Inside Health

BBC Radio 4


Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, separating fact from fiction and bringing clarity to conflicting health advice, with the help of regular contributor GP Margaret McCartney


Vaccinations, One-to-one midwives, Leg ulcers, Asthma inhalers

October 15th, 2013

Episode 191 of 329 episodes

How would you feel if your child's immunisations were linked to benefits or child care? In Australia, a full set of vaccinations is now a requirement for accessing most types of child care and claiming family tax credit worth around 500 a year. The only exception is if parents ask to be registered as conscientious objectors. Dr Steve Hambleton is President of the Australian Medical Association and explains how well these measures have been received. University of Sydney researchers have just published a new study adding to a body of evidence that pregnant women who see the same midwife require less intervention, have safer outcomes and are more likely to breastfeed their babies. They also save the healthcare system over 300. Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, tells Inside Health that adoption of this "caseload" model in the UK has been slow. Around half a million people in the UK have some form of leg ulcer, and up until recently many would have them dressed in the community for years, without the underlying cause ever being diagnosed and treated. But this now looks set to change, as new guidance published by NICE recommends that if ulcers last more than two weeks, patients should be referred to a specialist vascular clinic. Like the one at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, run by consultant vascular surgeon Mr Paul Hayes. Last year the NHS spent around 800 million on asthma medicines, but research suggests that at least half of people given the most common type of inhaler do not use them properly. This means their asthma remains poorly controlled and the NHS is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds. Mike Thomas is Chief Medical Advisor to Asthma UK.