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Daily Digest 22 September 2009

By Ian Quinn

Today's round-up of the GP and other health stories making the headlines.

The high price of bungled treatment features heavily in today's newspapers.

The Times devotes the whole of its page 3 to a story revealing patients having hip replacements at private treatment centres are up to 20 times more likely to need painful and expensive repair work.

Many operations are having to be redone in NHS hospitals, shows a study by orthopaedic surgeons in Cardiff . It found of 113 hip operations on patients sent from their NHS trust to Weston-super-Mare NHS Treatment Centre between 2004 and 2006, two thirds showed clear evidence of poor surgical technique.

It's not just dodgy hips giving patients grief- as many as one in six patients in GP practices and NHS hospitals are being misdiagnosed, claims the splash in the Daily Telegraph.

Research led by Professor Graham Neale, of the Imperial Centre for Patients Safety and Service Quality at Imperial College, concludes doctors are making mistakes in up to 15% of cases because they are too quick to judge patients' symptoms.

As if this wasn't alarming enough, the report reckons the figure is ‘just the tip of the iceberg', with many people still reluctant to report mistakes by their doctors.

From tips of icebergs to a ‘tsunami' of Alzheimers, the headline the Telegraph uses for a warning from novelist and Alzheimer's sufferer Sir Terry Pratchett that the Government is spending less a year on researching the disease than the cost of building a mile of motorway.

The next wave of swine flu, meanwhile, occupies the Times, which features a study predicting the expected autumn surge could trigger a spate of heart attacks.

As could studying photographs of a scantily clad Victoria Beckham in spiked heels... and these are among images which could be subject to new health warning, according to the Telegraph.

It reports how politicians in France want a new warning on airbrushed photos, which would mean published images must have a bold printed notice stating if they have been digitally enhanced, in a bid to stop children starving themselves to death to look like their idols.

Previous health warnings on another hot beauty topic linked to death - sunbathing - may have to be rewritten, however, claims The Independent. It reports on research showing that getting a bronzed skin may, up to a certain point, help protect against a wide range of diseases, because of the boost in provides to vitamin D levels, and that it could actually help cancer sufferers.

Sunbathing may help people with skin cancer survive is probably one of the more controversial theories of the day but if only sunbathing, rather than a nice autumn of swine flu to look forward to, were top of our agenda.

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

Daily Digest

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