Ganfyd:Current events

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Selected daily news DNUK

Infectious disease news ProMED

UK momentary Google Health

BMA news BMA

UK Government DoH News

Medical News O/E

Ganfyd news

Occasional significant medical items which we have a main article about


August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

  • Ebola outbreak in Congo's Equateur province first where vaccine strategy tried from early on
  • A large number of elderly women in England failed to get mammography for breast cancer screening as intended up until 2016. An estimated 270 of them died who might not have. This was blamed on a programming error by those responsible for commissioning, evaluating, accepting, operating and supervising the software and process.
The software is closed source and out-sourced. Open source software does not prevent such errors, but does prevent the concealment of faults in programming and prevents the prevention of corrections being written and published. Administrative, business, and political methods of preventing corrections and improvements being used are not a programming matter.
  • Job offers are withdrawn from higher medicine speciality trainees in the UK due to human error and the allocation process is to be rerun.

April 2018

  • The harm of excess oxygen use above evidence based levels is estimated on meta-analysis to potentially impact on hospital mortality

February 2018

  • Many antidepressants do work, but now prescribers have some that have better efficacy and acceptability than others.

January 2018


December 2017

November 2017

Junctional epidermolysis bullosa is treated successfully by genetic modification of a whole body skin graft

August 2017

May 2017

  • NHS IT security has its largest embarrassment and impact on patient care to date. It is suspected that no official root cause analysis will report during the general election purdah. NHS computers running the customised Linux distribution NHSbuntu were not affected. The obsolete ones running Windows XP crashed rather than propagating or competently running the malware - a ransom worm.

April 2017

  • The true scale of waste of money involved in political NHS decisions is exposed with detailed analysis of NHS Englands Cancer drugs fund failure. Selected politicians, industry, patient pressure groups and regrettably prescribers share the blame.
  • The NHS is likely to be a major secondary campaign topic in a British General Election taking place in June
  • Progress is reported in controlling several tropical diseases - only 25 cases of Guinea worm were reported in 2016, 3000 odd of sleeping sickness and cases of lymphatic filariasis fell by a third to 1 billion.

March 2017

February 2017

  • Further evidence that austerity may have an impact on public health in England and Wales is published to some controversy as the official view is that influenza effects have not been controlled for.

January 2017

  • The English NHS has a worse Winter crisis than has been the case for many years. This was predicted and is believed by many to be related more to chronic under-resourcing of health and social care sector rather than poor whole systems design and NHS management.


November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

  • For the first time a baby was born who in a reasonable sense had three parents. The nuclear-and-birth-mother carries a mitochondrial genetic disorder, leading to Leigh syndrome. The conception procedure was carried out in Mexico where the rules are left more to professional discretion than the UK or USA. The technique was one of several ways which are possible to assemble an individual from three others - not the one approved and licenced in the UK. The cytoplasm from a donor egg was used to house the nucleus from one of the mother's eggs and the result was fertilised with the husband's sperm and implanted in the nuclear-mother. A possible failure mode is that the nucleus might bring with it a mitochondrion expressing the mutation for the disease, and that such mitochondria might reproduce more readily than the ones which do not. There is no reported indication of the latter happening thus far. [2]
  • The Juniors doctors industrial action in England resumes with announcement of a 5 day strike and more 5 day strikes to follow. By the end of the month the threatened strike action had been called off on grounds of patient safety.
  • Aducanumab has promising clinical development in Alzheimer's disease

August 2016

  • On further inspection of hospital mortality figures the suggested weekend effect which appears present in figures from the 21st Century appears only in the first 5 years of it, and analysis suggests that whatever effect was present had been removed by changes some time before Mr Hunt (The UK Secretary of State for Health) announced widespread but poorly defined changes aimed at removing it.
  • Internal DoH papers leaked to the Press indicated disquiet and a set of red lights for the proposed changes among civil servants.

July 2016

  • The new UK Prime Minister (Ms May) did not find a replacement for the Secretary of State for Health (Mr Hunt).
  • Junior doctors in the UK reject the new contract on offer which is then imposed. Formal industrial action is expected to resume.

June 2016

  • It is discovered that denosumab may have potential in prophylaxis for carriers of BRCA1 mutations where the most effective prophylaxis known to date is mastectomy and/or oophorectomy.

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

  • Analysis of the fine print of NHS planning and policy documents released late 2015 to January 2016 reveal reassertion of central control of NHS spending in England and major impacts on parts of the service such as community pharmacy provision. Such a reform was not unexpected. Further fine tuning central control documents are expected with the publication of the Carter review.
  • The government proposes to impose a contract on Junior doctors in England from August. Further industrial action follows.
  • A Private Members Bill (and thus unlikely to progress) to remove from doctors controls on working hours common to the European Community is to be given a second reading in Parliament.

January 2016


December 2015

  • Talks to avoid a junior doctors strike in England in January are reported to be not going well
  • Ebola transmission ended in Guinea.

November 2015

  • Three new cases of Ebola in Liberia which had been declared free of Ebola transmission.
  • Junior Doctors in England vote by 98% to strike
  • Colistin resistant gene MCR-1 gene spreads widely in enteric bacteria from focus in China where colistin type antibiotics widely used as veterinary growth promoters in pigs. This is not the specific practice in many other parts of the world, but highlights that the food industry has contributed significantly to poor antibiotic stewardship practice
  • Gene therapy using transcription activator-like effector nuclease technology produces first complete remission of childhood lymphoblastic leukaemia

October 2015

  • The West African Ebola outbreak appears to be fully contained but given infectivity now known to sometimes persist for months Ebola free does not mean no new cases possible
  • Nobel prize in medicine awarded to discoverers of ivermectin for roundworm infection (one of which Ascaris lumbricoides is discovered to increase human fertility at the end of the month) and the discover of artemisinin for malaria

September 2015

  • The previously postulated prion like properties of some variants/processed products of amyloid precursor protein important in Alzheimer's disease and some cerebral amyloid angiopathy get media attention.
  • The BMA ballots junior doctors on strike action on an imposed contract in England shortly after it enters negotiation on a new consultant contract.
  • The West African Ebola virus outbreak has simmered for a month at 2-3 new cases a week.
  • WHO notes that there is insufficient engagement to prevent a serious outbreak of MERS.

August 2015

  • NHS doctors in general are unhappy with the UK government's proposals for 7 day non-emergency working suggested as an intervention to address weekend mortality. This results in the withdrawal of junior doctors from negotiation.

July 2015

June 2015

  • Coronavirus MERS outbreak in South Korea, from travel to Saudi and escaping to China. More rapid and precise public health measures might have contained this.

May 2015

  • Campaigning for the UK General Election is on a platform of no major re-organisation of the NHS.

March 2015

  • Report on another NHS scandal -this time on over 6 years of poor maternity care around Morecambe Bay.
  • Use off licence of medications is clarified in UK by both government and courts.

February 2015


See 2014


See 2013


See 2012


See 2011


See 2010


See 2009


See 2008

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