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Nurses cleaning wards as the recession proves to be bad for the skin

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 31 July

Hospitals are making the headlines again today as the Telegraph reports that nurses are being forced to clean and tidy wards as their managers cut down on cleaning costs. One hospital within Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust is making do without full-time professional cleaners for two days each week, the newspaper reports, leaving staff to mop the floors themselves. The Department of Health was called in after the hospital missed a hospital acquired infection target and its Clostridium difficile standard was "only just achieved".

From cleanliness to foot care, hospitals are also being criticised for not offering enough specialist treatment for patients with diabetes. According to the BBC Diabetes UK has said that patients with diabetes are at increased risk of having a foot amputated because of an "appalling" lack of specialist services. A survey by Diabetes UK found that 84 hospitals in England and Wales, out of the 206 surveyed, had no specialist diabetes foot-care teams and the charity said it would be writing to hospital managers to protest.

Meanwhile researchers have found that unborn babies can be affected if their mothers experience stressful or traumatic events during their pregnancy. The Telegraph reports that researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London who interviewed 150 mothers before and after birth found that their children were more likely to have asthma or infections if they themselves had experienced a family bereavement, separation, or a difficult pregnancy.

And it is not only unborn children who are affected by stress as the Daily Mail reports that cases of eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions have increased due to the stress of the recession. A survey of dermatologists found that  41% of the 105 asked had seen a noticeable increase in stress-related skin conditions and the British Association of Dermatologists says counselling should be more readily available on the NHS.

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