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NHS managers splash the cash; DH criticised over ‘belly up’ plans and GPs told to offer ovarian cancer test

By Amy Fallon

Our round-up of the health headlines on Wednesday 27 April.

NHS managers have been making the most of their expense accounts while they last, as The Mail reports today. According to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, NHS bureaucrats have splashed out £13million on dinners and hospitality for themselves, the tabloid reports. What's more, SHA staff are enjoying days away which cost more than a luxury meal at the Ritz. In 2010, bosses spent an average of £361,113 each on 'hospitality for conferences, meetings and staff away days'.

In other shocking news The Mail reports that 'a sprinkling of red chilli peppers on your dinner 'keeps hunger pangs at bay'. Capsaicin, which gives peppers their heat, can reduce hunger and increase energy expenditure, according to research carried out by Indiana's Purdue University.

The Guardian says that MPs are demanding that the government urgently implement plans to ensure vital health services continue if a hospital or other provider goes bust under its NHS reforms. It quotes Conservative MP for South Norfolk, Richard Bacon, who says: 'Things can and do go wrong, and the Department of Health has yet to establish a robust framework for dealing with failure in the system,' he says.

'The department must not only understand the danger of either a provider or a commissioner going "belly up", but also toughen up its contingency plans,' he says.

Many of the newspapers report on GPs being told to offer blood test for ovarian cancer, a 'silent killer' which affects 6,800 women each year. NICE says GPs should routinely offer the tests to women who report any of the symptoms associated with early stages of the disease. The £20 procedure, which will become available over the coming months, will detect the disease far earlier, the Mail says.

The Independent also reports that 'GPs "may exploit health reforms to boost pay"'. 'Under plans to alter the way the NHS is run, family doctors, many of whom are already earning over £100,000 a year, will be required to form "consortiums" to commission care for their patients,' it says.

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

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