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Better care fund 'shambles', novel prostate cancer treatment and how hip hop can beat the blues

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

A report from the National Audit Office has criticised the Government’s flagship Better Care Fund, the BBC reports this morning.

The NAO review found potential savings have been overstated and the programme was ‘over-optimistic’.

Apparently Public Accounts Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said the fund’s roll-out had been a ‘shambles’.

But a Department of Health spokesman said: ‘This is the most ambitious plan to transform care ever undertaken and we ensured detailed work took place a year ahead of the launch to allow us time to iron out the issues.’

The Independent has news of a new approach to treating prostate cancer.

Researchers have found that an anti-angiogenic compound - SRPK1 - reduced the size of prostate cancer tumours in a mouse model.

Co-author Professor David Bates, from the University of Nottingham, said: ‘Our results point to a novel way of treating prostate cancer patients and may have wider implications to be used in several types of cancers.’

Finally, Cambridge University academics have identified three hip hop classics they claim can help people overcome depression and other mental illnesses,The Telegraph reports.

The three songs are Juicy, by the Notorious BIG, The Message from Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five and Lady Heroin by J Flex featuring the Lady of Rage.

The tracks reflect situations of social deprivation and marginalisation that many people who develop mental illnesses and substance misuse experience, but also offer messages of hope and resilience, according to the researchers.

Dr Akeem Sule, consultant psychiatrist at Cambridge University, commented: ‘Hip-hop artists use their skills and talents not only to describe the world they see, but also as a means of breaking free. There’s often a message of hope in amongst the lyrics, describing the place where they want to be – the cars they want to own, the models they want to date.’

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