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Four-hour A&E target 'looms over every other measure', Lancet publishes manifesto and the common chemical causing havoc

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Managers, politicians and regulators should pay less attention to the four-hour waiting time target in A&E, according to a think tank report featured in The Guardian this morning.

The Nuffield Trust says that the four-hour target has come ‘to loom over every other measure’ in monitoring emergency care.

Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust, said: ‘Politicians and regulators need to stop micro-managing this target and should instead examine how to put the four-hour target on an equal footing with other critical indicators like trolley wait or time to treatment.’

The Telegraph are reporting the Lancet journal’s unusual decision to publish their own ‘manifesto for health’ in a strongly worded editorial which attacks the ‘culture of blame, fear, and intimidation in the UK’s health system.’

The journal says that, following scandals such as Mid-Staffs and Shipman, regulation ‘is used as a tool to threaten, punish, and harm’.

The professionals in the NHS, it says, ‘are seen as problems to be managed. An obsession with inspection has also blinded us from thinking about health as more than a health-sector issue’.

And the BBC is reporting that common chemicals which disrupt human hormones could cost over €150bn a year in damage to human health in Europe.

A series of studies presented to the annual meeting of the Endocrinology Society said that limiting exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) could have significant benefits. The chemicals have been linked with declining sperm counts, some cancers, impaired intelligence, obesity and diabetes.

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