May 17, 2020

Hypnosis treatments could save millions for the NHS

medical conditions
2 min
Hypnosis to cut NHS costs
In a move that could save the NHS millions of pounds patients could receive hypnosis treatments for medical conditions such as depression, pain and irr...

In a move that could save the NHS millions of pounds patients could receive hypnosis treatments for medical conditions such as depression, pain and irritable bowel syndrome.

According to the Royal Society of Medicine’s (RSM) Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine Section, hypnosis is an effective cure for pain and depression.

Medical experts believe that if hypnosis is offered by the NHS as a medical treatment the UK’s health service could save millions of pounds in costs.


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However, the RSM warned that the NHS needs to actively protect patients against rogue hypnosis practitioners, claiming the use of such services could cost the health body more money.   

It is thought that non-medically trained hypnotists can actually cause harm to patients because they don’t have a medical understanding of diseases.  

When hypnosis is practiced correctly, however, the RSM says that it can work as a treatment where more traditional ones have failed.

“Conditions such as depression, pain and irritable bowel syndrome affect millions of people in the UK and a great cost to the NHS,” said the president of the RSM's Hypnosis Section, Jacky Owens in an interview.

“But hypnosis can often work where other treatments have been unsuccessful.”

 Owens is a qualified hypnotherapist and uses hypnosis in the treatment of cancer patients.  She added: “If doctors were able to refer patients to properly trained hypnotherapists, it would save a cash-strapped NHS a great deal of money.”

“We're confident that with more research, hypnosis will be recognised as an extremely useful tool to be used alongside mainstream medicine.”

“What we need are doctors, dentists, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, radiotherapists - the whole gamut of people who treat patients - trained in using hypnosis as another tool in their treatment programme.” 

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Jun 15, 2021

 NHS trials test that predicts sepsis 3 days in advance 

2 min
Queen Alexandra Hospital is trialling a new sepsis test by Presymptom Health that uses machine learning to detect the onset of the disease

A new test that can predict sepsis before the patient develops symptoms is being trialled at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the south of England. 

Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of the blood test, which they hope will help them save thousands of lives a year. 

The test is being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health, but the research began over 10 years ago at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This included a study of 4,385 patients and more than 70,000 samples, the largest study of its kind at the time. 

From the samples taken, a clinical biobank and database were generated and then mined using machine learning to identify biomarker signatures that could predict the onset of sepsis. The researchers found they were able to provide an early warning of sepsis up to three days ahead of illness with an accuracy of up to 90%.

Unlike most other tests, Presymptom Health identifies the patient’s response to the disease as opposed to detecting the pathogen. This is an important differentiator, as sepsis occurs as a result of the patient's immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury, which can then cause life-threatening organ dysfunction. 

Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost two million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If Presymptom's test is effective, it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for millions of sepsis patients.

The initial trials at Queen Alexandra Hospital will last 12 months, with two other sites planned to go live this summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years. 

If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics.

Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said: “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”

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