Which is better for the NHS?
- by admin
More than 100 hospitals in England have switched to a cheaper form of colostrum and now use it as part of the standard routine in newborns.
This was announced by the Health Minister, Andrew Lansley, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists annual conference in London.
It is part of a major shift by the NHS to lower the cost of colestrum in order to give it a more favourable status in hospitals.
Dr Andrew Walker, chairman of the Royal Society of Obstetrics and Gynocology, said: “The fact that we are now switching to this cheaper alternative is a positive thing, but there are some important caveats.”
First of all, the NHS is still the only government health service that is using this cheaper colostum.
“Secondly, it does not provide enough support to prevent the risk of complications and there are still major barriers to getting pregnant.”
Thirdly, there are also some health inequalities between the colostrums and the babies that could be affected.
“The new formula is a combination of different ingredients, including vitamin A and E and a form of lactose which makes it more palatable.
It was introduced in the UK in 2011, but it has not been widely adopted by hospitals, despite a growing demand for it.
The move is being hailed as a win for the public purse.
However, Dr Walker warned that the NHS had been left behind.
He said:”If we don’t change this, we could see a whole new set of health inequalities, and we are losing people who are desperately trying to get pregnant.
“The government should be looking at this as a way of improving the quality of life for all patients.”
The NHS said the switch would help to lower costs by allowing more babies to be born.
Dr Walker said the move was not perfect and would still be possible for some hospitals.
He told the conference: “It will still take some time, but we think it is an important step forward.”
The Royal College’s Dr Walker said that although the NHS could benefit from the switch, it was also losing out on the value of the health care it provides.
He added: “There are still a number of hospitals that do not use colostrapes and the fact that they are in the NHS means that they have to spend a lot of money to have colostraps delivered.”
If you are not using them, then that is a significant financial burden on the NHS.
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