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Lansley sparks row over NHS cuts; deafness cure ‘breakthrough’ and why we should pay nurses more

By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of health news headlines on Friday 14 May.

Andrew Lansley has caused waves in his first day in the health secretary's job by suggesting that cuts in the NHS budget will be even deeper than planned.

In the Guardian, Carl Emmerson, deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, warns Lansley's projected productivity gains for the NHS are 'extremely large'.

‘The numbers suggest they are not achievable,' he tells the newspaper.

The Telegraph reports on research that links nurses pay with survival rates from heart attacks. Academics at the University of Bristol and the London School of Economics found heart attack survival rates were lower in areas where there is a large differential between nurse's wages in the NHS and other people in the same area working in private companies.

They claim that for every extra 10% the local private sector workers earn, there is an extra 7% risk of not surviving a heart attack in the local NHS hospital. I for one would not want to take the risk – give them a 100k a year.

We are wowed here at Daily Digest by no less than three major scientific ‘breakthroughs' in the Daily Mail today. Firstly, lets have a round of applause for the scientists who have managed to grow new inner ear hair cells from mouse stem cells – a ‘deafness cure breakthrough'.

Secondly, put your hands together for the Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator – a ‘breakthrough device' that can be placed under the skin to correct an irregular heart beat.

And last but not least, show your appreciation for those clever doctors at Moorfield's Eye Hospital, who have developed the phakic IOL procedure (sic) – a permanent contact lens that you never have to take out. It increases the risk of cataracts, but who cares, we are celebrating BREAKTHROUGH SCIENCE here.

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

Daily Digest - 14 May 2010