Crime compensation scheme traumatising survivors, report finds

‘Unethical’ claims process can re-trigger trauma, says victims’ commissioner

Survivors of violent crime are being re-traumatised by the government’s compensation body, according to a report.

The victims’ commissioner, Helen Newlove, said her review into the criminal injuries compensation scheme found that victims were alienated and frustrated by the process. Many reported that the compensation scheme was so stressful it could re-trigger trauma.

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Glasgow hospital design to be reviewed after pigeon infections

Cryptococcus confirmed as contributing to child’s death at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

An infection linked to pigeon droppings was a “contributing factor” in the death of a child at Glasgow’s flagship Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the Scottish government’s health secretary, Jeane Freeman, confirmed.

Freeman made the announcement as she ordered a review of the design of the hospital following the deaths of two patients last month who had both been infected. The other was an elderly patient who she said had died from an unrelated cause.

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Elderly who don’t want dialysis often pressured to get it

(Reuters Health) - Doctors tend to steer elderly people with failing kidneys toward dialysis even when patients say they'd rather avoid such treatments, a new study finds. And when patients decline dialysis, which wouldn't buy much more time for a frail, elderly patient, doctors often try to convince them to change their minds, the study shows.

My patient made racist remarks about me. I decided to do something about it

I’ve encountered racism since I was a junior doctor. We rarely talk about it, but it hurts like hell and damages the NHS

Every day doctors experience some form of abuse in the NHS yet we rarely talk about it. There’s lots of evidence of the racism we face: I’ve seen it, colleagues have told me about it, and last week I experienced it. This time, however, I decided to do something about it.

I am a GP in Glasgow and one day last week, a patient saw me walk out at reception. They approached the receptionist and said they wanted an appointment but not with an Asian doctor. My receptionist said: “She’s Scottish.” The patient replied: “She doesn’t look Scottish”, to which my receptionist asked: “What do Scottish people look like?” I didn’t hear the conversation but my receptionist told me about it afterwards.

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Fertility experts call for ditching of UK’s 10-year limit on egg-freezing

Rule requiring destruction of eggs criticised as ‘arbitrary and arguably discriminatory’

Fertility experts have urged the government to overturn “discriminatory” fertility rules that require women who freeze their eggs to use them within 10 years.

Beyond this limit, clinics are compelled to destroy the eggs even if this goes against the woman’s wishes. The only exception is for women who are prematurely infertile.

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A student’s death: did her university do enough to help Natasha Abrahart?

The parents of a Bristol physics student who took her own life are crowdfunding to make sure the full story is told

It began with a knock on the door. A police officer, sombre faced, saying she had tried earlier but the bell seemed to be out of order.

Natasha Abrahart, 20, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend, talented Bristol University second-year physics student, a keen musician who enjoyed indoor climbing and baking cakes, was dead. Worse – if it can be worse – she appeared to have taken her life, alone in her student room.

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Mentally ill people more at risk of losing benefits, study shows

Concerns that DLA system discriminates against those with psychiatric disorders

People with mental health problems such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and low mood are at far greater risk of having their benefits stopped than those with physical ailments, research shows.

Benefits claimants who have a psychiatric condition are 2.4 times more likely than those with diabetes, back pain or epilepsy to lose their entitlement to disability living allowance.

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If we don’t stop smearing smear tests, women will die of embarrassment

Women continue to receive negative messages about this simple, benevolent test – and that could mean thousands of lives lost unnecessarily

A smear test, or cervical screening, as it has been rebranded in the hope of making this most unfairly loathed of all tests sound a bit more appealing, hurts. So the lore goes, anyway. Of all the routine medical checks out there, it’s the one devised by “Dr Pap” in the 1940s, when cervical cancer was the biggest killer of women, that gets most, well, smeared. It is seen as being intrusive, offensive, scary, gross. Never mind the fact that cervical screening helps pick up changes to cells that could eventually lead to cancer. Never mind that they save thousands of lives every year. Smear tests are embarrassing.

These are the messages women continue to receive, whether openly, subliminally, through word of mouth, by default or negative association. While it’s true that most things are more fun than a smear test – and I say this as someone who has had abnormal smears and after the birth of my first baby, developed an unexpected, thankfully short-lived fear of speculums – the same could be said of many routine checks.

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Extreme sex OCD: Pure, the TV drama that’s set to smash taboos

The protagonist of this darkly funny new series is plagued by incessant sexual thoughts. We meet the woman whose extraordinary story it is based on

Trying to navigate the world with a mind that renders almost everyone you see either naked or engaged in sexual congress is less fun than it may sound. It is exhausting, in fact, to spend a whole day in extreme cognitive dissonance about whether or not you want to be in flagrante delicto with a TV presenter, simply because she appeared on your screen that morning. Such is the mind of 24-year-old Marnie, the protagonist in Channel 4’s new primetime drama, Pure.

The show explores a young woman’s experience with obsessive compulsive disorder. We join Marnie on a journey from a place of frightening inner chaos to a tentatively accepting one, when she is finally able to give a name to the way she thinks. After a calamitous event at her parents’ 25th wedding anniversary in the Scottish Borders, Marnie – played by newcomer Charly Clive – boards a coach to London with nothing in the way of a plan.

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Blood test could detect Alzheimer’s over 10 years earlier – study

Changes in levels of a protein might reveal onset of disease long before symptoms appear

Changes in levels of a protein in the blood could help shed light on damage in the brain more than a decade before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease develop, researchers have revealed.

While there is no drug to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s, or cure it, the team say the study findings could be used by doctors to help anticipate when patients might start to show symptoms of the disease.

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