Long distance trains cancelled after unions launch strike

Several long distance trains were cancelled today after trade unions launched a strike.The strike was launched by the locomotive operating engineers union. All night mail trains have been cancelled as a result of the protest.Trade unions said that talks held in an attempt to resolve the dispute had ended in failure. (Colombo Gazette)

NHS finally agrees to fund HIV prevention treatment after losing legal battle

first_imgSexual health clinics in London, Brighton, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield will be among the first to start enrolling people, with more clinics joining in October before full implementation across England by April 2018. “The evidence shows just how transformative this drug can be as part of our approach to HIV prevention and ending the transmission of this life-changing infection.”This trial will take us one step closer to fully understanding the benefits of PrEP.”Now it is important that this trial is rolled out as quickly as possible across the country to protect individuals who are exposed to HIV and help take us one step closer to ending the spread of HIV in society.” The NHS has finally agreed to fund a controversial HIV prevention treatment from September following a High Court battle over who would pay for the drug.NHS England announced that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a pill taken before sex which reduces the risk of infection by around 86 per cent, will now be provided for 10,000 people in a three year trial.Initially the NHS said that councils should pick up the bill because they are in charge of preventative health. The health service also claimed that it may be forced to cut treatments for cancer victims and children with cystic fibrosis if it was forced to fund the £5,000-a-year drug.Christian groups argued that the efficacy had not been fully proven and warned that the decision was more to do with political correctness than preventative health.However last year The Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling which said the NHS had the power to pay for PrEP.Announcing the decision to fund the treatment today, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens hailed the treatment as ‘a major new intervention’ while the National Aids Trust (NAT) said it was a “pivotal moment” which could transform the English HIV epidemic. Charities said it was a pivotal moment which could transform the HIV epidemic in England  Charities said it was a pivotal moment which could transform the HIV epidemic in England  Deborah Gold, chief executive at NAT (National Aids Trust), said: “We warmly welcome this announcement. This is a pivotal moment in the fight against HIV.”PrEP, if targeted properly at those in need and at risk, offers the possibility of transforming the English HIV epidemic.”From September, people at high risk of HIV will have access via this NHS-funded trial in England to an empowering new tool that is truly individually controlled and not subject to negotiation with a partner, leading to the improvement of many, many lives.Ian Green, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “The priority must now be to make sure that the trial is rolled out speedily across the country, and that no-one at risk of HIV is left behind.”Now that the PrEP trial drug has been procured, we’re well on the way to protecting over 10,000 people at risk of HIV.” Shadow public health minister Sharon Hodgson said: “The start of the PrEP trial is welcome and long overdue after months of delays and heel-dragging by the Government. The £10 million trial is designed to assess the full potential of PrEP by gathering clinical evidence on how it is targeted, taken up, and implemented on a large scale.Mr Stevens said: “This major new intervention should complement and supercharge the wide-ranging and increasingly successful effort to prevent HIV.”It’s another milestone in more than three decades’ worth of progress in tackling one of humanity’s major health challenges.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more