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MPs attack GPs’ cancer record; NHS Direct courts GPs; dementia time bomb

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Tuesday 1 March.

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Tuesday 1 March.

In an exceptionally grim start to the month, today's papers report on how more than 10,000 lives a year could be saved in Britain if cancer care, including GPs detecting of the illness, was as good as the best performing countries in Europe.

A report from the Public Accounts Committee says too many people are dying of cancer in England within a year of diagnosis, usually because they do not seek help when they have symptoms, or their GP does not recognise the disease.

There is also bleak news for dementia sufferers, with the revelation that up to three quarters are going undiagnosed because of the stigma associated with the condition.

And is if all that weren't depressing enough, the Daily Mail reports how one in three hospitals and nursing homes is not providing decent care for the elderly. It reports how Inspectors warned ten institutions that conditions were so bad they could have their licences withdrawn.

The Guardian reports on NHS Direct's efforts - first brought to you by Pulse - to win round sceptical GPs in a bid to secure its future as a provider of both 111 and GP appointment booking and triage services.

It carries an interview with medical director, Dr Brian Gaffney, who admits the organisation's communication skills, when it comes to GPs at least, have been found wanting but claims it has ‘a lot to bring to the table' to work with GP consortia.

‘In the past I suppose it would be true to say that we in some senses neglected or didn't have enough liaison with GPs and GP practices', he tells the paper.

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

Daily digest

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