This site is intended for health professionals only

Best-dressed sperm donors, new alcohol allowances and condom shortages

Our round-up of the health headlines on Monday 25 July.

No need to bother visiting loved ones in hospital when you can Skype them, suggests NHS Berkshire. The Mirror reports the trust, which is trying to save £4 million a year wants to stop paying travel reimbursement costs to visitors when they move patients to different mental health hospitals.

It's stressful for any adult to go through open heart surgery but what about when you're just 36 hours old? Rudy Maxwell-Jones went under the surgeon's knife to have a valve the size of a pinhole opened. The surgeons at Birmingham Children's Hospital used microscopic cameras and tools to perform the surgery.

A leaked NHS report has revealed that mothers-to-be in London maternity wards are dying because of substandard care. Over 40 women died between Jan 2009 and June 2010. The report reveals 17 of those maternal deaths were caused by substandard care. The report blames rising birth rates and a shortage of midwives putting pressure maternity wards, says the Telegraph.

Women will now have the opportunity to pick sperm donors based on their appearance, style and looks, says the London Sperm Bank. The Telegraph reports the clinic will give details of a donor's personality, dress sense and looks to help potential mothers choose in a new online catalogue.

We all know Britons work the longest in Europe so it comes as know surprise to hear we only we spend an average 39 minutes a day eating. According to the Mail we spend seven minutes stuffing our face at breakfast and only 12 minutes shoving a sandwich down our throats at lunch while sitting at our desks.

In a surprising move, health secretary Andrew Lansley has come to the defence of public sector pensions and attacked the Government's plans for reform. In a leaked letter to the Telegraph meant only for the eyes of the treasury secretary Danny Alexander, Mr Lansley calls part of the reforms ‘inappropriate' and ‘unrealistic'.

Breaking news this morning, as the Independent reveals Britain faces a condom shortage due to a fight between the UK's biggest brand Durex and its Indian supplier. The Indian company TTK stopped supplying the brand in May and so far a High Court case has failed to make them start again. There are fears the shortage could lead to a rise in STDs and unwanted pregnancies.

Get ready to cork the wine over lunch because the Government is set to review the recommended daily amount of alcohol units you can drink. The current guidelines are based on doctors guidance from 1987 and a Royal College of Physician's member who worked on the original guidance says the figures were plucked from thin air.


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.