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Independents' Day

Daily Digest 30th September 2009

Today's roundup of the GP and other health stories making the headlines - including: Gordon Brown's conference pledges, chaos in the HPV vaccination programme and the powers of sexual healing

Today's papers are dominated by Gordon Brown's attempt to breathe life into a Labour Government which if it were a patient would be looking even bluer than the country's fast changing political landscape.

The Sun did its best to sabotage any hope of a revival as it jumped the Labour ship in plenty of time to claim victory at the next election for Rupert Murdoch. To mark the occasion the paper, for a change, uses page 3 to report on politics rather than semi-naked models, claiming under Labour the NHS has become a giant supermarket

It attacks 'gimmicks' such as choice and GP-led centres which it claims have become '24-hour convenience stores'

The still-Labour-leaning Daily Mirror dedicated more space to Sarah Brown than the PM but did report that report that under his cancer reform proposals patients who fear they have cancer would have the right to see a specialist within seven days of their GP.

The BBC offers its own analysis of yesterday's speech highlights, including Mr Brown's health plans, which will also guarantee all patients being able to see their GP out of office hours.

Most who do are likely to be complaining about bad backs and muscle pains, according to reports they are the biggest cause for sick leave . The subsequent story in Mirror, suggests that around 9.5 million working days are lost as a result of these health problems and suggests earlier diagnosis is the answer

Today's papers carry news that the 14-year-old girl from Coventry who died on the same day as receiving the HPV vaccine had serious undiagnosed underlying health problems, which almost certainly caused her death. But it has not stopped them carrying other stories about the vaccine, including the case study of a 13-year old girl in Birmingham who lost the full use of her legs after contracting a virus, following the jab.

Most of the papers are responsibly reporting the story and avoiding too much scaremongering. The Mirror featuring a video with the title:' cancer jab 'unlikely' death cause'. The Independent offers a Q&A on the topic. But the Daily Mail's front page declares 'Chaos over cancer jabs for girls'- interestingly the header for the same article online has been changed to something more moderate. The Mirror features the story a few pages into the paper - with the words DONT PANIC taking up a third of a page, a phrase always gauranteed to achieve the opposite result.

There is reason for women to be alarmed in today's headlines. The Sun & Telegraph highlight a study published yesterday in the BMJ. Women who gain weight between the ages of 18 to 40 reduce their chances of living to 70, by 80% according to a retrospective US study.

Women are also warned, by the Daily Mail, that loneliness and the resulting stress and anxiety from ‘social isolation' could increase the risk of breast cancer.

And the remedy for these ailments? Well, the The Sun reports that women who have sex less than twice a month have less ‘vitality' and a worse psychological outlook than those that regularly have orgasms. Those who were fortunate to be in the latter group also suffered less ill health and reported more energy.

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


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