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Hugh Pym

Hugh Pym Health editor

Welcome to Hugh's View - my take on the latest stories, issues and debates in health

Sepsis: Antibiotics 'not working'

20 August 2014
Bacterial infection
Sepsis is a potentially fatal condition caused by the body's immune system overreacting to infection

Patients are dying from sepsis because of a lack of effective antibiotics, an expert is warning.

Mark Bellamy, president of the Intensive Care Society, told the BBC the problem of resistance would get worse unless new and effective antibiotics were developed.

Sepsis is triggered by infections and causes around 37,000 deaths a year in the UK.

NHS England says hospitals should work together to tackle the problem.

Sepsis usually develops from blood poisoning and involves a dramatic reaction by the body's immune system.

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Robin Williams' death has sparked wider debate

15 August 2014
Robin Williams

The tragic death of Robin Williams has generated a wider debate about depression and how society deals with mental illness.

Phone-ins and water cooler discussions have ranged around the sad circumstances of the Hollywood star's suicide and the fact that he had suffered with depression for some years - and the news on Friday that he may have been in the early stages of Parkinson's raises even more questions.

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The front line of the UK's Ebola prevention efforts

13 August 2014

I grew up in Wiltshire all too aware of the Ministry of Defence's major presence in the county, especially on Salisbury Plain.

We all knew that there were top secret establishments, including one where spooks and boffins researched mysterious and deadly weapons of germ warfare. That was Porton Down.

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The very public NHS privatisation debate

Cancer care
Cancer care is one area where contracts are being put out to tender

It has been one of the talking points of the week and one of the most hotly debated subjects on social media - is the NHS in England being privatised by the back door?

Labour has tried to push the issue, arguing that privatisation is being forced through. And one estimate put the number of contracts being advertised at nearly £6bn.

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Could bulk-buying save NHS pounds?

Surgical gloves
Could there be a better deal on gloves?

Would it be better if the NHS bought in bulk?

That's the question that has arisen since I wrote about how the health service procures essentials like surgical gloves and incontinence pads.

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NHS 'wasting millions on supplies'

Clinical waste bag
The cost of clinical waste bags varies greatly

Ever wondered how much your local hospital pays for incontinence pads, medical wipes or surgical gloves?

I guess its not the sort of thing you want to think about for too long, if at all.

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Could the future hospital be in the home?

Blood pressure check
Patients can report symptoms like blood pressure remotely

High-speed online access has radically changed consumer shopping habits and transformed the economics of industries like banking and retail.

Could something similar be about to happen in healthcare?

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The key questions for the NHS

Doctor with stethoscope

Welcome to Hugh's Views - as the first health editor for BBC News it will be my topical take on all things health related.

Around Whitehall and senior levels of the NHS in England I am hearing the view that there needs to be a cross-party debate on what can be delivered over the next five years and beyond.

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Hugh added analysis to:

UK economy grows by 0.8% in first quarter

29 April 2014

Talk of quarterly growth accelerating to 1% in the first quarter of this year proved unfounded.

But with services, manufacturing and construction all registering expansion between January and March, a more balanced recovery seems to be developing.

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Hugh added analysis to:

UK economy growing at fastest rate since 2007

28 January 2014

Many headlines can be drawn from these figures - the fastest annual growth since 2007 and the first unbroken year of expansion since then are the obvious ones.

And yet … fourth quarter growth was slower than in the previous quarter and the economy is still 1.3% below the pre-recession peak. Much of the growth contribution between October and December came from the high-flying services sector.

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About Hugh

Hugh Pym has been reporting politics, economics, public spending and NHS finance for more than two decades. He has worked as a correspondent for BBC and ITN, and is the co-author of several books - his latest, Inside The Banking Crisis, was published in May 2014.

Hugh comes from a medical family - his father was a doctor, his brother has pursued a successful career in research, and his mother was a vet. The family joke was that the dog got more sympathy than anyone else who was feeling unwell.

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