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Paramedics get prescribing powers, diabetes incidence up by 60% and e-cigarette use increasing among teens

Paramedics could be given prescribing powers and be used to ‘stand in for GPs’ after just 16 weeks of training, the Daily Mail reports.

NHS proposals would see 780 paramedics encouraged to qualify as ‘independent prescribers’ via a four month course at universities and colleges around the country, writes the paper.

It says paramedics could also be used to conduct routine appointments, though Suzanne Rastrick, chief allied health professions officer at NHS England, said this is not part of the consultation into independent prescribing.

Some 3.3 million people in the UK have a form of diabetes, an increase of 60% in last decade, according to charity Diabetes UK.

The BBC reports that 90% of these cases are incidences of type 2 diabetes, which is closely related to diet and exercise. North west London GP Dr Joan St John, who practices in one of the regions with the highest incidence of diabetes, said ‘not a week goes by that you don’t make a new diagnosis’.

Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s long-term conditions director, said: ‘These figures are a stark warning and reveal the increasing cost of diabetes.’

Finally, fears that e-cigarettes could be acting as a ‘gateway’ for children to take up smoking appear to be unfounded, with the Guardian reporting that tobacco smoking levels among 11 to 15 year olds are at all-time lows.

This comes despite an Action on Smoking and Health survey warning that the number of youths trying e-cigarettes is on the rise in the past two years, with a 6% increase in the number of 11 to 18 year olds who had used one.


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