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NHS can’t afford treatments, but could pay for funerals

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Tuesday 11 October.

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has written to PCTs to warn against blanket bans on treatment and to insist that the individual patients' circumstances should be taken into account before care is denied, the Telegraph reports.

In a bid to save £20 billion, two-thirds of trusts now have lists of treatments classified as of ‘low clinical value' they will no longer fund – which in some areas include hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and tonsil removal.

The Mail reports that a GP of 22 years says that she only survived cancer because she ‘knew how to beat the NHS system' and ended up going private.

Meanwhile the Royal Colleges have joined forces to tell peers they must make ‘substantial changes' to health reforms that come before the House of Lords today, the Telegraph reports.

In a letter to the Independent more than 60 ‘leading medical professionals' and celebrities, including Russell Brand, have demanded that the Government's ‘unpopular and undemocratic' health reforms are scrapped.

According to the Telegraph, health secretary Andrew Lansley has said that 20 NHS trusts require urgent help to tackle their financial problems and several are likely to be bailed out by the Government.

The same paper reports [not on website] that the Health Protection Agency is warning that growing resistance to antibiotics may make gonorrhoea ‘untreatable'.

One in 12 hospital meals is returned uneaten, representing an annual waste of £22m of NHS money. The figures in the Metro come before a Care Quality Commission report to be published this Thursday which will warn of poor nutrition in hospital food.  

If the hospital food does kill you, the Times reports [behind paywall] that the Nuffield Trust has suggested that people who donate organs on their death beds should have their funeral expenses paid for by the NHS.