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Babies born at weekends at higher risk of dying, Wollaston attacks Government and the pubs serving only small glasses of wine

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

Having a baby on the weekend rather than a weekday is ‘significantly’ more fraught with risk in English hospitals, reports the Daily Mail.

A major new study into 1.3m births found the risk of the baby dying was 7% higher on the weekend, and ‘one-in-six’ could be avoided.

The findings will no doubt fuel the Government in its push for hospitals to have the same staffing at weekends as during the week, as scientists said their study raised questions over weekend provision.

However in a comment piece for the Telegraph, which brands the seven-day plans ‘a dangerous obsession’, GP MP Dr Sarah Wollaston warned that unless the Chancellor - due to reveal his Autumn Statement today - is willing to fund social care, then ’no one should be under any illussion’ that the £3.8bn funding increase for next year will ’solve the financial challenges facing our health service’.

Dr Wollaston also criticised the Spending Review decision to remove ring-fencing of the public health and health educations budgets, announced yesterday.

She wrote: ’The fate of the NHS will also depend on the settlement for social care funding outlined in today’s spending review. Any A&E department will tell the Chancellor that winter pressures are mainly the result of so-called “exit block”.’

In Scotland, more than 100 pubs, bars and restaurants have signed up to a deal not to serve wine in glasses larger than 125ml, reports the BBC.

The scheme, set up by the Scottish Government Alcohol Industry Partnership, was welcomed by Scottish public health Minister Maureen Watt who said it was a ‘simple and effective’ way to promote responsible drinking.

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