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Cost of locum A&E cover soars, 50,000 more cancer cases a year and norovirus closes hospital wards

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 14 January.

The cost of paying temporary doctors to work in A&E is becoming increasingly expensive, according to the Independent. The research from the Labour Party shows that the cost of temporary shifts in England has increased by 60% over three years.

Dr Cliff Mann, president of the College of Emergency Medicine, said: ‘It is not an efficient way of spending NHS money and can be damaging for morale when doctors work alongside other, sometimes less qualified doctors, who are earning much more.’

Sky News is reporting this morning that cases of cancer are increasing by 50,000 per year, due to an ever-expanding elderly population in the UK.

Some 330,000 people were diagnosed with some form of the disease in 2011 - an increase of almost 50,000 per year over a decade. Researchers say an ageing population is behind the change. Jessica Kirby from Cancer Research UK said: ‘People’s risk of cancer goes up significantly as we get older; the more older people we have in our population the more people will develop cancer.’

Five wards at two hospitals in Wales have been closed due to norovirus, adding to pressures on hospitals at this time, says the BBC.

Director for infection prevention and control in Cardiff, Dr Eleri Davies, said: ‘It is very difficult to stop the spread of norovirus once it is in hospital so we are asking the public to help support us by restricting visiting to what is absolutely necessary.’



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