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Independents' Day

Don't blame the beansprouts, cervical smears shunned and IVF guidelines 'flagrantly breached'

Our round-up of the health headlines on Tuesday 7 June.

By Laura Passi

Our round-up of the health headlines on Tuesday 7 June.

When will it end?! Today we learn, it is not the bean sprouts that is the source of the E coli outbreak in Germany.

So far 22 people have died as a result of the outbreak and across Europe 2,300 have become ill. Investigations are still underway and in the meantime Germany has issued a warning against eating beansprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce still upheld. Bratwurst is still considered OK.

Questions are being asked about the 'financial strength' of Circle Health of Circle Health, a private health provider, after its parent company prepares to 'float' on the stockmarket this week. Circle Health was the first company to run a NHS hospital but has recently lost a few big contracts worth 42% of its £63m turnover.

According to the Daily Mail one fifth of women 'shun' cervical smears because they worry about missing work to have the test done. These figures come from a survey of 2,700 women to mark Cervical Screening Awareness Week. Mr Music, Director of Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, said: 'Giving a woman just a couple of hours off work every three years or five years or simply offering her an appointment outside normal surgery hours could mean the difference between life and death.'

The Independent reports research by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Infertility which has found via FOI requests that 'women unable to conceive naturally are being denied IVF on the NHS because they are too young too old too fat smoke or live in Wales – in flagrant breaches of the guidelines.' Apparently 70% of PCTs are ignoring NICE guidance to offer three free cyces of IVF to infertile couples and five trusts Warrington, West Sussex, Stockport, North Yorkshire and York, and North Staffordshire, don't even provide IVF on the NHS.

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

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