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NHS job losses, online records and beating the common cold with a ‘silver bullet’

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Monday 18 October.

An investigation by The Independent reveals: ‘The NHS has shed nearly 15000 jobs , shut hospital wards and removed beds over the past nine months despite the coalition Government's pledge that health would be protected from its programme of huge public-sector spending cuts.'

‘A Department of Health spokesman said the Government had made a "historic commitment to protect the NHS budget". He added: "The Secretary of State has been very clear that every penny saved will be reinvested back into patient care.'

NHS patients to see medical records online' The Daily Telegraph reports that under plans for an NHS ‘information revolution' led by Martha Lane Fox, internet entrepreneur, patients would be able ‘to view their medical records online, email their GP and compare doctors across Britain.'

Interesting research in the Daily Mail, which says ‘Scientists strike gold: 'Silver bullet' could finally beat common cold'. Willy Verstraete, a Belgian professor, discovered that harmless bacteria can be ‘studded' with ‘nanoparticles of silver', which can be rubbed on hands or sprayed up the nose. Apparently, they found that ‘Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, is unable to cause infections after coming into contact with the silver-impregnated bacteria.' What inspired the name, ‘silver bullet'…? As they are already available from Ann Summers.

A drug addict has become the first man in Britain to take part in a controversial project that saw him get cash to be sterilised.' The Guardian reports that the 38-year-old man known as ‘John' received £200 after having a vasectomy. Project Prevention, an American charity was set up by Barbara Harris, North Carolina and has ‘paid more than 3,500 American men and women addicted to drugs or alcohol not to have children. It is offering the same to addicts in the UK.'

On to The Sun, which has the simple but effective headline: ‘Glove left in patient'. ‘Bungling surgeons left a latex glove in the throat of a patient - giving him a breathy voice' which the newspaper likens to the late soul singer… Barry White. It apparently took a year to discover the glove ‘which scarred his vocal chords.'

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

Daily Digest - 18 Oct 2010