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CQC chair calls Hunt crazy, early Christmas Day drinking on the menu and artificial heart transplant takes place

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Monday 23 December.

It’s the time of year where you get together, eat lots and have arguments with your nearest and dearest, and this is no different at the top echelons of the health service it seems.

CQC chair David Prior, a former Conservative Party chairman, has described the health secretary’s idea to personally call chief executives of trusts who miss the four-hour A&E waiting target as ‘crazy’.

The BBC reports that the Department of Health said Mr Hunt ‘would not be doing his job’ if he did not keep in touch with frontline staff at hospitals, including chief executives.

Mr Prior said: ‘There is an obsession. It’s crazy to have a secretary of state doing that.

‘Of course he’s doing it because he’s held accountable, but what it all leads to is more money being put into A&E departments when that money should probably be put into primary and community care to stop people falling ill.’

Staying on the traditional Christmas theme, the Guardian reports that more than half of us have had our first drink by lunchtime on Christmas Day, with one in six starting at 11am.

The YouGov survey of 2,190 adults commissioned by the British Heart Foundation found that almost one in ten reached for the bottle so they did not feel left out of family celebrations.

But, like Charles Dickens, the digest can’t leave you on a low note over Christmas. So here is the ultimate bringer of cheer, the Daily Mail, with the news that the first artificial heart transplant has successfully taken place in France.

French medics said that a male patient was awake and responding well following Wednesday’s ground-breaking operation at the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris.

Marcello Conviti, head of the Carmat biomedical firm, said: ‘We are delighted with this first implant, although it is premature to draw conclusions given that a single implant has been performed and that we are in the early postoperative phase.’

And on that note, a merry Christmas to you all!

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