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111 patients face delays, Hunt says overtime is 'danger money', and low fat diets less effective for weight loss

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

The Telegraph reports that patients with life threatening conditions in one part of the country have had to wait up to twice as long for an ambulance because they called NHS 111 instead of going direct to emergencies.

An investigation by the paper into South East Coast Ambulance Trust has prompted a Monitor review after it found the trust running an ‘experiment’ to give itself an extra ten minutes to respond to ‘Red 2’ calls, which include strokes.

The response time target for life-threatening conditions is 8 minutes. Trust chief executive Paul Sutton said: ‘The process was undertaken to ensure that the right response was provided to patient… we recognise that it was not well implemented… These are serious findings.’

Another chapter in the ongoing Junior Doctors contract row, as Jeremy Hunt has again stoked the ire of the medical profession by claiming that the NHS pays the minority of doctors who work more than the legal 56 hour week, ‘danger money’.

The Guardian reports that doctors on social media disputed the term was ever used in the NHS, and objected to the characterisation that they were paid to do unsafe work.

Mr Hunt told the BBC: ‘There’s a very small minority of doctors who will be working more than an average of 56 hours and at the moment they get paid what’s called colloquially in the NHS “danger money”.’

And finally - low-fat diets are not the best way to shift weight, reports The Times.

The report is based on a study of nearly 70,000 adults, published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, which showed that diets that cut out fat were actually slightly less effective than those based on lower carbohydrate consumption.

People on low-fat weight loss plans lost on average 5.4kg (12lb) a year – but people on low-carbohydrate diets lost around 1.15kg (2.5lb) more.

Lead author Deirdre Tobias, from Harvard Medical School, said: ‘There is no good evidence for recommending low-fat diets. Behind dietary advice to cut out fat, which contains more than twice the calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein, the thinking is that reducing fat intake will naturally lead to weight loss. Our robust evidence suggests otherwise.’

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