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A&E care ‘should be shifted to GPs’; carers have better health and what it is really like to be an NHS patient

By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Monday 5 July.

A report into the cost of A&E in the NHS is generating headlines this morning.

The Guardian leads its coverage with the line that the NHS is wasting 330m annually by admitting 270,000 patients a year as medical emergencies when they would be better treated by their GP.

The trend is ‘going unchecked partly because hospitals have a direct financial incentive to admit such people – they receive upwards of £1,000 for what may prove to be a stay of just a few hours' the newspaper explains.

The Daily Mail takes a slightly more negative editorial line – suggesting that the advent of the new GP contract is the cause of rising A&E attendances.

It decries the ‘farce' of out of hours services under the 2004 GP contract and says this has led a 12% increase in the number of people attending A&E.

Speaking of emergency care, the The Telegraph has an interesting piece from a doctor who (after a pill got lodged in his gullet) had to be rushed to hospital. He provides a interesting insight into what it feels to be on the other end of an endoscope.

In other more cheerful news, researchers have shown that contrary to expectations people who care for sick relatives can experience better health.

The study found carers had positive emotions and fewer negative emotions when they engage in 'active care' – like feeding, bathing, toileting and general physical caring – rather than more passive care, where they are simply required to be nearby in case anything should go wrong.

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

Daily Digest - 5 July 2010