target.’