World MS Day 2018

World MS Day 2018|May 2018 |MS registries: putting people with MS at the heart of research

Today (30 May 2018) is World MS Day and the World MS day website raises awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS) and also highlights how one person sharing information about their MS could benefit someone else on the other side of the world.

World MS Day
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Further details are at World MS Day 2018 

World MS day Brain banks: advancing the neurological research worldwide 

World MS day MS registries: putting people with MS at the heart of research

NHS staff numbers from 1949

NHS Digital | May 2018 | Historical workforce statistics in lead-up to NHS70

NHS Digital has published figures which show how the NHS workforce has grown and evolved over the past seven decades:


  • In 1949, there were 11,735 full time equivalent hospital doctors in England and Wales, including 3,488 consultants.
  • By 2018 there were 109,509 full time equivalent medical and dental staff, including 46,297 consultants, in England.
  • In 1949, there were 68,013 registered nurses in hospitals in England and Wales.
    In 2018, that number stood at 320,422 (headcount).
  • There were 5,637 midwifery staff in 1949. By 2018 there were 26,519 (headcount).
  • In 1963 there were 22,159 GPs in England and Wales, 19,951 of whom were male and 2,208 of whom were female.
  • In 2018 there were 41,693 GPs, 17,366 male and 21,736 female (headcount).

Source: NHS Digital 


Successful weight loss maintainers have different behavioural and physiological responses to food, says study

University of Birmingham | May 2018 |Successful weight loss maintainers have different behavioural and physiological responses to food

Researchers at Birmingham University have discovered that leaner individuals have different responses to food compared to those with or those who have had obesity. The team compared the saliva production and heart rate (response) to pizza (stimuli) across the sample and found that obese individuals responded to the food, as their heart rate rose and saliva production increased. By contrast, the lean group who did not have a history of obesity were unresponsive.

In addition to the stimulus-response test, participants also completed cognitive tasks to gauge their motivation to gain, and avoid losing food and monetary rewards in a computerised task.  The sample had to decide whether a neutral symbol was associated with winning food, losing food, winning money or losing money. The ability of the lean group and the group with obesity to learn the task was affected by losing and winning food equally but the weight loss maintainers performance was less affected by food wins and more affected by food losses. Importantly, the three groups did not differ in their ability to learn the task in general as there was no difference in learning the task using monetary reward or losses (via University of Birmingham).

The full, undabridged details are available from the University of Birmingham

Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Gift, for Every Child

Unicef | May 2018 | Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Gift, for Every Child

A new report from Unicef shares new analysis on breastfeeding practices around the world and sets out key recommendations for governments, the private sector, civil society and communities in low-, middle- and high-income countries to increase breastfeeding rates. The report finds that more than 1 in 5 babies in high-income countries are never breastfed, compared to 1 in 25 in low- and middle-income countries (Unicef).

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The full report is available to download from Unicef here 

Advancing dental care

Health Education England | May 2018 |Advancing dental care

Health Education England (HEE) commissioned the Advancing Dental Care Education & Training Review to consider the skills and composition of the future dental workforce that will best meet future patient need, and the training structures and funding models that will deliver that workforce.
During the first phase of the Advancing Dental Care project, the review team conducted a six-month engagement and evidence-gathering exercise.  They identified and explored a series of options to improve training, shared thinking as widely as possible, and engaged with stakeholders to develop proposals (HEE).

HEE have produced an accompanying video:

The findings and recommendations of the review are set out in the first Advancing Dental Care Report

The key messages  and recommendations include:

  • obtaining further data to better understand the workforce and current funding models;
  • developing a needs-based approach for training commissioning;
  • encouraging flexibility for the service and the workforce;
  • providing early careers support; and

unlocking the potential of the oral health team, by encouraging team-working and utilisation of all full scope of practice for all oral healthcare professional

Full details are available from HEE 

The full report Advancing Dental Care: Education and Training Review  can be downloaded here 

The King’s Fund: Hypothecated funding for health and social care: how might it work?

The King’s Fund | May 2018 | Hypothecated funding for health and social care: how might it work?

A new publication from The King’s Fund looks at the argument for and against hypothecation- the  the earmarking of a tax to be spent on a specific area of public
expenditure. The paper sets out the problems hypothecation is meant to solve, and the conditions under which it might do so, and provides a brief history of hypothecation in the UK (The King’s Fund).

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The full paper can be downloaded from The King’s Fund 

CQC publishes review of how local health and social care systems work together in Bradford

Care Quality Commission |May 2018 | Under pressure: safely managing increased demand in emergency departments

The Care Quality Commission (CQC)  has published a report into one of its targeted reviews of local authority areas, the review looks at how local health and social care systems work together in Bradford.

The report finds that there was a clear shared and agreed purpose, vision and strategy described in the Happy, Healthy at Home plan which had been developed by the organisations that make up the local system in Bradford. This was articulated throughout all levels of the system. CQC found that most staff were committed to the vision – whether working in adult social care, primary and secondary care sectors, or in the voluntary sector.

Source: Care Quality Commission

The full report is available from CQC here