Today brings us news of the fact that England is facing the biggest baby boom in 40 years as up to 20,000 more are expected to be born this year than last, according to the Telegraph.
In the first three months of this year alone, 4,600 more babies were born than during the same period last year, according to official figures
Midwives are warning that the trend is continuing and will swell births to more than 700,000 in England this year – the first time that level has been reached since 1971.
Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said the increase was putting ‘enormous’ strain on the NHS.
She said: ‘The baby boom is restarting with renewed vigour.
‘We are already at birth numbers that haven’t been seen for at least a couple of generations, probably not in the working life of any midwife practising today.
‘Today’s midwives simply have never seen anything like it. The demand this is placing on the NHS is enormous.’
Elsewhere the Daily Mail asks readers if they really need to see a doctor for a runny nose. It informs that National Self Care week is upon us-an initiative, backed by the Department of Health, aims to encourage people to manage minor illnesses at home.
The Government estimates that more than 50 million consultations a year are for trivial ailments that do not require a doctor’s appointment.
The article warns that aside from costing the NHS about £2 billion each year, this also puts pressure on overstretched GP services.
Finally the Guardian reports on health minister Norman Lamb calling for ‘parity of self-esteem’ in doctor’s surgeries for mental health patients.
It says that the Government will tomorrow announce that NHS patients should wait no longer for mental health therapies than they do for treatments for their physical conditions.
The policy will form part of the mandate for the NHS commissioning board and the new “contract with the NHS” will specify that mental healthcare should be on a par with physical care – “that it values mental and physical health equally”.