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Coverage of Pulse’s OOH exclusive; ‘One week to see a cancer specialist’; Why GPs should trust a mother’s instinct

By Steve Nowottny

Our roundup of news headlines on Wednesday 3 February 2010.

Pulse's lead story this week revealing a leaked report into GP out-of-hours care in West Yorkshire is covered widely in today's papers, with the Daily Mail carrying the story prominently, and the Daily Telegraph linking it to a forthcoming Government review of out-of-hours services.

Meanwhile in the Times, columnist Alice Thomson is the latest to chip in on the out-of-hours debate, relating her personal tale of how ‘failing out-of-hours care almost killed my baby'.

‘One week to see a cancer specialist.' That's how the Daily Mirror reports an apparent pledge from Gordon Brown to further reduce the time patients with suspected cancer have to wait before seeing a specialist.

According to the Mirror, he told a committee of MPs yesterday: ‘We want to get it down to one week so you can get results of your scan and get it in the hands of a specialist within a week.'

GPs have been told to ‘trust a mother's instinct on sick children', according to the Daily Mail.

Advice for GPs published in the Lancet includes a series of ‘red flag' warning signs GPs should look out for, in order to spot serious infections such as meningitis and pneumonia – but researcher Dr Matthew Thompson says that a mother's instinct may be the most important warning sign of all.

‘As a GP, it's important to always be alert to parents who are especially concerned about their child,' he said. ‘We should usually trust parents' instincts. After all, they will have nursed their child through many minor illnesses before and often can tell when something is different.'

A new report from Oxford University and the Alzheimer's Research Trust warns that dementia is the biggest health challenge of our generation, costing the economy £23 billion a year.

And finally, the Times and the Mail report that ‘forgetful mums-to-be can no longer blame it on the bump.'

According to a study in the British Journal of Psychiatry, pregnant women should be ‘encouraged to stop attributing lapses in memory or logical thinking to their growing baby'.

‘Not so long ago, pregnancy was 'confinement' and motherhood meant the end of career aspirations,' concludes study author Professor Helen Christensen, of the Australian National University in Canberra. ‘[But] our results challenge the view that mothers are anything other than the intellectual peers of their contemporaries.'

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