Research published this morning has shown magnetic brain stimulation could play a role in the treatment of anorexia. The study by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IOPPN) involved 60 volunteers. This is the first randomised trial to investigate this type of treatment in eating disorders.
109 GP surgeries in the capital could close over the next three years according to a recent survey.
Over 100,000 patients could be left without care by 2019 according to a survey conducted on behalf of Londonwide LMC, a group that represents the capitals GPs. The survey involved nearly half of London’s 1,300 GP practices, 19 of which said they intended to close in the next three years. Continue reading
On New Years Day legislation designed to protect models in Israel will come into force. Is 2016 the year the fashion industry will take responsibility for it’s role in the prevalence of eating disorders?
Israeli legislation which makes it a legal requirement for models to have a BMI over 18.5 will become active on January 1.
Earlier this month French MPs voted in favour of similar legislation intended to combat eating disorders in the fashion industry.
The french bill will mean models have to be confirmed as healthy by doctors in order to work. It also forces magazines to label Photoshopped images “touched up”.
Anyone found to have broken the law will be liable for a fine of €75,000 and up to six months in prison.
Previous drafts have proposed a minimum BMI for models however the idea resulted in protest by the fashion industry. This bill leaves the decision in the hands of doctors. Physicians will be asked to take into account a number of factors including weight, age and mental well-being.
There is currently no legislation outlining a minimum BMI or health certificate for models in the UK.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) established an agreement with UK designers in 2008 following the publication of Fashioning a Healthy Future a report into models’ health.
The agreement outlined several measures:
- A ban on models under the age of 16 at London Fashion Week:
- The provision of healthy food and drinks for all workers backstage at fashion shows.
- A BFC funded eating disorder awareness seminar for model agencies staff delivered by B-EAT.
At the same time the BFC introduced it’s own auditing process to monitor these measures. There is however no audit data or report available on the BFC website.
Following the reports publication, the BFC also commissioned an independent feasibility study which found: “the modelling industry (models, modelling agencies and Equity) universally reject the proposed introduction of Model Health Certificates in London.”
An Australian born model, who has been featured in Vouge, has started a petition on change.org following a London based fashion agencies request that she get “down to the bone”, despite repeatedly losing weight.
Rosie is petitioning Minister for Women and Equalities, Caroline Dinenage, to create a law to protect models from getting dangerously skinny.
In her petition she said: “The agencies managing and recruiting models have a responsibility to the well-being of girls on the catwalk at fashion week, and in the industry as a whole.”
The petition still requires 33,000 signatures to meet it’s target. To sign Rosie’s petition click here
In Denmark brands must carry out ‘psychological and physical’ evaluations before working with models in order to spot eating disorders or mental health issues, according to the nation’s Fashion Ethical Charter, established in 2007.
It also states models must also be 16 or over in order to receive money for their work although younger models are said to receive sample garments in lieu of actual payment.
Similar measures have been taken in countries across Europe. Spain and Italy currently ban models with a BMI below 18 from taking part in Madrid fashion shows.
WHO guidelines state that an adult with a BMI below 18 is considered malnourished, and 17 severely malnourished.
Featured Image accredited to José Goulão
As well as the likes of Justin Beiber and Adele the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir must battle NHS colleagues the National Health Singers who are also in the running.
The rival choir is formed of junior doctors from across the country. Their tune ‘Yours’ currently sits at number 90 in the iTunes download chart. But Dr Nerva, who works at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, is not worried about the competition.
“I’m really happy that we’ve got this kind of creativity in the NHS and it’s great that we’re getting this exposure. Their song’s message is fantastic, the lyrics very much focus on not overworking junior doctors.” she said.
She added: “The junior doctor contract does go to the heart of the NHS. You’d be quite hard pressed to find a junior doctor who doesn’t have quite low moral at the moment”
Even if the song does reach number one Dr Nerva said she won’t be celebrating. She is working a night shift in A&E on Christmas Day, but she is excited for what the songs success could do for the NHS staff moral:
“It would be a celebration in itself. To get the song out there to the NHS staff who will need a moral boost while working over the festive period. I will be happy for NHS staff to receive recognition for the really hard work there going to be doing over Christmas, it’s going to be a grueling time.”
Any money made from sales will be split between the charities Carers UK and Mind who support mental health and its research. Explaining the choice of charities Dr Nerva said:
“Carers are our partners in care they’re often unsung heroes who don’t get enough recognition.”
The campaign ‘Love your NHS’ was started in conjunction with Dr Nerva’s bid to make Lewisham and Greenwich choir number one this Christmas. They are asking people to post selfies to Twitter and Facebook holding a sign that says “I DO”.
Dominoes staff showing their support:
This year the Christmas number one will be revealed on Christmas Day. BBC Radio One will be counting down the festive chart from 10am.
An E-Cigarette will now be offered as part of the NHS aids to quit smoking.
The news was quietly revealed by Jane Ellison MP during questions in the Commons at the end of November. The ‘Voke – nicotine inhaler’ which has been developed by British American Tobacco, was approved by Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) earlier in the month.
MHRA said in a statement: “the Voke is the second product meeting the definition of an e-cigarette to receive a marketing authorisation, but is the first product that electronically produces a vapour containing nicotine for inhalation, and thus would be considered a true e-cigarette.”
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) welcomed the move. The group said: “Other electronic cigarette manufacturers and importers should be encouraged to apply for licences too.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, from Public Health England said: “Evidence showed e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit, particularly when combined with additional support from local stop smoking services.”
It is hoped the approval of the “Voke” by MHRA will provide some clarity on safety of E-Cigarettes since research shows a growing number of smokers are failing to understand the growing risk of smoking versus “vaping”. Between 2013 and 2015 the proportion of people surveyed who believed E-Cigarettes were as harmful as regular cigarettes increased from 6% to 20% according to polls conducted by YouGov for ASH.
Since becoming available to buy in 2004 E-Cigarettes have been shrouded in safety concerns including worries they will become gateway for young people into smoking. However in 2015 about 60% of UK users are smokers and about 40% are ex-smokers, while use among those who have never smoked remains “negligible” according to a report by ASH.
Concerns still remain
In a statement on its website the World Health Organisation has expressed concerns regarding E-Cigarettes: “These devices have become popular over the last four or five years, so there are only a few studies on the health risks and we don’t know the long-term effects. We don’t have epidemiological studies, such as those on the links between tobacco and cancer, because such studies take decades to complete.”
Controversy amongst Doctors
With the NHS set to make £22bn of efficiency savings over the next parliament the decision has led to some negative reactions from some doctors.
In a comment on Pulse, the GP magazine, Dr Peter Swinyard said: “Why should the NHS pick up the tab for these scripts? If people can afford to smoke, by and large they can afford the nicotine replacement. And how long to continue?”
He added: “We have to have a reality check about what the NHS can afford on its drug budget and on our time and effort in prescribing.”
Featured Image accredited to Vaping360.com
Dr James Halcrow, 34, had been told not to drink by General Medical Council (GMC) following his self referral for “other issues he was having”.
He was found dead by friends in his flat in Manchester’s Northern Quarter on June 24. An inquest heard he had hanged himself due to fears he would fail an alcohol test.
Since his death it has come to light he had won the national award ‘Trainee GP of the Year’. The note which was found with his body read: “I’m sorry.”
At the inquest into his death Ian Halcrow, his father and former soldier, said: “He had an amazing number of friends. He thrived on friendship and had a very close family as well.” According to the Manchester Evening Standard.
He added: “He chose to refer himself to the GMC off his own back. He was a very honest person and felt it was the correct thing to do as a responsible individual and medical practitioner.”
Dr Halcrow had attended two interviews with the GMC both leaving him hopeful of getting the restrictions lifted. However he felt the final interview had gone badly after he said he would drink socially once the GMC had finished their investigation.
Coroner Dr Jean Harkin said of his death: “It is clear James was an excellent doctor, so much so he was given an award. He was very sociable and this restriction affected him deeply and affected the social side of his life also”
Doctors at Risk
In 2014 a doctor under investigation by the GMC was 20 times more likely to commit suicide than a member general public according to figures from the Department of Health.
South London GP and blogger Dr Una Coales, who has herself faced investigation from the RCGP said:
“The GMC must reform and ensure they arrange counselling and support for any doctor they are investigating or putting under restrictions that may affect employment and pay.”
If you feel affected by any of the issues raised here and need someone to talk with the Samaritans are always happy to listen. They provide a 24 hour, free and confidential service:
Call 116 123
Featured image accredited to DarkoStojanovic