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#GPnews: Funding for GP contraceptive services put at risk by third of councils

15:35 The BBC is reporting on a London School of Economics study which showed that good mental health and having a partner had a stronger impact on people’s happiness than doubling their income.

The study found that, on a scale from 1-10, the doubling a person’s income meant a rise in happiness of 0.2.

But having a partner increased happiness by 0.6, and losing one reduced it by the same amount.

Anxiety and depression had the worst impact on happiness, reducing this by 0.7 on the 1-10 scale.

London School of Economics professor Richard Layard said that in response to the findings, the Government should be focusing on crating health rather than wealth.

He said: ‘The evidence shows that the things that matter most for our happiness and for our misery are our social relationships and our mental and physical health.

‘In the past, the state has successively taken on poverty, unemployment, education and physical health. But equally important now are domestic violence, alcoholism, depression and anxiety conditions, alienated youth, exam-mania and much else. These should become centre stage.’

14:00 Social activity has an impact on the survival among women with returning breast cancer, reports the Telegraph.

Having a spouse or strong family engagement was found to significantly reduce the risk of death.

The study of 10,000 patients also found lonely people had a 40% higher risk of the disease returning.

Dr Candyce Kroenke, from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California, who conducted the research, said: ‘[The study findings] confirm the generally beneficial influence of women’s social ties on breast cancer recurrence and mortality; however, they also point to complexity, that not all social ties are beneficial and not in all women.’

11:45 The latest study in the saga of carbs vs. fat for weight management has concluded that official dietary advice urgently needs to undergo a review.

A University of Ireland study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a diet full of natural saturated fats – such as butter and red meat – and low in carbohydrates made middle aged men slimmer and healthier, reports the Mirror.

Professor Sherif Sultan, a heart specialist from the University of Ireland, said: ‘We urgently need to overturn current dietary guidelines. People should not be eating high carbohydrate diets as they have been told over the past decade.

‘Instead our diets should be largely based on good quality high-fat foods. This will prevent the rising epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and reverse the growing numbers of people suffering weight-related heart problems.

‘High carbohydrate diets and refined sugars, both are the critical mass in cardiovascular deaths and a major disaster for the 21st century.’

10.00 Local authority cuts to funding for Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) will mean ’more unplanned pregnancies and abortions’, health professionals are warning.

The BBC reports that this comes as the Government announced ‘public health cuts totalling more than £800m over six years’.

Expert advisory group The Advisory Group on Contraception (AGC) submitted an FOI request to councils, finding that one in three has reduced, or is considering reducing funding towards GP practices providing contraceptive coils and implants.

Tracey Forsyth, a contraceptive nurse for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: ‘We’ve spent years doing really good work on contraception and sexual health.

‘But now with all the cuts, what we’re looking at is an increase in unwanted pregnancies.’