Live updates

Antibiotic resistance is 'around the corner' warns GP

A GP has warned that the prospect of antibiotic resistance is "around the corner" as research struggles to keep up with the pace with growing bacterial resistance.

Sarah Jarvis said that doctors have warning about the overuse of the drugs for years but face"so much pressure" from patients who are determined to get the medication.

She said that action is needed to help develop new classes of the drug, but warned against complacency from patients.

This isn't a situation that is 100 years from now," she said. "This is around the corner."

Medics 'treating antibiotics as cure-all miracle pills'

Antibiotics have for too long been treated as a "bottomless pit of cure-all miracle treatments" a report from MPs has warned.

It said that urgent steps were needed to stop doctors and vets from prescribing antibiotics when they were not needed amid a fight to prevent the spread of superbugs.

Committee chair Andrew Miller has said some doctors are giving out the drugs as a placebo to complaining patients Credit: PA

"Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses and other diseases that are not caused by bacteria and the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics has contributed to the acceleration of antibiotic resistance," said the dossier from the Science and Technology Committee.

It said that urgent steps were needed to stop doctors and vets from prescribing antibiotics when they were not needed amid a fight to prevent the spread of superbugs.

They have also called for the Government to offer financial incentives to ensure that new drugs are developed "before the pipeline of antibiotics runs dry".


'Decisive and urgent' steps needed on antibiotics

David Cameron must take "decisive and urgent action" to tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance, a committee of MPs has warned.

The Prime Minister last week launched a review into the issue, which he said threatened to send medicine "back to the dark ages". He was urged not to wait two years for its outcome before taking steps to stop unnecessary prescription and boost research to find new classes of lifesaving drugs.

MPs outlined plans for a package of measures including better training of doctors, "rigorous" public awareness campaigns, and "cheap, rapid and accurate diagnostic tests".

Doctors urged to prescribe fewer antibiotics

Doctors must stop prescribing antibiotics unnecessarily under measures needed to preserve the power of the life-saving drugs, the Science and Technology Committee of MPS has warned.

The report said that 'decisive and urgent' action was needed on the issue Credit: PA

They called for "decisive and urgent action" from the Government to prevent the spectre of antibiotic resistance, including steps to prevent both doctors and vets from giving out the drugs to people and animals who do not need them.

Andrew Miller MP, who chairs the committee, said they had heard of GPs prescribing antibiotics simply as "dummy" placebos or to "placate patients with distressing symptoms".

He said there was also a suspicion that the drugs were routinely given to health animals on farms, also raising the risk of growing bacterial resistance to the drugs, making them less effective over time.

Families call for public inquiry into care home sector

Families of those who died at the now defunct Orchid View care home in West Sussex have welcomed the recommendations of the Serious Case Review into the "institutionalised abuse" their relatives suffered, but are calling for a full public inquiry.

Enid Trodden was one of 19 elderly residents who died amid 'sub-optimal care' at a Southern Cross run care home in Copthorne. Credit: Family handout/PA

Lesley Lincoln, whose mother Enid Trodden died at the Southern Cross run home said she wrote six letters of complaints, all of which were ignored by the company.

"Possibly it would have solved some problems if you feel there's a direct route to address your concerns. You feel so alone, I feel very guilty, I wrote six letters of complaint and they weren't taken seriously, some of these deaths may not have happened if they had been taken seriously."

Mrs Lincoln said that a public inquiry could lead to greater responsibility being laid at the hands of companies running the homes.


Care home review calls for greater scrutiny of sector

The independent chairman of the Serious Case Review into a Southern Cross run care home said he supported calls for an independent care home sector to be placed under the same as care under the NHS.

Wilfred Gardner, one of 19 elderly residents who died amid 'sub-optimal care' at Southern Cross care home, Orchid View. Credit: Family handout/PA

Publishing the findings of the review, Nick Georgiou said:

"A number of the concerns identified in the recent past with hospital services in the NHS have been echoed at Orchid View and it is right that the scrutiny and demands for improvement in the NHS are also expected from the independent sector.

"As a result of the concerns about the NHS there have been recent government consultations relating to a duty of candour, the fit and proper person test, and a new offence of wilful neglect where people have mental capacity.

"This Serious Case Review wholeheartedly supports them being applied to independent sector businesses and organisations.

"As the role of independent sector care businesses has grown, the number, frailty and vulnerability of people dependent on their care has increased.

It is critically important that these services demonstrate that they can provide the quality of care necessary. In this case the service provider failed."

'Harrowing' care review makes 34 recommendations

A Serious Case Review (SCR) into a care home run by Southern Cross has made more than 30 recommendations in a bid to prevent the "institutional abuse" that coroners found contributed to the death of five elderly residents.

Read: Care home criticised for 'top down' abuse of residents

The SCR, commissioned by West Sussex Adult Safeguarding Board, made 34 recommendations in its answers to a series of questions asked by the family members of those who died at Orchard View, and how regulations can be improved. Key recommendations include:

  • It should be a requirement for care businesses to prove they can recruit and sustained skilled staff
  • Relatives should have a named point of contact within homes
  • Concerns over safeguarding should be escalated outside the care home, if not dealt with promptly and properly
  • Emergency services should have named contacts so they can access care home more easily
  • Care providers should be contractually required to hold open meeting with residents and their relatives on a regular basis - a local authority representative should be invited to this and minutes should be shared

Health care inspectorate: 'Lessons will be learned'

Health and social care inspectorate body the Care Quality Commission said they were "appalled" by the Serious Case Review into the deaths of five residents of Orchard View care home, and admitted they did not act quickly enough.

They were criticised by the coroners report into the death for giving the home a "good" rating a year before shutting it down.

Chief Inspector Andrea Sutcliffe said the blame for the "sub-optimal" care lay with those working in the home.

I was appalled by the descriptions of what had happened at Orchid View. Today’s Serious Case Review once again shows what a truly tragic situation this was and my thoughts remain with the people who suffered such awful care and with their families.

The Serious Case Review shows the primary responsibility for these failings rests with the people providing services at Orchid View, together with their owners Southern Cross.

Ms Sutcliffe admitted the Care Quality Commission missed early warning signs, and did not act quickly or strongly enough. She said:

At CQC we made a commitment to take a long, hard look at our role, make sure lessons were learned - and most importantly - turn those lessons into action.

We know from our own review that we did not fulfil our purpose of making sure Orchid View provided services to people that were safe, compassionate and high quality.

Relatives call for 'dramatic changes' to care homes

The bereaved relatives of those who died at a Southern Cross run care home are calling for "dramatic changes" to improve care standards across the UK.

Read: Care home criticised for 'top down abuse' of residents

Jean Halfpenny, one of 19 elderly residents who died at the now-defunct Orchid View care home.

Linzi Collings, whose mother Jean Halfpenny died whilst living at the £3,000-a-month home said she was appalled and baffled by the findings of the coroner's inquest and called for home owners to be more accountable.

Speaking ahead of the Serious Case review into her death due to be published this afternoon, she said:

"How the corporate failings of Southern Cross could create these events and how such terrible standards could go unnoticed by the authorities for so long has left us baffled.

"In this day and age you expect measures to be in place to protect vulnerable members of society from being subjected to such horrendously poor care.

"We believe dramatic changes are needed to the current care system, starting firstly with greater accountability for care home owners if they are found to be making unnecessary mistakes and offering substandard services."

Load more updates