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Mental health suffers 8% cut under Coalition, plain tobacco packaging increases quitting and stark-naked sleeping cuts diabetes risk

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

Mental health trusts have suffered an 8% budget cut under the Coalition Government, and have increased their referrals to community mental health trusts by 20% in the same period, the BBC reports.

In conjunction with the journal Community Care the BBC analysed the annual budgets of 43 out of 56 mental health trusts and found funding had fallen by almost £600m annually.

Care minister Norman Lamb, who has committed the Liberal Democrats to tackling mental health funding next parliament said: ‘Funding for mental health has increased since last year but, for too long, mental health has lost out in local spending in many areas.’

Introducing plain cigarette packaging in Australia has lead to a 7% increase in the number of people trying to kick the habit each month, the first comprehensive study of new legislation has shown.

A survey of 5,000 smokers by the Australian Cancer Council found monthly quitters increased from 20% to 27% since a bill was passed in December 2012.

Professor Melanie Wakefield, from the Cancer Council, told The Adelaide Advertiser: ‘These results should give confidence to countries considering plain packaging that plain packs not only reduce appeal of tobacco products and increase the effectiveness of health warnings but also diminish the tobacco industry’s ability to use packs to mislead consumers about the harms of smoking.’

And finally The Express has hit upon an unlikely secret to rude health: nude snoozing.

Research from the US National Sleep Foundation attributes a raft of health benefits to sleeping in the all-together including ‘warding off infection’ (from what is not specified), improved sleep quality, increased calorie burning and even cutting diabetes risk.

The benefits stem from both improved temperature control while sleeping, which improves sleep quality, and also a blood pressure-lowering oxytocin boost from sharing bedding down in the buff with a partner. Digest has asked NICE when it can expect prescribing guidelines.

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