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Fish suppers, toxic NHS cocktails and ‘kiddie cocaine’

We are well into silly season, with all sorts of random health news this morning. The Express has ‘How to fight arthritis pain’ splashed in big letters on its front page, looking at Swedish research that shows people who tuck in to fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel or kippers at least once a week are far less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

But Professor Alan Silman, medical director of Arthritis Research UK, warns: ‘One of the challenges is that this can mean quite substantial changes in people’s diets.’

The Telegraph is bemoaning a ‘toxic cocktail’ that is harming patients in the NHS. Not a slippery nipple, this is the combination of factors that prevent patients complaints about hospitals being heard.

The Health Ombudsman says that patients are often too frightened to complain and are ignored when they do. She recommends patients have access to the name of a senior person they can complain to and a 24-hours complaints service.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 is focusing on the rise of ‘kiddie cocaine’. It reports a 57% rise in prescriptions for methylphenidate since 2007 that the CQC says is due to increased diagnosis of ADHD in both adults and children.

Although this is nothing compared to the private prescriptions issued to adults alone - up 24% between 2011 and 2012 and well over double the 2007 quantities - attributed in the CQC report to increased number of adults getting treatment for managing ADHD.