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£60m bowel cancer screening initiative; reducing the IVF lottery and how the Government intends to improve maternity care

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Monday 4 October.

A group of doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals called the Healthcare Professionals for Change will, this week, launch a campaign to change the law on the right to die. The Observer reported that the group ‘is the first professional body of its kind to be set up with the explicit aim of changing the 1961 Suicide Act, which forbids such assistance.’

‘New test to cut cancer deaths’ reports The Times today. Investment of £60 million will provide equipment for people in their mid-50’s to be screened for bowel cancer, using a technique which could save 3000 lives a year.

The Sunday Times has the story ‘Obesity damages hearts of under-11’s’. A group of paediatricians at Cincinnati children’s hospital measured stiffness of arteries in 600 people aged 10 to 24, and found ‘that obese children as young as 10 had stiff arteries, a predictor for developing heart disease.’

New mothers ‘let down by NHS postnatal care’ report says‘. The Guardian reports, on a survey carried out by the National Childbirth Trust of 1,260 first-time mothers, which found that: ‘57% said they did not get the emotional support they needed in the 24 hours after a hospital birth, and only 45% said they received a satisfactory level of information and advice.

The Department of Health said they were working to ‘improve the quality of maternity care’ and that they are committed to recruiting an extra 4,200 health visitors.

New technique promises to take the lottery out of IVF‘. The Independent reports that US scientists believe they have found a better way of identifying viable embryos for implantation. They have ‘identified three key features in two-day-old IVF embryos that will give fertility doctors a greater-than 90 per cent chance of picking the right embryos.’

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

Daily Digest – 04 Oct 2010