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Foetal remains incinerated as clinical waste, NHS fraud predictions six times too low, and stressed ladies have fewer babies

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Monday 24 March.

Twelve NHS trusts have admitted to incinerating the remains of aborted and still born babies alongside clinical waste, with two even using remains in waste-to-energy schemes, according to The Telegraph

An investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme - to be broadcast tonight - found that parents who had lost children in early pregnancy had been treated ‘without compassion’ and were not consulted on what should be done with the remains.

Health minister Dr Daniel Poulter branded the practice ‘totally unacceptable’ and issued an immediate ban. The CQC has also said it will investigate the programme’s findings.

Fraud in the NHS could be costing the health service as much as £5bn a year, according to former director of NHS counter-fraud services, Jim Gee, who argues that Government estimates are 20 times too low.

The Guardian reports that Gee is due to publish a report on the issue this week and he told the BBC’s Panorama programme that the DWP has six times more staff to tackle fraud than NHS Protect, who employ just 300.

Gee told Panorama that if the Government estimates on fraud costs were accurate ‘it would be doing 30 times better than any other healthcare organisation in the world.’

The Independent reports that stress could play a major part in conception as women with high levels of the stress biomarker, alpha-amylayse, were less likely to conceive than their most relaxed peers.

The study, published in the journal of Human Reproduction, compared 373 women and measured levels of cortisol and the salivary enzyme, they found that women in the top third of the alpha amylase levels were 29% less likely to conceive and twice as likely to be clinically infertile.

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