This site is intended for health professionals only

Lansley tells us to stop drinking, Miliband tells us it’s not too late to stop the health bill

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Monday 6 February

The Governemnt has recently been targetting its health warnings at ‘bottle of wine with dinner'-type drinkers, and has today launched a new campaign around the big C risks.

The Mail, in its on-going and fastidious quest to document all the things that might give you cancer, has duly reported warnings from ministers that just two glasses of wine a day or two strong pints of beers could treble the risk of mouth cancer.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, as if he's not busy enough being mauled by the lords, the commons and almost the entire medical profession over the health bill, says he has launched the campaign to alert people that it's not just binge drinkers who are damaging their health.

He added: ‘It can be easy to slip into the habit of having a few extra drinks each day, especially when drinking at home. But there can be serious health risks. Don't let drinking sneak up on you.' Sound advice, especially if you're under intense pressure at work, perhaps.

Pregnant mothers-to-be with diabetes are almost four times likely to have a baby with a birth defect, according to research revealed in the Guardian today.

Researchers at Newcastle University have found that one in 13 women with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes give birth to a child with a major congenital abnormality as a direct result of their condition.

The research, funded by Diabetes UK, was carried out between 1996 and 2008 on more than 400,000 pregnancies in the north of England found that the mother's blood glucose level at the time of conception was related to her risk of having a baby with a birth defect, such as heart abnormality. In addition, some drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes can cause problems for a developing foetus, and in such cases the women need to take higher than usual doses of folic acid.

Ed Miliband, it seems, has been bunkered down this weekend in his north London home under the snow with a calculator and a pad of paper. He has emerged to announce that the cost of Lansley's health bill could instead be used to pay 6,000 nurses, as reported in the Telegraph. The Government has earmarked £1.7 billion to bring in the controversial Health and Social Care Bill.

Labour claims that more than 3,500 nurses had been lost since the coalition came to power and another 2,500 jobs were threatened, according to Royal College of Nursing estimates.

Mr Miliband said: ‘In tough times and with little money around, the very first priority should be to protect the front line NHS'.

He added: 'It is not too late to stop this bill, we have three months to prevent great harm being done to the NHS. Now is the time for people of all parties and of none, the professions, the patients and now peers in the House of Lords to work together to try to stop this bill'.