Guidance Notes and Best Practice Guides
NICE: Patients suspected of having hypertension should be sent home and told to wear a monitor for 24 hours, rather than having their blood pressure checked in the clinic, says NICE. Currently, anyone suspected of having high blood pressure is diagnosed by a GP with an inflatable arm cuff. They are then invited back to the surgery for additional readings so that an average measurement can be calculated.
But in a radical change to the existing guidelines, NICE now recommends that a diagnosis of hypertension should be made using 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM). This should be offered to patients if the clinic blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher. The process involves wearing a type of mobile blood pressure monitor that straps around the waist and records numerous blood pressure measurements throughout the day & night.
NICE: NICE has recommended the use of golimumab (Simponi) as a treatment option for ankylosing spondylitis in specific circumstances, in final guidance. Ankylosing spondylitis is a progressive condition that causes inflammation, mainly in the lower spine. This leads to back pain and stiffness, and can also affect the hips, shoulders and knees. It can additionally cause bones and joints to fuse together.
The condition can have a debilitating effect on quality of life due to the pain & reduction in mobility that it causes, and the effect it has on sleep. Patients & clinical specialists told the NICE committee that it can also cause lead to people being unable to go to work. Full guidance is available on the NICE website, alongside a costing template to help with its implementation.
CLG: A new, simple 'how to' guide for communities wanting to start up, share or save their own community orchards that could help reverse the national decline in traditional orchards has been published by Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles recently.
CLG: Housing Minister Grant Shapps recently urged local authorities not to become landlocked in their quest to meet local housing needs - but to consider how new powers restoring local control over housing provision and planning can enable people to choose boats on water alongside bricks & mortar. He said boats with residential moorings could be an example of how unconventional housing can allow people to live in areas of the country where perhaps they couldn't afford to do so otherwise.
As new moorings could be eligible for the New Homes Bonus, the Minister said that there was a strong incentive for councils & communities to grant planning permission for more residential moorings. British Waterways has recently published guidance for development of new residential moorings sites as an aid to local authorities & private investors.
NICE: NICE has published its final guidance supporting the use of the Inditherm patient warming mattress to prevent inadvertent hypothermia during surgery. The Inditherm mattress is designed to be used for patients having surgery involving an anaesthetic who may be at risk of inadvertent hypothermia, a common & preventable complication of surgery. Possible consequences of inadvertent hypothermia include increased blood loss, increased heart problems, increased risk of wound infection, longer recovery times and longer hospital stay.
TUC: The TUC has called for urgent action to reduce dust levels in the workplace, a hazard which is responsible for thousands of deaths in the UK every year. In new guidance which is being sent out to all union safety reps, the TUC outlines the case for stronger action against dust and shows that the current standards used for the assessment of dust exposure in the workplace are totally inadequate.
The TUC publication says that there is now clear scientific evidence which suggests that the current UK limits for inhalable & respirable dust should be much lower. It cites research showing that a considerable number of the cases of cancer & lung diseases caused by dusts come from exposure that is well below the current legal limit.