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Daily Digest 12 October 2009

Today's roundup of the GP and other health stories making the headlines - including new questions over whether doctors will agree to be vaccinated against swine flu and intrigue in NHS chief executive David Nicholson's love life.

By Steve Nowottny

Today's roundup of the GP and other health stories making the headlines - including new questions over whether doctors will agree to be vaccinated against swine flu and intrigue in NHS chief executive David Nicholson's love life.

We start this week with a story in the Guardian, reporting concern among senior figures in the Department of Health and at NHS trusts that doctors and nurses are intending to ‘shun' the swine flu vaccine. Leading DH figures have apparently written six times in the last five weeks to trusts stressing the importance of NHS staff being vaccinated – but some hospital trusts fear as few as 10% or 15% of their doctors will have it.

The Daily Telegraph has a front-page story on a health service alert warning that donor organs have been found to have cancerous tumours, other diseases or have been too damaged to use. A search of the National Patient Safety Agency database has apparently uncovered 11 similar reports of faulty organs.

The Daily Mail, the Telegraph and others cover a warning from the Royal College of Surgeons that patients are dying as a result of the EU-imposed 48-hour working week for doctors.

‘£500m bitter pill' is the headline for a Sun investigation into the cost to the NHS of unused medication which goes out of date every year.

And finally – and it's not every day that we write this – the love life of NHS chief executive David Nicholson has hit the headlines this morning.

The Telegraph writes that Mr Nicholson, 52, has ‘come under scrutiny' for his relationship with Sarah-Jane Marsh, who at 20 years his junior and as chief executive of Birmingham Children's Hospital is Britain's youngest hospital boss. Mr Nicholson and Miss Marsh are due to marry – but the scrutiny of the happy couple arises because they first met when Miss Marsh was a graduate trainee in Mr Nicholson's office in 2002, and Mr Nicholson has subsequently provided a number of references for her during her rise through the ranks.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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