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#GPnews: Instagram analysis ‘better than GPs’ at detecting depression

14:30 A computer programme analysing which filters people used on photos uploaded to Instagram was better than GPs at diagnosing underlying depression, according to a US study.

The Vermont University researchers said the computer programme had a detection rate of 70% compared with 42% for GPs.

The study found people who were depressed were more likely to use filters draining their pictures of colour, reports the Mirror.

They also found that having faces in photos was linked to depression, but said more research was needed into the relation.

13:30 People in the North of England are more likely to die prematurely than people in the South, a new study has revealed.

The University of Manchester-led study, which used data from the Office for National Statistics on the whole English population from 1965 to 2015, showed there was 14,333 more premature deaths in the North than in the South in 2015 and 1.2m more early deaths in the North from 1965 to 2015, reports the i newspaper.

Professor Iain Buchan, lead researcher for the study, said: ‘Five decades of death records tell a tale of two Englands, North and South, divided by resources and life expectancy – a profound inequality resistant to the public health interventions of successive governments.

‘A new approach is required, one that must address the economic and social factors that underpin early deaths, especially in younger populations, and one that focuses on rebalancing the wider economy to help drive investment in northern towns and cities.“ The study used data from the Office for National Statistics on the whole English population from 1965 to 2015.’

09:40 Today’s big NHS story in the national news media concerns women in labour being turned away by maternity wards.

Data, obtained by the Labour Party under FOI, showed that more than four in ten (42%) had temporarily closed to new admissions at some point during 2016. In total, wards shut down on 382 separate occasions (70% up from two years prior), with some closures lasting more than 24 hours.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘These findings show the devastating impact which Tory underfunding is having for mothers and children across the country. It is staggering that almost half of maternity units in England had to close to new mothers at some point in 2016. The uncertainty for so many women just when they need the NHS most is unthinkable.

‘Under this Government, maternity units are understaffed and under pressure. It’s shameful that pregnant women are being turned away due to staff shortages, and shortages of beds and cots in maternity units.

‘Families are being sorely let down by this Government’s failure to recognise the crisis facing our NHS. The Tories need to get a grip and take urgent action to make sure closures like this don’t continue to happen.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘Temporary closures in NHS maternity units are well rehearsed safety measures which we expect trusts to use to safely manage peaks in admissions.

‘To use these figures as an indication of safe staffing issues, particularly when a number of them could have been for a matter of hours, is misleading because maternity services are unable to plan the exact time and place of birth for all women in their care.’


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