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Mental health problems ‘due to abortion’, Offshore PFI accounts slammed and the new treatment for liver tumours

Our round-up of the health headlines on Thursday 1 September.

The risks of abortion, breast screening and even routine operations come under the spotlight in today's papers. Also, are bankers or hospital consultants to blame for the woes of the NHS?

As controversy rages over Tory MP Nadine Dorries' amendment on abortion advisory services, a study has revealed that abortion can double a woman's risk of mental health problems.

The research, first published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at the experiences of 877,000 women, of whom 163,831 had had an abortion. The study found that 10% of all mental health problems were attributable to abortion, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The NHS breast screening service was under fire in The Times (paywall) by researchers from the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen. They accused it of misleading women over the risks of unnecessary treatment of benign abnormalities.

Elsewhere, medical errors abound. Birmingham Children's Hospital has admitted liability for a botched gallstone operation which left 17-year-old Sophie Tyler paralysed from the waist down, the Guardian reports. A spinal epidural device was left inside her body for two days after the procedure.

Also, Scottish doctors have apologised after a woman died in a hospital toilet from a tumour. Jean Cross had seen various doctors 39 times in three years, but the tumour was misdiagnosed as a 'frozen shoulder', according to the Daily Mail.

However, the Mail also reports on the case of 72-year-old Brian Brooks, whose liver tumour was destroyed in just two days after undergoing a trial treatment, radioembolisation. Brooks had been given six months to live prior to this.

Profits from PFI hospitals are being hidden away in offshore accounts, Margaret Hodge, the Labour chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee warns. In an interview with The Guardian, she accused the Treasury of 'complacency' while private investment firms 'milked the PFI system for profit'.

Meanwhile, former NHS Chief Executive Lord Crisp was telling the Daily Telegraph that closing hospitals and sacking consultants was the key to saving the NHS. Most of the work done by senior hospital doctors could be done by nurses, he said.