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NHS England chiefs' 'astounding' expenses bill, NICE wants more home births and why red wine may not be good for you after all

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 13 May.

NHS England top dogs claimed ‘astounding’ figures in expenses last year, The Telegraph’s front-page story reveals. lead Tim Kelsey spent the highest amount - claiming £46,000 during the year - but recently retired chief executive Sir David Nicholson’s £32,000 notably included a £500 taxi fare from London to Preston.

New chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘NHS England has set new standards for openness and transparency in all of its operations, compared with what went before. And I’ve set myself and our organisation the goal in everything we do of “thinking like a patient, and acting like a taxpayer”.’

The NHS also makes it into the Daily Mail’s splash, which reports that NICE has called for more home births, with most second-time mothers just as safe giving birth at home as in hospital.

NICE draft guidelines said: ‘Midwives should explain to the mother-to-be that she may choose any birth setting… and support her in her choice. Midwives should advise low-risk women who have already had at least one child to plan to give birth either at home or in a midwife-led unit. Midwives should advise low risk women who are expecting their first baby to plan to give birth in a midwife-led unit. This is because women tend to have a better experience in this setting than a traditional labour ward.’

Labour’s pledge to bring back the 48 hour target for GP appointments is also covered by several papers, including the Independent reporting that Labour is planning to save £78m in legal fees caused by the new NHS competition regime.

Finally, the BBC reports that ‘red wine may not be as good for you as you had hoped’, as scientists studying Italian villagers found ‘no proof’ that the the antioxidant resveratrol prevents heart disease and helps people to live longer.

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