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Dementia, cancer and job losses… but also happiness classes!



By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Friday 6 August.

Apologies for starting this digest with gloomy news, but it’s the Times’ fault – ‘NHS sheds 11,000 jobs, with many more at risk’, its front-page headline announces today. The speed and scale of cuts is apparently much bigger than previously thought and UNISON ‘accused ministers of “conning” voters with claims that they were protecting frontline services’ and also that the public consultation hadn’t finished but they were being rushed to act.

The Independent has more gloomy news: ‘Unless drug firms cut prices NHS cancer fund is doomed says study‘. Andrew Lansley has announced a new fund to pay for cancer drugs, but research suggests this isn’t enough and a cap should be put on how much pharmaceutical companies can earn from the NHS.

Meanwhile the Telegraph and the Daily Mail chastise GPs (sorry folks). ‘Lives of dementia patients cut short by doctors’ failures‘ reads The Telegraph. Patients who are diagnosed by family doctors live around four years less than those ‘identified by a screening programme conducted by researchers’. Professor Chris Kennard told the Telegraph ‘it was “crucial” that GPs were given the support and training they needed’.

Staying with the dementia theme, The Guardian delivers more positive news. Research has found that to stave off dementia you should ‘eat more fruit and vegetables and improve your education’. That sounds like valid advice to me.

Don’t delay trying for a baby after trauma of a miscarriage‘, the Daily Mail reports. Official advice is to wait 3-6 months after a miscarriage to try for a baby but new research now suggests ‘waiting is unnecessary and could be detrimental … especially to women over 35.’

We end the digest on a more cheery note, from the Guardian again, with a story telling us that ‘A Buddhist monk has been brought in to hold happiness classes for NHS workers’. The Monk has been brought in from San Francisco Zen Centre to hold classes for workers in Northern Ireland, although Democratic Unionist MP Sammy Wilson is sceptical and thinks it is a waste of money.

Sounds as though someone could do with attending the workshop, which will teach ‘how to achieve contentment and calmness’.

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

Daily Digest