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Healthcare 'has improved' across the UK in past four years, prostate cancers are being given false hope and Scottish organ donations have doubled

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Friday 11 April.

The Guardian reports on a study by the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation which shows that healthcare has improved across all four countries of the UK in recent years, though waiting lists in Wales have lengthened following cuts in NHS spending.

It has found that, in spite of political mudslinging, variations in the running of the NHS across the four countries, including greater or lesser involvement of the private sector, have made little difference to outcomes.

‘What is interesting is that, despite hotly contested policy differences in structure, targets, competition, patient choice and the use of non-NHS providers, no one country is emerging as a consistent frontrunner on health system performance,’ said Andy McKeon, senior policy fellow at the Nuffield Trust.

Meanwhile the Telegraph reports that up to half of men diagnosed with prostate cancer are being given ‘false hope’ by tests that are underestimating the severity of their disease, according to the authors of a new study.

The research by Cambridge University found that 50 per cent of men who were reassured that their disease was slow-growing and confined to the prostate in fact turned out to have more dangerous tumours.

In addition, in one third of cases, the biopsies used to establish the severity of disease did not even detect that it had spread beyond the prostate, the major study found.

Finally, the BBC reports that Scottish organ donations have doubled since 2007.

A total of 106 people donated organs in hospitals across Scotland last year compared with 54 in 2007.

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