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Alzheimer’s screenings, home tattoo kits and former health secretary’s reforms warning

By Ellie Broughton

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Tuesday 29 March.

The Alzheimer's Society made a big impact on health headlines yesterday as the Daily Mail and the Telegraph picked up on its suggestion for a dementia screening programme.

Professor Clive Ballard, the head of the charity, said that routine checks for the over-75s would improve the rates of diagnosis, but he left the debate open as to whether GPs or practice nurses would be better placed to carry them out.

Leading obstetricians and midwives have written to the Times today to draw attention to pregnancy deaths related to pre-eclampsia. The letter blames staff shortages and chaotic shift patterns for the NHS's ‘basic failure' to spot the most common complication in pregnancy.

Philippa Brice, a trustee of Action on Pre-eclampsia, said that if her GP hadn't acted on her symptoms, she would have died from the condition.

The Independent reported on an investigation into home tattoo kits, to be published by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in full on Thursday. It warns that the £60 kits often come without instructions and some users have already contracted hepatitis from using them. The things you can get on eBay nowadays…

Lastly, the Guardian carries an article today by former health secretary Alan Milburn. He defends himself against Tory accusations that Blairite reformers had already started to change the NHS.

‘Abolishing PCTs and creating more GP consortia to replace them hardly sounds like a recipe for reducing bureaucracy,' he writes. He was asked earlier in the month to apply for the post of chairman of the NHS commissioning board – but he'd probably be happier blogging for Pulse.

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

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