This site is intended for health professionals only


NHS cuts likely to be ‘therapeutic’; mosques in screening drive and why girls are not made of sugar and spice



By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of news headlines on Wednesday 10 February 2010

A leading hospital trust chief – and one in the running for chief executive of the NHS – has said the economic crisis could be ‘therapeutic’ for the health service.

In the interview in the Guardian newspaper, Sir Robert Naylor, chief executive of the University College London Hospitals NHS foundation trust, urged the political parties not to be ‘overprotective’ of the NHS.

‘The health service has to play its part in the economic recovery, and I don’t think we should try to hide that. It will have to become more effective and more efficient,’ he says.

The Guardian reports on a new model of preventative healthcare being pioneered in London, with mosques across the UK screening apparently healthy people for hepatitis C. According to the newspaper, ‘queues of worshippers lining up to have saliva swabs taken’ in a campaign to tackle unusually high levels of the infection in people of south asian origin.

The Governments plans for free personal care for the elderly are coming under fire from council leaders. The Times has a letter from more than 70 in England warning the plans are ‘back-of the-envelope’ electioneering and underestimate how many people would use it.

Girls are meant to be made up of sugar and spice, but new research suggests alcohol chips and burgers is a more accurate description.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey found teenage girls had more unhealthy lifestyles than boys, consuming alcohol more regularly and more likely to smoke. It found only 7% of girls are eating their ‘five a day’ portions of fruit and vegetables.

The Daily Mail covers the story that more children are born on Christmas Eve than any other day in true reactive style. They quote Clare Byam-Cook – a former midwife who has taught celebrities such as Kate Winslet and Natasha Kaplinsky how to feed their babies, you know – who claims there is a darker reason for the pre-Christmas baby boom.

‘I’m sure that it is the case that mothers are sent home early because Christmas is approaching,’ she surmises.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily Digest – 10 Feb 2010