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NHS cash splashed on holidays and summer house, sperm bank appeals to male vanity and cannabis smoking reaches 35-year high

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

Thousands of NHS budget cash has been spent on holidays, a pedalo ride and even a summer house, report papers and breakfast TV shows this morning.

The exclusive investigation carried out by Pulse has been picked up widely, including making the front page of the Mirror and the Metro.

The Daily Mail quoted Pulse editor Nigel Praities, who said: ‘It is easy to see that a holiday or a summer house could have a powerful effect on an individual patient’s wellbeing, but can the NHS really afford these luxuries at a time of austerity?’

Professor Nick Watson, professor of health and wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, told Pulse: ‘I think that we are going forward on poor evidence and there is a clear ideological drive behind it.’

A national sperm bank set up one year ago to address a UK-wide shortage has attracted only nine donors to date, writes the Independent

The centre based at Birmingham Women’s Hospital opened to meet growing demand from same sex couples and older women undergoing fertility treatments, but its chief executive Laura Witjens said they are now being forced to consider a new marketing campaign - which would appeal to male vanity.

She said: ‘If I advertised saying “Men, prove your worth, show me how good you are”, then I would get hundreds of donors. That’s the way the Danish do it. It’s a source of pride’.

Lastly, marijuana use among US college students have hit a 35-year high, reports the Guardian.

Nearly 6% reported using marijuana daily, or nearly every day, up from 3.5% in 2007 but still less than the 7.2% recorded in 1980.

Lead author from the University of Michigan, Lloyd Johnston, said: ‘For the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students, and this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.’

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