Sore throat sufferers urged to take pharmacy test

Sore throat sufferers urged to take pharmacy test

Sore throat sufferers will be encouraged to visit their pharmacist instead of their GP for an on-the-spot test to see if they need antibiotics. The walk-in service is aimed at reducing doctor appointments and to help reduce the over-use of antibiotics, NHS England said. It is hoped the scheme could result in fewer visits to GPs -potentially saving the NHS millions of pounds a year. But pharmacies say cuts in funding to the sector could…

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Stress 'changes brains of boys and girls differently'

Stress 'changes brains of boys and girls differently'

Very stressful events affect the brains of girls and boys in different ways, a Stanford University study suggests. A part of the brain linked to emotions and empathy, called the insula, was found to be particularly small in girls who had suffered trauma. But in traumatised boys, the insula was larger than usual. This could explain why girls are more likely than boys to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the researchers said. Their findings suggest…

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Junior doctors lift threat of strike action over contract

Junior doctors lift threat of strike action over contract

Junior doctors have called off the threat of future industrial action and said they will “re-engage” with the government over their new contract. The British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors’ committee said the move involved ending its mandate for industrial action. This means it would have to re-ballot members before any future industrial action could take place. The government said the BMA’s decision was “welcome news”. The announcement comes a week after the juniors’ leader…

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'First flu' affects lifetime risk

'First flu' affects lifetime risk

A person’s chances of falling ill from a new strain of flu are at least partly determined by the first strain they ever encountered, a study suggests. Research in Science journal looked at the 18 strains of influenza A and the hemagglutinin protein on its surface. They say there are only two types of this protein and people are protected from the one their body meets first, but at risk from the other one. A…

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'Brain wi-fi' reverses leg paralysis in primate first

'Brain wi-fi' reverses leg paralysis in primate first

An implant that beams instructions out of the brain has been used to restore movement in paralysed primates for the first time, say scientists. Rhesus monkeys were paralysed in one leg due to a damaged spinal cord. The team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology bypassed the injury by sending the instructions straight from the brain to the nerves controlling leg movement. Experts said the technology could be ready for human trials within a…

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NHS England has power to fund Prep HIV drug, court decides

NHS England has power to fund Prep HIV drug, court decides

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the NHS in England has the power to fund a drug which prevents HIV infection in people at high risk of the virus. NHS England had previously said that local authorities should provide the pre-exposure prophylaxis drug – known as Prep – because they are responsible for preventative health. But councils insisted they had too little money. An estimated 14,000 people would be eligible for Prep in England….

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NHS in England ponders sugary drinks ban

NHS in England ponders sugary drinks ban

The NHS in England is asking staff and the public about whether it should ban or impose a tax on any sugary drinks sold in hospitals. Chief executive Simon Stevens says he wants the NHS to set a healthy example and “practise what we preach”. He says trials at four NHS hospitals show either option could work. If the plan goes ahead, England would be the first country in the world to take such action….

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Warning over non-lump breast cancers

Warning over non-lump breast cancers

Around one in six cases of breast cancer begins with symptoms other than a suspect lump, experts are warning. Researchers from University College London say women need to be aware of other warning signs – such as nipple changes – so that they get help fast. The researchers examined the symptoms of 2,300 women who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. They found that women with non-lump symptoms were more likely to put off…

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