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Daily Digest 19 November 2009

Today's roundup - including the A&E waiting times fiddle and how drinking beer will help your heart.

By Steve Nowottny

Today's roundup - including the A&E waiting times fiddle and how drinking beer will help your heart.

New figures from the Information Centre on A&E waiting times appear in a number of papers this morning. As the Daily Telegraph reports, a new breakdown of the figures shows that ‘patients are three times more likely to be admitted to a hospital bed in the last ten minutes of the four-hour wait than over the period as a whole'.

‘Patients shunted on to wards to beat waiting time targets', reports the Daily Mail. The Sun meanwhile goes with the simpler ‘A&E fiddle to meet targets'.

Research suggesting that alcohol may cut heart disease also gets a lot of coverage, from the BBC, Telegraph and Mail among others. First price for an imaginative intro goes to the Independent though, who picture six bottles of Carlsberg below the appealing headline ‘Drink all this every day and have a healthier heart.'

There are new fears that a surge in swine flu admissions for children could lead to a shortage of intensive care beds – a story which appears widely, including in the Times and the Telegraph.

The Guardian's report, though, has perhaps the most telling comment, cautioning against reading too much into predictions by reminding us that ‘the pattern of H1N1 pandemic infections is proving unpredictable.'

And the decision by NICE to refuse to treat patients on the NHS with the liver cancer drug Nexavar, also known as sorafenib, is also in the news. ‘Patients denied last-ditch liver drug' is how the Telegraph covers it – the Daily Mail, which knows a dramatic headline when it see ones, simply goes for ‘Condemned to an early death'.

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

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