Indiana Bishops suspend all Catholic Masses

first_img Twitter Facebook (Photo supplied/Saint Pius X Catholic Church) Concerns over the coronavirus pandemic have led the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to suspend all public Catholic Mass services until further notice.In a letter to the faith community, which you can read here, Bishop Kevin Rhoades says encourages worshipers to watch Mass on television or via online methods until the situation improves.“Like many other dioceses throughout our country and world, I have made the difficult decision, along with the other bishops of Indiana, to suspend the celebration of public Masses in our diocese due to the escalation of the virus and to help prevent its spread,” Rhoades writes.“In this time of ‘social isolation,’ let us not be isolated in our hearts from thosewho need our love, care and compassion. I am very edified by so many of our faithfulwho are bringing food to the elderly and staying in contact with those who may feellonely, anxious, or depressed during this time. Thank you to all who are doing corporaland spiritual works of mercy in this Lenten season and offering assistance to those inneed during this pandemic.” Facebook WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest CoronavirusIndianaLocalNews Indiana Bishops suspend all Catholic Masses Google+ WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest By Darrin Wright – March 17, 2020 2 449 Previous articlePresident Trump attacks Governor Whitmer onlineNext articleThe ups and downs of the coronavirus stock market, made personal Darrin Wrightlast_img read more

Schools struggle to safely get free meals to needy students

first_img Schools struggle to safely get free meals to needy students Facebook Facebook A cafeteria worker packages hot lunches at Calhoun Elementary School in Calhoun, Georgia on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The city’s school district recently shuttered its doors in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, but the district’s school bus drivers still drive their normal routes to deliver hot meals to an area where 60% of students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. (AP Photo/Angie Wang) AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Schools that feed millions of children from low-income families across the U.S. promised to keep providing meals during the coronavirus pandemic.But cities big and small quickly ran into problems when food workers, teachers and volunteers became infected or were too scared to report for duty. Some districts have been forced to suspend their programs altogether.That’s left families who are already struggling more desperate.After a more than weeklong shutdown in Houston, schools in the nation’s fourth-largest city made changes to reduce risks.The district started giving out enough food to last for several days in fewer locations. WhatsApp CoronavirusIndianaLocalMichiganNews Pinterest Google+ Twitter Twitter Pinterest Google+ By Associated Press – April 12, 2020 3 272 WhatsApp Previous articleThird COVID-19 death reported in St. Joseph CountyNext articleBerrien County officials react to extension of “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications.last_img read more

Police searching for suspect after attempted robbery, shooting on Corby Blvd

first_img WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Police searching for suspect after attempted robbery, shooting on Corby Blvd By Jon Zimney – July 14, 2020 0 381 Google+ Google+ Facebook (Photo supplied/ABC 57) Police in South Bend are investigating an attempted robbery and shooting that happened around 2 a.m. on Monday, July 13.Investigators say a male suspect approached the victim, who was walking in the 900 block of Corby Boulevard.The suspect demanded the victim’s belongings and shot him in the leg. The victim will be okay.Anybody with information is encouraged to contact Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP. Previous articleAnnual Art Beat event in downtown South Bend canceledNext articleSouth Bend Schools releases COVID-19 classroom plans, options Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. IndianaLocalNews Pinterest Facebook Pinterest Twitterlast_img read more

Author: Fall is a great time to visit Indiana Dunes National Park

first_img Twitter Facebook (“indiana-dunes-state-park-1848559” by Adam Asar, Public Domain) With the coronavirus limiting a lot of indoor activities, one national park expert and author says now is the perfect time to go outdoors and consider a visit to Indiana Dunes National Park.Becky Lomax wrote “Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 62 Parks”. Lomax has always been impressed with Indiana Dunes.“Right now, this is peak fall migration and the time to go there because all of the birds that are heading south come right down the shorelines of Lake Michigan and funnel right through the park. If you want to do some wildlife watching and bird watching, this is the time to go there,” said Lomax.Indiana Dunes National Park has a wide variety of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoons, opossums, cottontail rabbits, various rodents, Canada geese, gulls, squirrels, hawks, turkey vultures, mallards, great blue herons, songbirds, and garter snakes.Lomax says walking along the beaches of Indiana Dunes is neat enough no matter the season.“You can also ride a bike up and down the roads. There are also hiking trails there,” said Lomax.Lomax reminds you that you need to make sure you always check the Indiana Dunes website for updated coronavirus restrictions before you decide to do anything with the family.“That involves things like boat tours, bus tours, staying in campgrounds, staying in lodges, etc. All of those things you need to check on before you go,” said Lomax.Indiana is home to three National Parks sites: Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park and Indiana Dunes National Park. Twitter IndianaLocalNews Pinterest Pinterest Author: Fall is a great time to visit Indiana Dunes National Park By Network Indiana – October 16, 2020 0 379 Facebook WhatsApp Google+ Google+ WhatsApp Previous articleGrandfather pleads guilty in toddler’s cruise ship deathNext articleGirl, 3, dies after being dropped off at hospital with life-threatening injuries Network Indianalast_img read more

Sen. Todd Young confronted by Trump supporters on the steps of the Capitol

first_img Pinterest (Saige Driver/95.3 MNC) A number of Republican Senators were swarmed by Trump protestors Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill as they arrived for the Congressional vote count certifying President Elect Biden’s victory.A very exasperated Senator Todd Young told Trump supporters who begged him to vote against the certification that “opinions do not matter in this situation…the law matters…” and added that he “took an oath under God…does that still matter in this country?”Several thousand Trump supporters gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest the certification. Many waved Trump flags, wore his t-shirts and hats.Very few were wearing masks. Facebook IndianaLocalNationalNewsSouth Bend Market Sen. Todd Young confronted by Trump supporters on the steps of the Capitol Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp By Tommie Lee – January 6, 2021 2 454 Google+ Twitter Previous articleWarsaw manufacturer hiring up to 200 employeesNext articleMichigan allows for small fan presence at HS Football and Volleyball postseasons Tommie Lee Google+ WhatsApp Twitterlast_img read more

Several local police agencies to conduct spring bus stop patrols

first_img Several local police agencies to conduct spring bus stop patrols (“31932 2011 Blue Bird 77 Maximum Passenger School Bus” by Bill McChesney, CC BY 2.0) Police in LaPorte and in Kosciusko County are among the 200 agencies ramping up enforcement this spring to protect students going to and from school. Over the next couple of months, officers will be positioned along bus stops and routes watching for stop-arm violations and unsafe driving behavior.The overtime patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the state’s Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program, which was developed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute in 2019.High-visibility patrols will be conducted in the morning and afternoon along routes identified by local bus drivers and school transportation officials.While officers will be focusing on stop-arm violations, they will also be on the lookout for any unsafe driving behavior such as speeding and distracted driving.In Indiana, it’s against the law for motorists to pass a bus that’s stopped and has its red lights flashing and stop-arm extended. This applies to all roads, with one exception. Motorists who are on a highway that is divided by a barrier, such as a cable barrier, concrete wall or grassy median, are required to stop only if they are traveling in the same direction as the school bus.Click here for a list of school bus safety tips. Google+ IndianaLocalNews Facebook Google+ Previous articleDr. Wait: Homemade food sales are illegal, potentially hazardousNext articleReport: South Bend now tops for robberies in Indiana Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter By Jon Zimney – March 22, 2021 0 207 Pinterest WhatsApp Facebooklast_img read more

News story: SpaceX delivers UK missions to International Space Station

first_imgIn the cargo hold is a UK-built satellite that will test different approaches to removing space junk from the Earth’s orbit, as well as an international science package to study powerful lightning from space.Led by the University of Surrey, built by the world’s leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited, and with technology on board designed by Airbus, the RemoveDEBRIS mission will experiment with cost effective technologies that could be used to tackle the problem of space junk.Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:“Space debris is one of the key challenges we face and it’s great to see a British university and some of our innovative space companies leading the way on the search for solutions. It’s also a fantastic example of the unique expertise found in the UK’s growing space sector and the value that it adds to international projects.“The UK Space Agency continues to work closely with industry to develop new technologies and infrastructure to grow our share of the global space market as part of the Government’s industrial strategy.”The RemoveDEBRIS satellite will be deployed from the International Space Station and attempt to capture simulated space debris using a net and a harpoon, while also testing advanced cameras and radar systems. Once those experiments are complete, it will unfurl a drag sail to bring itself and the debris out of orbit, where it will burn up as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.The experiment is important as there are thousands of pieces of space debris circulating the planet – many travelling faster than a speeding bullet – posing a risk to valuable satellites and even the International Space Station itself.Professor Guglielmo Aglietti, Director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, said:“It is important to remember that a few significant collisions have already happened. Therefore, to maintain the safety of current and future space assets, the issue of the control and reduction of the space debris has to be addressed.“We believe the technologies we will be demonstrating with RemoveDEBRIS could provide feasible answers to the space junk problem – answers that could be used on future space missions in the very near future.”Also on board the SpaceX Dragon capsule is a science experiment known as the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM), which will study high-altitude lightning above severe thunder storms. Scientists are interested in these electrical discharges which can produce bright colours – sometimes called red sprites and blue jets – as they can alter the chemistry of the stratosphere and potentially affect the Earth’s climate. ASIM is travelling to the International Space Station in the trunk compartment of the Dragon capsule. Once it arrives, the station’s robotic arm will transfer the payload from the capsule to the external payload facility on the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Columbus module.Dr Martin Fullekrug, the lead UK scientist on the project based at the University of Bath, said:“I have been researching and investigating space and lightning events for over 15 years and the launch of ASIM feels like the pinnacle of my journey into understanding this phenomenon.“This is the first time such a detailed and technologically-advanced measurement device will be flown into space to observe lightning and will hopefully provide us with new knowledge about how lightning is initiated and how the properties of lightning can affect our daily lives in so many different ways.”The experiment, part funded by the UK Space Agency through our investment in ESA and built by the Danish company Terma, will be operated by ESA with involvement from scientists in the UK.Dr Graham Turnock, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency said:“This experiment will give scientists all over the world the opportunity to study the effects of powerful lightning storms from the unique vantage point of the International Space Station. It’s another exciting moment for international space collaboration and commercial spaceflight, which the UK Space Agency supports through the Government’s Industrial Strategy.”last_img read more

Press release: Valproate banned without the pregnancy prevention programme

first_img FSRH welcomes the new regulatory measures on sodium valproate medicines introduced by the MHRA. Evidence is clear that children born to women who take valproate during pregnancy are at a significant risk of birth defects and developmental disorders. Some of these drugs can affect how well some contraceptive methods work. However, women and girls who need these life-changing medications do not have to be left at risk for unplanned pregnancies. Our 2017 clinical guidance on drug interactions with hormonal contraception recommends that women and girls taking sodium valproate use highly-effective methods of contraception to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, both during treatment and for the recommended timeframe after discontinuation. Methods of contraception which are considered highly effective in this context include long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) such as the copper IUD, levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS), the progestogen-only implant (IMP) and sterilisation. Women should seek advice from a specialist, who will carry out a pregnancy risk assessment and provide evidence-based advice on the most suitable method for them. In February this year, FSRH issued a clinical statement on contraception for women using known teratogenic drugs such as valproate, which is intended to support clinicians in providing high quality and consistent contraceptive advice. FSRH will keep working with its members to ensure they are aware of the MHRA decision and can advise women accordingly. Out of office hours: 07770 446 189 (17:00 – 08:30) Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for maternity and women’s health at NHS England, said: Dr Asha Kasliwal, president of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said: Clare Pelham, chief executive of Epilepsy Society, said: To protect public health, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has changed the licence for valproate medicines (Epilim, Depakote and generic brands). Valproate must no longer be prescribed to women or girls of childbearing potential unless they are on the pregnancy prevention programme (PPP).Valproate is a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder. Children born to women who take valproate during pregnancy are at significant risk of birth defects and persistent developmental disorders. If valproate is taken during pregnancy, up to 4 in 10 babies are at risk of developmental disorders, and approximately 1 in 10 are at risk of birth defects.Healthcare professionals who seek to prescribe valproate to their female patients must make sure they are enrolled in the PPP. This includes the completion of a signed risk acknowledgement form when their treatment is reviewed by a specialist, at least annually.All women and girls who are prescribed valproate should contact their GP and arrange to have their treatment reviewed. No woman or girl should stop taking valproate without medical advice.These regulatory changes will be further supported in the upcoming months by: Email [email protected] Our priority is always patients’ safety, so I welcome this decision to take strong actions to protect women and children. The focus will now be on explaining these changes to GPs and clinicians so they in turn can advise patients. Media enquiries FACSaware are absolutely delighted with the new measures as this will enable women to have an informed choice. We look forward to continuing our work with the MHRA to promote the importance of the Central Alerting System and the Yellow Card ADR reporting scheme. We are confident that fewer children will be born with this avoidable syndrome. By working with stakeholders we are definitely achieving our objectives. We welcome this action to reduce the risk of physical and developmental problems in children born to mothers who have taken valproate during pregnancy. Our clinical guideline on the management of epilepsy in pregnancy recommends that exposure to sodium valproate and other anti-epileptic drugs should be minimised by changing the medication prior to conception, as recommended by an epilepsy specialist after a careful evaluation of the potential risks and benefits. It’s important to note that stopping medication for long-term conditions completely or altering the dose can pose a serious risk to both mother and baby. Women are advised to seek advice from their GP and/or specialist team before conception or as soon as they are aware that they are pregnant. For women with epilepsy, the lowest effective dose of the most appropriate anti-epileptic drug should be prescribed and they should be looked after by a specialist team throughout pregnancy. These new regulatory measures are being supported across the NHS with other authorities also making changes – such as new GP system computer alerts – to make sure changes in prescribing behaviour take place promptly. NHS Digital has worked with GP systems suppliers to provide a search and audit function to identify women and girls on valproate as well as updating valproate prescribing alerts. A letter will be sent to all relevant healthcare professionals in the coming weeks outlining the new requirements and providing updated educational materials.In parallel, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is amending its guidelines where valproate is mentioned, to reflect the new regulatory position. NICE has also begun work on a full update of its guideline on epilepsy. This will specifically focus on areas where valproate is currently regarded as the drug of choice and where this conflicts with the new position.Working together, across the health sector, these measures will help reduce the number of pregnancies exposed to valproate medicines to an absolute minimum and will make sure all women and girls of childbearing potential are aware of the risks.Since it was introduced in 1974, the information provided with valproate included a warning about the possible risk of birth defects. As with all medicines, the safety of valproate has been kept under constant review and as new data have become available, and the magnitude and the nature of the risks were better understood, warnings were updated – resulting in this most recent regulatory change.Dr June Raine, director of MHRA’s Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines Division said: We welcome the new rules around prescribing valproate to women of childbearing age. It is essential the information about the changes reaches both the public and professionals, and that any women taking valproate are properly supported to come off the medication safely. Mind’s website has updated information about what these changes mean – visit for details. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK by ensuring they work and are acceptably safe. All our work is underpinned by robust and fact-based judgements to ensure that the benefits justify any risks. MHRA is a centre of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency which also includes the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD). MHRA is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care. We welcome the revised measures which reflect the seriousness of the risks to the unborn children of women with epilepsy during pregnancy. Despite previous interventions, we know there are still far too many women who haven’t been made aware of the potential risks of taking sodium valproate in pregnancy. It is vitally important that healthcare professionals ensure that all women with epilepsy taking sodium valproate are reviewed in line with the new guidelines. We are working closely with the MHRA on the implementation of these new guidelines and will be looking to see if meaningful progress will be made in avoiding life-changing harm to children born to women with epilepsy. Patient safety is our highest priority. We are committed to making sure women and girls are aware of the very real risks of taking valproate during pregnancy. However, we also know it is vitally important women don’t stop taking valproate without first discussing it with their doctor. This regulatory position has been developed through close collaboration with professional bodies, health system organisations, and patient and campaign groups. I would like to particularly thank the families involved in the Valproate Stakeholder Network who have shared their experiences and expertise with us. Their support will help keep future generations of children safe. Carol Long, chief executive of Young Epilepsy, said: Professor Mark Baker, director of the Centre for Guidelines at NICE, said: Simon Wigglesworth, deputy chief executive of Epilepsy Action, said: Dr Angelika Wieck, Royal College of Psychiatrists Perinatal Faculty and Consultant Psychiatrist, Central Manchester University Hospital, said: Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said: Stronger regulation over the use of valproate is welcome and will help ensure women get the advice and care they need. It is important pregnant women discuss their medication with their doctor and crucially do not stop taking it before seeking advice. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society fully supports these new measures to ensure women understand the risks of taking sodium valproate during pregnancy. They must get the right information from health professionals in order to make informed choices about their health and parenting options. Valproate is an effective medicine and women should never suddenly stop taking it without talking to a health professional. Pharmacists are ideally placed to give information and support when providing sodium valproate and are committed to reducing harm from medicines, enabling women to make the choices that are right for them. EndsNotes to Editor Emma Friedmann, campaign director of #FACSaware, said: During office hours: 020 3080 7651 (08:30 – 17:00) Carol Lapidge & Susan Cole, OACS (Organisation for Anti-Convulsant Syndrome) Charity, said: The ABN welcomes these important new measures. It is vital that all neurologists are aware of the changes to the licensing of valproate. We will disseminate information around the new measures to our membership through our publications, website and bulletins. We will also include links to a variety of resources and organisations, including support groups, and remind our membership about the Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register. It cannot be stressed enough that no women should stop taking this medication without medical advice. Young Epilepsy welcomes the MHRA’s strengthened regulatory position for women of childbearing potential, who are diagnosed with epilepsy and prescribed sodium valproate. In ensuring such women receiving a Pregnancy Prevention Programme (PPP), they will have greater knowledge in realising the potential risks taking the drug has to the unborn child. It is vital that women who may be planning to have a family receive the right advice at the right time; to prevent their unborn babies being put at risk. Sodium valproate can provide life-changing support for many young people with epilepsy. It is the third most-prescribed anti-epilepsy medication, however, the percentage of women who do not know the risks of taking the drug during pregnancy is far too high. That information must be made clearer, and medical professionals must be given more support to understand and be proactive in flagging the risks. Women must feel more empowered to discuss the issue with their epilepsy specialist, so that they can make a more informed decision about their future. INFACT welcome the changes made to the licence for Valproate and are pleased and very proud to have instigated and helped drive this forward following 6 years campaigning at Parliament for those changes. It is important that all women prescribed Valproate are made aware of the risks when taken in pregnancy in order to safeguard their future children from disabilities, and INFACT applaud the decision made by the MHRA to ensure that risk is minimal. Karen Keely, chairperson of OACS Ireland, said: OACS Ireland welcomes the new regulatory measures by MHRA Epilim (Valproate) UK Toolkit. Women and men were prescribed this drug as far back as 1973 in the UK with many children harmed worldwide. OACS Ireland welcomes the MHRA efforts to make changes to the way valproate is prescribed to prevent further harm. They brought their concerns to the attention of the EMA and therefore to all EU Nations including Ireland. By ensuring that the Epilim (Valproate) toolkit is securely put in place alongside Pregnancy Prevention Program (PPP) we hope to ensure this is followed by all. We have been working with MHRA for many years now and hope to assist them with their work as much as possible by ensuring the valproate toolkit is followed. We hope that the new guidance will be followed by all. As part of the stakeholder’s network group run by the MHRA which has resulted in inclusive and constructive engagement with groups across the UK and Ireland’s health, science and digital sectors alongside patient groups. Although this process has been a difficult it has been hugely constructive. Without the UK MHRA contributions to the EMA many mothers would not have known the risks of this drug. Stephen Buckley, head of Information at Mind, the mental health charity, said: On behalf of the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) by Professor Mary M Reilly, President, and Professor Sanjay Sisodiya, Chair of the ABN Epilepsy Advisory Group, said: Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: This is a good example of how IT systems can support important issues affecting public health. We have been working closely with the MHRA and GP system suppliers to ensure clinicians in primary care are informed of the risks of prescribing sodium valproate to certain patients. All GP systems have alerts applied and we are continuing to work with some of the suppliers to ensure these high visibility alerts are consistent across primary care. These alerts ensure that GPs are prompted at the time of prescribing. We have also worked with community pharmacy dispensing system suppliers to ensure that the alerts are also shown when prescriptions are dispensed. This includes changes to prescription labels so that patients are made aware of the risks and the need for reliable contraceptive precautions. We will continue to work with supplier partners in evolving system to maximise safety and minimise burden on clinicians and patients as guidance evolves. Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm. For real-time updates including the latest press releases and news statements, see our Twitter channel at Professor Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: Janet Williams & Emma Murphy, INFACT, said: ensure the patient understands the risks to the unborn child of using valproate during pregnancy and provide patient guide ensure the patient understands the need to comply with contraception throughout treatment and undergo pregnancy testing when required e.g. if there is any reason to suggest lack of compliance or effectiveness of contraception complete and sign the acknowledgement of risk form (at every annual visit), give a copy to the patient and send one to the GP refer for contraception services as needed News centreMHRA10 South ColonnadeLondonE14 4PU Valproate can cause harm to unborn children so banning its use in women with mental disorder who are pregnant, or could get pregnant, is welcome. It cannot be stressed enough that no women should stop taking this medication without medical advice. Managing mental health is particularly important for women who are pregnant or plan to get pregnant. It is essential that all women are better informed about the risks of Valproate to unborn children and that any use of this drug in pregnancy will be monitored. RCPsych will work with the MHRA and other Government bodies, the Royal Colleges of General Practitioners, Physicians, Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to implement changes in clinical practice and support affected women. OACS Charity welcomes the prevention measures agreed by MHRA who have consulted with us alongside other campaign groups over the past two years. Since January 2016 OACS Charity has attended every meeting of the Valproate Stakeholder’s Network and we are appreciative that the MHRA has developed this progressive forum for discussion. Next year OACS will be celebrating 20 years supporting and representing families affected by fetal valproate syndrome and we are pleased that the MHRA has developed this progressive forum for discussion. Their work with stakeholders has resulted in inclusive and constructive engagement with groups across the UK health, science and digital sectors alongside patient groups. This has been a difficult but hugely constructive journey. We believe that this process, led by June Raine, will pave the way for other groups who have been adversely affected by medicines in the past. If you have been affected by sodium valproate please see our website These are very welcome measures that will enable midwives to advise and support women about this issue. We are actively putting this information out to our members including on social media and via the RCM’s website so that our members are informed about this important update. We have also updated our online learning package on epilepsy and pregnancy to reflect these changes. MHRA actively encourages patients and healthcare professionals to report suspected side effects through the Yellow Card Scheme As part of the pregnancy prevention programme (PPP) the prescriber must: The most important change today is that every woman and girl of childbearing age who has been prescribed sodium valproate will be able to see her doctor every year to discuss the risks of this drug to an unborn baby. She will leave the discussion with an important written reminder of the risks if sodium valproate is taken during pregnancy. This means that she will be able to make informed choices about whether to plan a pregnancy and her future medical treatment. It has taken many years to achieve these simple, straightforward and inexpensive healthcare improvements that will prevent babies being born with avoidable disabilities. All credit to the brave women who have campaigned for decades. And to Jeremy Hunt for acting on that campaign and insisting the NHS must now learn from its failure to listen and act sooner in response to the concerns raised over many years and during many governments. At Epilepsy Society we shall be diligently monitoring the implementation on the ground in order to confirm that it is robust and effective. Rachel Scanlan, professional advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: Mr Edward Morris, vice president for clinical quality at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: Nic Fox, director of Primary and Social Care Technology at NHS Digital said: GPs are acutely aware of the risks associated with prescribing sodium valproate to women of childbearing age and we welcome this change in legislation as a logical way forward to help ensure our patients’ safety. However, any patients currently taking sodium valproate should not stop doing so without seeking expert medical advice. As a general rule, it is important that patients read and take heed of warnings on the packets of any medication they are taking – and that any woman on long-term medication speaks to their GP if they are planning to have a baby. smaller pack sizes to encourage monthly prescribing a pictogram/warning image on valproate labelling NICE welcomes restricting the use of valproate in women of childbearing potential. It’s important that everyone affected by these changes is made aware of them as soon as possible. We have therefore taken immediate steps to amend our guidelines on the diagnosis and management of epilepsies, the assessment and management of bipolar disorder, depression in adults, and antenatal and postnatal mental health to reflect this important change to the drug’s licence. We will use our communications networks to highlight the changes, both to healthcare professionals and to patients, to help ensure that the number of children exposed to valproate through their mother during pregnancy is kept to an absolute minimum.last_img read more

News story: Washroom suppliers’ merger faces in-depth investigation

first_imgToday’s decision follows the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) initial Phase 1 investigation, which found that the deal could lead to higher prices and lower quality for businesses.Rentokil, which trades as Initial for washroom services, and Cannon are 2 of the UK’s largest suppliers of washroom products and services. They install and maintain equipment such as air sanitisers, feminine hygiene units, nappy bins and soap dispensers in commercial, industrial and public buildings.The firms did not offer measures to address the CMA’s concerns, and so it has referred the merger for a more in-depth, Phase 2 investigation.A decision on the merger will now be made by a group of independent panel members supported by a case team of CMA staff. The deadline for the final report is 12 December 2018.More information can be found on the Rentokil / Cannon case page.last_img read more

News story: Joint statement on UK and Eastern and Southern Africa EPA

first_imgSenior trade officials from the United Kingdom (UK) and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) States met in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 6 to 7 September to continue discussions to maintain the current trade relationship between the UK and the ESA countries after the UK leaves the EU. The UK and ESA states from Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Zimbabwe were represented.Senior trade officials set out their shared understanding that inclusive trade is essential for poverty eradication and sustained growth. Senior trade officials agreed that the UK-ESA EPA should promote development.Officials present were able to conclude technical discussions on wording to ensure operability of a new replicated agreement, subject to final internal consultations.Senior trade officials confirmed therefore that they will be in a position to ensure that the agreement can be in place between the UK and ESA States as soon as the EU-ESA EPA no longer applies to the UK.This significant progress will ensure continuity of trade relations between the UK and ESA States once the EU-ESA EPA no longer applies to the UK, meaning that the parties will maintain the current market access and replicate the effects of the existing EU-ESA EPA. This confirmation, and the future UK-ESA EPA, are without prejudice to the terms of the EU-ESA EPA.Senior trade officials welcomed the progress achieved regarding the UK and EU’s agreement on a time-limited implementation period between the EU and UK following the UK’s departure from the EU, and in particular welcomed the intention for the UK to be treated, for the purposes of EU international agreements, as an EU member state for the duration of the implementation period between the EU and UK.Nevertheless, senior trade officials recognised that it is responsible to prepare for all potential outcomes. Senior trade officials confirm that they are therefore taking steps to ensure that their replicated agreement can be in place, if required, immediately upon the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in March 2019, in the event that no agreement is reached between the UK and EU. During discussions, attendees recognised the UK’s continuing obligations while it remains an EU member state.Senior trade officials reaffirmed that they share a strong ambition to further strengthen their partnership in the future, in order to further benefit both sides. In line with ensuring continuity of effect of this agreement, bilateral transition will include those set of issues which were due to be revisited within the EU-ESA iEPA. As that agreement will no longer apply to the UK, they will now form part of a built-in agenda.Senior trade officials re-affirmed the intention to cooperate closely in order to ensure that the mutual benefits of a UK-ESA EPA are fully realised.last_img read more