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Grab a morale-boosting coffee, and read our digest of today’s health news

The health news headlines on Tuesday 27 September 2011

If you are already on your third cup of Java then relax, Harvard University research suggests that four or more cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of depression by 15%, the Mail reports.

You may want to put the kettle on as the rest of the papers make for gloomy reading starting with the Guardian front page on senior health figures warning of a bleak future for the NHS as cuts start to bite.

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada said the NHS was facing ‘the chaos of change associated with an unprecedented need to make cuts.'

NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar uses an article in the same paper to warn that the NHS is facing an ‘unprecedented financial challenge' that has not yet been widely recognised.

Preparing for his Labour conference speech shadow health secretary John Healey, also tells the Guardian that the NHS is facing ‘service pressures and the financial pressures which really start to tell.'

One reason for the lack of health cash is pointed to by leading academics reported in the Telegraph and the Mail suggesting that cost of treating cancer is spiralling out of control, as the ageing population means that increasing numbers of people are growing tumours.

Meanwhile the Times reports (paywall) the head of the Nursing and Midwifery Council Professor Dickon Weir-Jones warning that patients risk a ‘ghastly national disaster' because of the growing number of unregulated and incompetent healthcare assistants working in the NHS.

A ‘lack of knowledge' emergency medicine doctors about the side-effects of ‘club drugs' has in part led to the opening of the first NHS clinic dedicated to treating people addicted to substances such as ketamine.

Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, an addiction psychiatrist, has set up theClub Drug Clinic in Chelsea and Westminster hospital, with funding from Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, the Independent reports