Medical News

Hold Press! Binge Drinking Is Over!

In a report from the Office of National Statistics (think grey suits and lots of SPSS), they have reported that binge drinking is waning in the UK, with more people than ever being teetotal. Young people (<24 years old), have reduced their binge drinking by more than a third since 2005; apparently students are becoming sensible. We are being dubbed ‘Generation Sensible’ by columnists in the Guardian; this is a serious situation! Clearly none of them have been to MedChir, let alone the chaos of Viper on any night of the week. Thank the lord that in Scotland the story is a bit different. Along with our cousins in the North East, we top the table for binge drinking; we aren’t letting the stereotype disappear. Coming first in the ‘bingeing war’ is compensated by us coming forth in the table for teetotallers, with a fifth of Scotland saying that they haven’t touched a drop of alcohol (liars). While we at Surgo are all for being responsible; when and where else is it acceptable to drink tonic wine? Let’s continue to make Glasgow Buckfast’s heartland.

BMA Contract Negotiations Stall

In October last year the BMA pulled out of contract negotiations with NHS Employers (the government’s representative), as they ‘wanted to remove key safeguards for trainees … such as protections on safe working hours at the expense of patient safety and sustainable working patterns for doctors’. This came as a surprise for the government who felt negotiations were progressing well. However, this was not the case for the BMA, who felt that red lines had been drawn that were unsafe for doctors and patients. The current contract is not suitable for both hospitals and doctors. The government has instructed the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) recommend a way to provide consultant led care 7 days a week and review junior doctors contracts. Submissions are now being made and the review will conclude in June. Good luck to those finding a way through this field of mud.

Scottish Hospitals Show Improvement In Mortality

People don’t go into hospital to die; at least that is the idea. But inevitably patients do. This can be due the result of the condition of the patient on admittance, but some deaths can be prevented by improving care and not causing harm (beneficence and non-maleficence). It was with this aim that the Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) was set up. It has seen a reduction in the Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios (HSMR) of 16.3% over the whole of Scotland. The Southern General managed to reduce its HSMR by more than 20%: the target for the end of 2015.

Chocolates at Risk on Wards

Don’t leave food, particularly chocolate, around a ward as they will vanish quickly. A multicentre trial, published in the BMJ, has found that the half-life of a chocolate on a ward is remarkably small – 1hr 39 minutes. It takes only 12 minutes for a box of chocolates to be opened. The main culprits in this study were health care assistants and nursing staff, composing 28% of consumers; doctors didn’t fair too well either, coming third overall. So next time you grab a Quality Street on a ward be careful, someone may well be watching you!

Attractive Men Are Selfish

Researchers from Brunel University have found that attractive men are more likely to be less generous and favour equality less than their less attractive counterparts; the same could not be said of women. Therefore there is a lesson to all; be careful who you go on dates with. You may end up paying for it.

Jamie Henderson

Jamie Henderson

Jamie sums up what's been happening in the medical world...