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GPs buried under trusts' workload dump

Labour's plans for GPs, a new HIV jab and the pill to make you stay sober

Our roundup of health news headlines on Thursday 29 September.

GPs may find themselves being integrated into new health organisations should Labour win the next election, the Guardian reports.

John Healey, the shadow health secretary, has indicated that a Labour administration would aim to join up parts of the health service – bringing together GPs, hospitals and social care.

Elderly patients will hope they would get a better deal from such an approach with the Royal College of Surgeons being reported by the Telegraph as saying that elderly people needing emergency operations are being ignored ‘to the point of neglect' because hospitals care more about meeting waiting time targets.

And they are not the only waiting for treatment as the Telegraph also reports (not on website) that the number of patients now waiting more than six weeks for diagnosis, 18 weeks for treatment and four hours in emergency departments has increased by 410,000 in the last year.

Doctors are again being urged to get themselves vaccinated against flu after Imperial College, London research suggested that dozens of vulnerable patients could have died after catching the virus in healthcare settings, the Telegraph reports.

New figures in the Telegraph [again, not online] also show that one in 10 toddlers are still not getting the MMR jab, a lower take-up than before Dr Andrew Wakefield's discredited research linking it to autism.

A new jab is being tested, the Telegraph reports, which researchers claim could reduce HIV to a ‘minor chronic infection' akin to herpes. Spanish researchers found that 22 out of 24 healthy people (92 per cent) developed an immune response to HIV after being given their MVA-B vaccine.

A smoking cessation pill that costs just 12p each to buy online can more than triple a smoker's chances of giving up, potentially saving NHS commissioners money.

The Guardian reports that the success of ‘Tabex' is down to the active ingredient cytisine, which is derived from laburnum seeds.

Meanwhile scientists are developing a ‘stay sober' pill which may spare the blushes of those who get drunk too easily, by limiting the effects of alcohol on their brains.

‘In a fascinating experiment, mice given the drug did not even get tipsy, despite being fed enough alcohol to make them stumble and fall over,' the Mail reports.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know, and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

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