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#GPnews: More couples to receive free IVF treatment

17:09 We finish the day with some good news. Apparently, a 15-minute brisk walk a day is all it takes to cut the risk of dying early among the elderly.

Fifteen minutes a day could be ‘a reasonable target for older adults’, according to a French study reported in the Telegraph.

‘Small increases in physical activity may enable some older adults to incorporate more moderate activity and get closer to the recommended 150 minutes per week,’ said Dr David Hupin, physician in the Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne.

15:30 The Labour Party press office has sent out a background briefing on the ‘Brexit’ threat to the NHS.

It claims that, should the UK leave the EU, the Tories would have to cut the Department of Health’s budget by up to £10.5 billion in 2019/20 to meet their promise of balancing the books by the end of the Parliament.

It says this is the equivalent of London’s current annual health budget or every English trust cutting 1,000 nurses and 155 doctors.

Labour bases its assumptions on analysis by The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), which warned last month that a leave vote would lead to lower growth in the UK economy and a rise in public sector borrowing, at a cost of between £17-28bn. 

14:27 Meanwhile, over in China, a well-known surgeon who assisted in the first hand transplant says he is preparing for ‘full body’ transplants.

The procedure would involve removing the heads of one dead and one alive patient, then attaching the healthy body of the dead person to the healthy head of the alive person.

Dr Ren Xiaoping of Harbin Medical University in China said the procedure would go ahead as soon as science was ‘ready’, whatever that means.

The Mirror has picked up the story, first reported in the New York Times.

13:56 Scottish rules on IVF are to become more generous.

As it stands, anyone with a child living at home cannot receive free IVF on the NHS. But a relaxation of rules, announced by the Scottish Government, will see couples where one partner does not have a biological child become eligible.

At the same time, the current two rounds of IVF offered on the NHS will be extended to three, reports the Herald Scotland.

Aileen Campbell, minister for public health and sport, said: ‘Scotland already leads the way on IVF access and rights in UK, and these changes will ensure Scotland’s provision is a fair and generous as possible.’

11:55 The RCGP has produced a helpful infographic of what is in the GP Forward View – the general practice rescue package published by NHS England in April.

The graphic focuses on what measures are due over the next six to 12 months, including a £16m mental health support programme for GPs.

See the graphic via this link.

11:30 Malnutrition is becoming ‘the new normal’ across the globe, it has been warned. Although many countries have managed to reverse the number of children who do not get enough to eat and are suffering stunted growth, there are growing rates of obesity everywhere.

The Global Nutrition Report found that at least 57 of the 129 countries studied had serious levels of both undernutrition and adult obesity, reports the Daily Mail.

The term malnutrition covers deficiencies in important vitamins and minerals for the undernourished to excessive levels of sugar, salt, fat or cholesterol in the blood for the obese.

Lawrence Haddad, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and co-author of the report, said ‘We now live in a world where being malnourished is the new normal. It is a world that we must all claim as totally unacceptable.’

09:30 Good morning. As several news outlets report this morning, NICE has recommended a new prostate laser treatment.

The BBC reports that some 13,000 men in England could benefit from laser treatment to reduce overgrown tissue on the prostate that is non-cancerous.

The treatment could replace a treatment known as TURP, where a hot loop of wire cuts away the tissue, saving the NHS £3m in the process, said NICE.