A new report from Carers UK, published today reveals that due to a lack of appropriate support in the community, unpaid carers are reluctantly taking their loved ones to A&E. The charity’s report called “Pressure Points” comes juts as the NHS in the UK prepares for its annual challenge of increased A&E visits and hospital admissions during the winter months. The carers they surveyed identified serious difficulties accessing primary and community support services, with 1 in 5 saying they felt that they had no option but to take their loved one to A&E because it was impossible to see a district nurse or a GP out of hours. One in ten said that they didn’t know where else to go.
At a time when there is a huge need to reduce the demand for acute hospital services, it seems very sad that community services are either missing or difficult to access. to get an idea of the need to tackle this issue it is worth noting that NHS England (2016) released figures that show that there were over 500,000 more visits to A&E in the first quarter of 2016 than the same period in the previous year. Are we heading for a crisis? You had better hope for a warm winter!
To access this report, go to
Another story of note this week is the use of Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS); particularly Ibuprofen. As always when big news stories like this hit the newspapers and other media it’s a good idea to go and look at a website called “Behind the Headlines” Behind the headlines is run by NHS Choices and what it does is critique and evaluate the actual materials that the headline stories are based on and as they usually do a really good job of telling you what you really ought to know, before you swallow the hype. They haven’t disappointed this week as their evaluation appeared yesterday (Sept. 29th.). So to examine the evidence and not the hype go to http://www.nhs.uk/news/2016/09September/Pages/Ibuprofen-like-painkillers-linked-to-an-increased-risk-of-heart-failure.aspx
Please share this story with any concerned friends and colleagues or anyone you know with heart failure.