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GPs’ pay to be published, the blood test to detect cancer before it grows, and Gail Porter beats alopecia

By Steve Nowottny

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 1 June.

How much do you get paid?

An impertinent question with which to start the week's Daily Digests, perhaps – but in the near future, it won't be considered rude, it'll be considered public knowledge. That's according to reports in a number of papers today, which reveal the coalition Government's plans for what the Daily Telegraph calls ‘a radical move towards open government'.

The figures published today cover the 172 civil servants who earn more than the Prime Minister, including NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson (£255,000 - £260,000) and Clare Chapman, the Department of Health's Director General of Workforce (£220,000 – £225,000).

But of more concern for GPs will be the pledge to extend the transparency drive much more widely.

‘In September, the pay list will be expanded to include any Whitehall official earning more than £58,000. This will identify a further 9,000 people and their pay packages,' the Telegraph writes.

‘It is expected to be extended again next year to include the names and pay of any well-paid public sector official including GPs, headmasters, senior police officers and council executives'.

The Daily Mail has good news for expectant mothers everywhere, under the headline: ‘Pregnant? Forget housework it could harm your new baby'.

The story does exactly what it says on the tin, covering a study by British and Dutch researchers of almost 12,000 new mothers suggesting that ‘mentally unstimulating work, including doing jobs around the house, increased the chances of giving birth at least three weeks early by up to 25%.'

The Times is one of several papers to cover the development of a ‘simple blood test that can detect a cancer before a tumour has taken shape'.

The test, developed by scientists at the University of Nottingham through the company Oncimmune, is due to be introduced in America later this month, and in Britain ‘early next year', but only if you pay for it.

Cancer tsar Professor Sir Mike Richards has hailed the test as a ‘very exciting concept' – although he added that it would require large-scale randomised trials to prove its benefits across patients populations before use on the NHS.

The Times also reports new hope for sufferers of alopecia, after the former model Gail Porter appeared on television yesterday with a ‘near-full head of hair' after five years of baldness.

Gail Porter, a patron of Alopecia UK, began to experience regrowth earlier this year – Bessam Farjo, medical director of the Institute of Trichologists, is quoted as saying Porter ‘was one of the fortunate ones'.

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

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