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'Truly shocking' maternity care, James Bond's dirty secret plus the dementia-diagnosing bankers and bus-drivers

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 13 December.

After maggot-gate, the heat moved from primary to secondary care this morning as the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, announced that NHS maternity care is at times ‘truly shocking’.

The Guardian reports a survey of 23,000 women who have given birth while using the NHS found one in four were often alone in labour and some waited hours for pain relief.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, told the paper the problems were due to staff shortages. She said: ‘The NHS continues to fail too many women. It sets out yet more evidence of the real-life and disheartening effects on women of the shortage of midwives.’

GPs may or may not be pleased to know that a crack team of bus drivers, pharmacists and bank staff is being assembled to help frontline dementia diagnosis, according the Telegraph.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt told the paper that ‘Britain’s biggest companies will build up a frontline force of thousands of people able to spot the signs of dementia and understand the needs of sufferers, helping people with the disease to live a normal life for longer’.

So far Boots, Lloyds Bank and First Group have all committed to take part in the scheme.

And finally, the BBC reports this morning that, according to a study in the festive edition of the BMJ, James Bond would in reality be impotent and an alcoholic.

Doctors in Derby and Nottingham who thoroughly researched the Bond canon discovered that 007 polishes off the equivalent of one and a half bottles of wine a day and concluded ‘he is not the man to trust to deactivate a nuclear bomb’.

The researchers told the BBC Mr Bond would be in the “top whack” of problem drinkers - and at high risk of impotence, liver damage and an early death.

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