Welcome back for the April edition of Care Sector News Review.
Each month, we'll introduce you to some of the most compelling new stories and research relating to care services, medical research and awareness initiatives.
Read on to find out what's happened across the care sector in April:
- The equivalent of over 900 adult social care workers quit their jobs each day during 2016, new analysis has found. This trend has exacerbated the care home staff shortage in Scotland, with 89% of homes now having at least one position left vacant.
- A new report from Independent Age has outlined what it describes as "stark variations" in the quality of care homes in regions across the UK. The North West was found to contain seven of the 10 local authority areas ranked as “inadequate” or “requires improvement” by the CQC.
- This regional imbalance of care quality has forced many older people into poorly performing care homes, according to Simon Bottery, director of policy at Independent Age. He stated: "Our analysis shows this is the grim reality in some parts of the country."
- Care home staff in Tamworth have been praised for safely evacuating all 28 residents of Standon Care Home for the Elderly, following a fire that struck in the middle of the night.
- A diet that controls certain amino acids could increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment and help slow the development of tumours, a report published by Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute and the University of Glasgow has found.
- People with higher levels of vitamin D and DHEA are at a lower risk of frailty, new research has found. Vitamin D has been found to aid bone and muscle health, while DHEA is thought to influence muscle usage, brain and immune system functionality.
- Reprogramming brain cells could offer a cure for Parkinson's disease at some point in the future, according to a study published in science journal Nature. While still some way short of a breakthrough, initial trials in mice have proved successful.
- Two new drugs – designed to halt neurodegenerative conditions including dementia – have been developed and are expected to undergo human trials in the near future. Both are based on drugs trialled by the UK Medical Research Council in 2013, which were effective but not suitable for humans.
- Medications currently being used to treat cancer and depression may also help in the fight against dementia, according to the Medical Research Council's Toxicology Unit. Researchers from Cambridge and Leicester universities hope to collate trial results within two to three years.
- Fundraising and awareness initiatives have taken place throughout April to mark Bowel Cancer Awareness Month. Participants received sponsorship for completing a 30-day exercise programme, while others donated money or displayed bowel cancer information in public spaces.
- National Gardening Week took place from 10–16 April. The event was marked by garden parties and communal gardening events both of which make ideal spring activities for older people.
Join us again in the last week of May for the next edition of Care Sector News Review.
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