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£2bn ‘redundancy fund’ for NHS workers, the dangers of bacon, and why drinking 7up is the antidote to kidney stones

By Gareth Iacobucci

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 18 May.

The NHS is to establish a £2bn fund to cover redundancy payments as staff brace themselves for the job losses following Andrew Lansley's forecast of even deeper cuts, says the Guardian.

Another day, another contradictory story on mobile phone use. But this one might be worth listening too, says the Independent, which reports that ‘the largest and most detailed study yet' into the health risks posed by mobile phones has found scant evidence that their usage is linked to brain cancer.

But wait! The Telegraph uses the same study to report that talking on the mobile phone for more than half an hour a day could increase your risk of getting brain cancer by as much as 40 per cent. Message received. Maybe.

In The Times, we read that a hospital trust has been fined £100,000 after a new mother died because of a mix-up between "identical-looking" drugs.

Elsewhere, The Mail reports that hundreds of Britons are to test a one-a-day 'polypill' designed to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

It seems vanity, rather than health warnings, may be the way to warn women off sunbeds. This is according to the Mirror, who report that wrinkles are apparently a bigger deterrent than skin cancer when it comes to warning young women about the dangers of ‘tanning up'.

Lots of health(food) stories today. The Mail has news that may upset fans of the meaty fry up (or more likely, news that they won't pay any attention to). But apparently, eating two rashers of bacon or a sausage every day can increase your risk of heart disease by nearly half, according to research by the Harvard School of Public Health in the U.S.

The Mail also details a novel new way to beat kidney stones….drinking 7up. Apparently, fizzy diet drinks of the citrus variety (we're talking 7Up, Sunkist, Sprite and friends) may help stop people developing the painful condition. Scientists claim that high amounts of a compound called citrate, found in the drinks, could be a preventive measure for those at risk of the disorder. Well we never.

Staying with the beverage theme, the Telegraph reports that drinking purple grape juice could help prevent heart attacks, angina and strokes.

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

Daily Digest - 18 May 2010