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Hospitals told to do more on suicide prevention, no smoking when baby's on board, and allergy researchers crack peanut problem

Our round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 30 January

Hospital staff need to do more to identify at-risk patients, after a major study in Scotland identified that a quarter of all suicides occur within 90 days of being discharged from hospital, the Independent reports

A study has found that suicides were more common amongst patients discharged from general - rather than a psychiatric - hospitals, but only 14% had a psychiatric diagnosis in their notes.

Lead researcher Nadine Dougall said: ‘Contact with healthcare services offers opportunities for health professionals to engage in suicide prevention. To do this, we need to be able to assess which people are most at risk.’

Smoking in cars with young children could be made illegal within days, after a vote in the House of Lords yesterday passed 222 to 197, according to the Daily Mail. Campaigners have warned that smoking in cars can make fumes 11 times more concentrated, compared with open spaces.

The Government has previously said a ban would be impossible to enforce and could infringe on civil liberties, but following the House of Lords vote, Downing Street said a free vote on the matter could happen as early as 10 February.

And finally, allergy sufferers from around the world could someday enjoy the world’s most commonly mistaken legume as the BBC reports 85 children have trained their immune systems to tolerate peanuts. The study, published in the Lancet, gave children a peanut protein powder, equivalent to one seventieth of a peanut and built up the dose incrementally every two weeks.

One of the researchers, Dr Andrew Clark, told the BBC: ‘It really transformed their lives dramatically; this really comes across during the trial.’

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