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Overseas nurses plug NHS staff shortages, new guidelines for mental health in pregnancy, and three out of four pizzas exceed salt RDA

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

NHS staff shortages have led acute trusts to hire almost 6,000 nurses from overseas this year, four times more than in the whole of last year.

The Guardian reports a new analysis of recruitment data from 103 acute trusts showed 5,778 nurses had been hired from abroad in the year to September, compared to 1,360 employed by trusts in 2012-13.

Prof Jane Ball, a principal research fellow at Southampton University, said: “This shows we are in a serious shortage of nurses and it is a shortage that has been waiting to be realised; it is not new or sudden.

Women with any history of mental health problems should receive additional support at all stages of pregnancy, new NHS guidelines state, the BBC reports

The guidelines include discussing mental health and wellbeing in early pregnancy, and integrated care plans covering any treatment.

Prof Mark Baker, NICE Centre for Clinical Practice director, said: ‘Giving women the right treatment at the right time can have a profound effect - not just for the mother, but her family too.’

And finally the Daily Mail reports that 75% of pizzas contain more than the recommended daily intake of salt, with the worst culprits containing as much as 16g in a portion.

A survey by health campaigners of more than 800 restaurant and takeaway pizzas found that 586 of them exceeded the guideline salt levels and may be putting public health at risk.,

Graham MacGregor, the Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Barts & The London School of Medicine, said: ‘Eating too much salt puts up our blood pressure, the major cause of strokes, heart attacks and heart failure, the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.’

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