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Labour to save NHS by integrating health and social care, whistleblowing enquiry needs you, and low vitamin D associated with dementia

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Thursday 7 August.

Shadow care minister Liz Kendal has said a Labour government’s revolutionary plan for funding the NHS deficit would be to use the savings made from integrating health and social care, according to the Guardian.

The Guardian reports that the King’s Fund think tank is currently developing a report on potential savings, but warns any savings re likely be low - athough some predict savings of up to £8bn. In a speech today Ms Kendal will say: ‘It will be a choice between care going backwards, with fragmented services and money wasted under the Tories – or Labour’s plans to fully join-up the NHS and social care so we get the best results for users and the best value for taxpayers’ money.’

NHS staff who have dared to rise above the parapet, and subsequently have it taken off by the combined ire of managers, colleagues, and the media are being urged to submit their experiences for a new whistleblowing inquiry being run by Sir Robert Francis QC.

The Telegraph reports that Sir Robert has already said incidences of bullying and cover ups were more common than he expected, and the paper even reiterates accusations against the CQC that it instigated a cover up of its failings.

Sir Robert said: ‘We need a culture where ‘I need to report this’ is the thought, foremost in the mind of any NHS worker that has concerns - a culture where concerns are listened to and acted upon.’

And finally, the BBC reports that shut-ins, recluses, and the elderly could be at greater risk of developing dementia after researchers found an increased incidence of the condition in people severely deficient in vitamin D.

The team from Exeter University followed 1,650 participants over 65, and found that just 1 in 10 of the 1,169 with good vitamin D levels developed dementia, compared to one in five in the most severely deficient participants.

The team warned it was too early to conclude the two were linked, but said if they were over it could have ‘enormous public health implications’ by supplementing vitamin D in the diets of the elderly who don’t produce vitamin D as efficiently from sunlight exposure.

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