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Northern women more likely to smoke while pregnant, overseas nurses welcome and the cure for chronic pain

There are big regional differences in the proportion of women smoking during pregnancy, with rates much higher in poorer areas, the latest figures suggest.

They suggest 27.2% of mothers-to-be in Blackpool smoke throughout pregnancy compared with 2.1% in Westminster, the BBC reports.

Each year, more than 70,000 pregnancies are affected by smoking. The overall rate has fallen to below 11% in England, but the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group report recommends a national target of below 6% by 2020.

Restrictions on the NHS recruiting nurses from overseas have been temporarily lifted after warnings that a crisis in medical staffing is looming this winter.

Nurses will be added to the Government’s shortage occupation list, which means nurses from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will have their work visa applications prioritised, the Independent reports.

Doctors have ’found a cure for chronic pain’, reports the Telegraph. The feat was achieved by doctors fitting a permanent spinal cord impant into a patient’s back.


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