Health

Autism diagnoses ‘could be reduced under NHS plan’

Image copyright Getty Images Proposals to reduce the number of children being diagnosed with autism are being considered by NHS commissioners in south-west London. The idea of restricting an autism diagnosis to only the most severe cases was discussed earlier this month. The local alliance of five clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) says nothing has been decided yet. But the National Autistic Society says it is “deeply concerned” about the plans.

Germany vaccination: Fines plan as measles cases rise

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Parents look set to be punished if they fail to get their children immunised The German government plans to introduce fines of up to €2,500 (£2,178; $2,806) for parents who refuse to get their children vaccinated. Health Minister Hermann Gröhe said it was necessary to tighten the law because of a measles epidemic. He was speaking to the popular daily Bild. “Continuing deaths from

Why Greek mountain villagers have healthy hearts

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Elderly villagers are well known for their good health and long lives Scientists have pinpointed one reason why people living in isolated villages in Greece may enjoy long and healthy lives. They found a new genetic variant, common among villagers, which appears to protect the heart by lowering levels of “bad” fats and cholesterol. Despite a diet rich in animal fat, the people of

Charlie Gard’s parents fight for Supreme Court hearing

Image copyright Family handout Image caption Specialists at Great Ormond Street say there is no accepted cure for Charlie’s rare disease The parents of ill baby Charlie Gard who want to take their son to the US for treatment are bidding to take their case to the Supreme Court. Chris Gard and Connie Yates failed in their appeal against a High Court ruling that the eight-month-old should be moved to

Kettering General Hospital ‘fiddled’ waiting time records

Image copyright James Haynes/Geograph Image caption Whistle-blower David Whelan claims Kettering Hospital covered up waiting times to avoid being fined Thousands of patients were removed from a hospital’s waiting lists in a bid to “fiddle” the system, it is claimed. A BBC investigation found thousands of Kettering General Hospital patients had waited a year or more for operations. David Phelan, a hospital trust governor, claims patients were removed from lists

Ancestry.com denies exploiting users’ DNA

Image copyright Bloomberg A leading genealogy service, Ancestry.com, has denied exploiting users’ DNA following criticism of its terms and conditions. The US company’s DNA testing service has included a right to grant Ancestry a “perpetual” licence to use customers’ genetic material. A New York data protection lawyer spotted the clause and published a blog warning about privacy implications. Ancestry told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours its terms were being

Charlie Gard’s parents lose life support court appeal

Image copyright PA Image caption Charlie’s rare disease has left him unable to cry and made him deaf Doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to ill baby Charlie Gard, Court of Appeal judges have ruled. Charlie’s parents appealed against a ruling made last month that would allow specialists to move their eight-month-old son to palliative care. Chris Gard and Connie Yates had raised £1.3m to send him to the US

Fitness trackers ‘poor at measuring calories burned’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Do I really deserve that ice cream or not? Most fitness trackers are good at measuring heart rate but poor at measuring calories burned, a study suggests. As a result, people should be cautious about using them to judge what to eat, Stanford University scientists said. The study recommended that companies release data showing how their devices work out measurements. The accuracy of seven

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: Ethiopian wins top WHO job

Image copyright AFP/Getty Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia will be the next director general of the World Health Organization (WHO). He will be the first African to head up the UN agency, after winning the most votes from 186 member states. He replaces Margaret Chan, who will step down from her 10-year post at the end of June. During her tenure, the WHO’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West

Assaults between care home residents reported daily

Police recorded 1,200 assaults between residents living at care homes between 2014 and 2016, the BBC has found. More than one assault a day was reported in England and Wales, an investigation by File on 4 revealed. Some care workers said they were not always given full information about who might pose a risk. The Care Quality Commission, the health regulator in England, said it was the responsibility of care