Public Health England names two more listeria death hospitals

Megan White
1 / 2

Doctors to be asked whether assisted dying law should change

Doctors are to be asked if they think they believe there should be a change in the law on assisted dying. The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) is to consult its 53,000 members on the issue. This will be the first time it has done so in six years.The current stance is it is opposed to any change in the law on assisted dying and the result of a 2013 consultation was that members said the college should not change its stance.On Saturday, it was decided by the college's governing council another consultation should now take place.RCGP chairwoman Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: "Assisted dying is an incredibly emotive issue that polarises opinions."It has been nearly six years since we asked our members as to whether we should support a change in the law on assisted dying - since then, it is possible that views within our membership have shifted."As such, RCGP Council has decided that the time is right to conduct this consultation, and we will be issuing further details of how we will do this in due course."Details as to how the consultation will take place are to be made public in due course.Assisted suicide is illegal in the UK.Doctors found guilty of helping someone to die can be jailed for up to 14 years.

Two more NHS trusts where patients died from a listeria outbreak have been named by Public Health England.

Five patients have died from the infection after eating pre-packaged sandwiches at hospitals across the country.

The latest two deaths took place at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Public Health England also revealed that the Good Food Chain, who supplied the contaminated sandwiches, had sent affected products to a further 43 NHS Trusts, as well as one independent provider.

Matt Hancock has ordered a review of NHS food after listeria death toll hit five (AP)

The first two deaths were at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, while a third happened at Aintree Univesrity Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Other cases, though not fatal, have been identified at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (two cases), Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.

The business was supplied with meat produced by North Country Cooked Meats, which has since tested positive for the outbreak strain of listeria and also stopped production.

Listeria infection is rare and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people.

However, it can have more serious consequences among those with pre-existing medical conditions, pregnant women and those with a weak immune system.

The first case showed symptoms on April 25 and sandwiches and salads were withdrawn on May 25, as soon as a link with the cases was suspected.

It is understood that some of the products were sold at hospitals while others were given to patients.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock ordered a review of NHS food after the outbreak was made public.

He said he was "incredibly concerned" and that "staff, patients and families deserve so much better."

Mr Hancock added: "I have been incredibly concerned by this issue and strongly believe that we need a radical new approach to the food that is served in our NHS.

"Staff, patients and families deserve so much better - our NHS should be at the forefront of supporting people to make healthy choices.

"I have instructed the NHS to conduct a root and branch review of hospital food."