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Daily Digest 27 November 2009

Today's roundup - including 'Third World conditions' at Basildon University Hospital, and research suggesting closing schools would cut swine flu cases by a fifth.

By Steve Nowottny

Today's roundup - including 'Third World conditions' at Basildon University Hospital, and research suggesting closing schools would cut swine flu cases by a fifth.

The biggest health story of the day comes from the findings of an unannounced visit by the Care Quality Commission at Basildon University Hospital – the results of which are splashed across multiple front pages. The findings were not a pretty sight, with ‘filthy conditions' being linked with the deaths of 70 patients.

According to the Daily Mail, this is the ‘latest example of patients paying the ultimate price for Labour's failure to stamp out Third World conditions in the NHS', and it's a story that receives wide coverage – in the Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph and the Times among others.

Closing schools would cut swine flu cases by a fifth, according to research published in the journal BioMed Central Infectious Diseases and carried in the Telegraph. However, as the paper adds: ‘Government policy in Britain is that widespread school closures would be too disruptive to society and will not stop swine flu which is already spreading freely.'

The Telegraph also reports that a nurse who turned to alternative medicine had been found by the High Court to be responsible for her boyfriend's death from gangrene.

And finally, a classic ‘elf and safety story makes the Daily Mail and a number of other papers – courtesy of Royston Hospital, which has refused to accept charity cakes donated by Hertfordshire exercise club the Royston Runners. For the past 24 years, the club has required participants in its annual fun run to donate a cake to the hospital as an entry fee.

The Mail reports: ‘But this year, the Friends of Royston Hospital refused to accept the five trays of cakes because of worries over how they might have been prepared.

We can only assume that Basildon University Hospital would have no such qualms…

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

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