This site is intended for health professionals only

Flu vaccine confusion, Which? magazine’s vitamins warning and could hospitals offer BOGOF deals on surgery?

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Monday 20 December.

There is ‘growing concern' that pregnant women are not receiving the flu jab. The Daily Telegraph reports on the confusion surrounding the vaccine, with some women posting on internet forums that they have been given incorrect advice by their GP. The Department of Health has offered ‘guidance that all pregnant women should be vaccinated' as they are ‘four times more likely to be admitted to hospital with flu'.

NHS reforms will lead to supermarket-style discount surgery deals' says the Guardian today. Referring to a paragraph published in the National Operating Framework last week, the paper reports: ‘The Government is to permit hospitals to compete on price for the first time, raising the prospect of two-for-one deals on surgery and cut-rate consultations for certain specialties.'

The Daily Mail reports on the introduction of a new type of body scan that ‘could help doctors decide when men with slow-growing prostate cancer should have treatment.' During monitoring of early prostate cancer, it could potentially see a reduction in biopsies, which can be painful, and blood tests, which can be inaccurate. The new technique, published in the British Journal of Radiology, is called diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. It provides a more ‘patient-friendly and reliable method of monitoring prostate cancer', we're told.

The Metro reports news from Which? magazine that ‘Vitamin pills can damage your health''. They found that many supplements have ‘misleading' labels or ‘insufficient' information. ‘The worst culprits were those which claimed to maintain healthy bones and joints' according to chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith. Which? also highlighted that products containing Beta-carotene and vitamin B6 didn't have recommended warnings about the harmful effects of taking too many.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know, and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily digest


Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.