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#GPnews: ‘NHS staffing levels should be cut to balance the books’

15:15 A rather shocking story emerged over the weekend on trainee nurses increasingly ­using food banks and payday loans because they are struggling to afford their training.

Around 6,500 nurses have received financial help in the last three years and unions bosses have warned that nurses who start training next year face finishing with £52,000 of debt, an investigation by the Sunday People revealed. 

As a result of finishing studying with such debts, the investigation found that more nurses are arriving at food banks to help feed their families or rely on payday lenders to keep on top of bills.

12:40 Statins may ‘significantly cut’ the risk of dying from four of the most common cancers, new research has suggested. 

A study – from researchers at Aston University – found that the number of deaths among cancer patients diagnosed with high cholesterol see ‘striking’ reductions following treatment with statins.  

The researchers also found that those diagnosed with high-cholesterol have a 43% lower risk of dying from breast cancer, 47% from prostate cancer, 30% from bowel cancer and 22% from lung cancer, the Independent reports. 

11:15 The trend for resignations continues with Dr Clive Peedell stepping down as leader of the National Health Action Party.

In a tweet announcing the move, Dr Peedell said that he ‘can no longer take things forward due to irreconcilable differences of opinion within the Exec’. 

In a later tweet said that this won’t stop him ‘fighting to defend the #NHS, public services & the idea of a fairer society.’

9:35  Good morning and welcome to Pulse’s live blog. 

The NHS workforce will have to be cut if the health service’s finances are to be brought back under control, the King’s Fund think tank has warned. 

The Government needs to be honest about NHS spending plans at a time when patient demand is rising, the think tank said, and staffing levels would have to consequently be cut in hospitals, the BBC reports

Helen McKenna, senior policy adviser at the King’s Fund, said: ‘Politicians need to be honest with the public about what the NHS can offer with the funding allocated to it.

‘It is no longer credible to argue that the NHS can continue to meet increasing demand for services, deliver current standards of care and stay within its budget. This is widely understood within the NHS and now needs to be debated with the public.

‘There are no easy choices, but it would be disastrous to adopt a mindset that fails to acknowledge the serious state of the NHS in England today.’ 

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