Headlines in November have been splashed with stories about finance issues. We have witnessed the resignation of two prime ministers amid financial pressures between Greece and Italy and the European Union. In the meantime, strikes are taking place at hospitals, schools, transportation and local governments due to funding cuts. The world of healthcare is not immune either and NHS performance issues and Health policy still maintain the top two positions since October. This month’s highest climber is NHS staff issues, coming amidst the planned strikes at the end of the month; it made its way up to fourth place, 10 places up from last month.
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Influenza made a re-entry back into the Top 20, this comes as no surprise as we enter the winter months, despite the fact that we have thoroughly enjoyed a lovely mild November with the cold coming very, very late. Great news for all is that a vaccine that offers lifelong protection against all strains of flu is on its way. This comes as a report shows that the demand for flu jabs is at an all-time high, with nearly half of British parents requesting flu vaccines for their children.
If only NHS staff were as concerned as some parents about the flu. Earlier this month the Health Secretary stated that seven out of 10 NHS staff have yet to be vaccinated against flu, thereby putting patients at risk due to the possibility of staff shortages during the coming winter months. Continuing with NHS staff, there has been a number of arrests and investigations into the qualifications of some NHS workers in September, NHS staff issues have climbed their way into the number four spot this month, a 10 place jump from 14th in October. Another report published this month that shows four in 10 nursing staff at some hospitals are actually untrained healthcare assistants.
Recent advances in cardiology have meant that heart attack patients have a better outlook for the future. A study found that a key element in garlic releases a protective compound that can protect victims of heart disease from further damage. While another interesting study found that visiting a dentist to get your teeth cleaned lowers your risk of heart attack by 24%. A breakthrough at the Queen Mary University, London, could mean a simple test can predict when heart attacks and strokes caused by high blood pressure will strike. Meanwhile, The Office of National Statistics reported that the number of heart attacks and strokes has reduced while the Department of Health revealed that the figure of people dying from heart attacks and strokes has dropped by two-fifths over the past decade. Maybe these reports show the effects of previous advances or perhaps the effect of the smoking ban? In the meantime, however, make sure you add garlic to your dinner and book an appointment with your dentist.
And finally, as we approach the holidays and Christmas season, the news offers some insight in to why we feel so tired after a huge Christmas meal. It all starts when your body begins to digest that delicious turkey along with the other accompaniments such as stuffing and brussels sprouts. Glucose in food activates insulin, which in turn affects amino acid uptake. Tryptophan (a type of amino acid) is left in the blood to travel to the brain where it is converted to serotonin and then into melatonin, which results in sleepiness. According to many researchers, turkey is rich in tryptophan so you have a valid biochemical excuse for falling asleep in front of the TV.
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Aurora strives to apply quantitative, qualitative and emotional understanding of health issues to client communication programmes. Dove-tailing informed PR activity with the media’s appetite enables us to assist clients with communicating their vision.
The top 20 chart provides our interpretative snap-shot of health stories in the national press and is based upon a quantitative process. Analysis based on news from the 26 October to 25 November.