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Seaweed pills, ""the end of tea and sympathy"" and how would you score your GP?

A round-up of the health news headlines on Thursday 7 June

Several of this morning´s papers report on the new points-scoring system allowing patients to give their GPs marks out of ten.

The Independent says the data, which will be published online, will be used to help GPs and the NHS make improvements to health care.

More than 8,000 GP practices will take part in the project in England, according to the paper.

Questions will include how easy it is to book an appointment, how long patients have to wait in reception, what the opening hours are like and whether the doctors and nurses are good at explaining things and listening.

The new data will be available to patients on the NHS Choices website, The Independent says.

The Guardian is among the papers warning that too many CT scans could lead to brain cancer in children.

The paper reports on a government-funded study which found that exposure to ionising radiation during such scans could triple the risk of under-15s developing brain cancer or leukaemia  later in life.

Two or three scans would be sufficient to heighten the risk to such levels for brain cancer, while five to 10 would similarly lift the risk of leukaemia, according to a study funded by the Department of Health and the US National Cancer Institute.

The study looked at data covering nearly 180,000 patients under 22 who had not already been diagnosed with brain tumours or leukaemia and who had had CT scans between 1985 and 2002 at seven in 10 UK hospitals. Their findings were published in The Lancet Online.

Pills made from seaweed could become a key factor in helping to treat almost everything, according to The Sun.

Experts in the US found a seaweed destroying Hawaiian coral reefs produces a chemical with strong anti-inflammatory properties.

An A to Z of how the "shorehugging" A:B: seaweed could benefit readers runs from alopecia to zits via kidney stones and quadriceps.

For The Daily Telegraph, it´s "the end of tea and sympathy" as the volunteer tea ladies at a Stoke hospital are ousted.

The paper says the café of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service that has graced the outpatients' department at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire for the past half century is closing down upsetting many among the 600,000 locals who go there each year for treatment.

Warming to its theme, the paper says: "A cup of tea is rarely just about the tea. It is our national cure-all, first base when confronted with catastrophe, and the key that can unlock pent-up emotions. In the case of volunteer-run tea bars in hospitals, a cuppa also provides an invitation to unload on to a willing listener in a nylon overall whatever trauma you and yours are going through on the wards."

In place of the WRVS, the hospital will now be offering a Costa franchise, the Telegraph says.

 

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