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NHS set to reach ‘breaking point’, man ‘pregnant’ with twins, and hold the front page….sex equals happiness

By Gareth Iacobucci

Our roundup of health news headlines on Thursday 9 December.

To the Guardian first, which manages to stop talking about Wikileaks for just long enough to bring us the warning from the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (RCP), that a combination of increasing hospital admissions, fewer consultants and a European law restricting the maximum hours medical staff can work will stretch the NHS so much it 'may reach breaking point within the next few years'.

In the Telegraph, we read of the development of a new ‘risk-free' blood test that could potentially predict an unborn baby's risk of various conditions such as Down's Syndrome and autism.

The Mail covers Pulse's exclusive story on which revealed that the first GP surgeries have started booking appointments via a call centre under 'controversial cost-cutting plans'.

Uplifting stuff elsewhere in the Mail, which reports that thousands of patients are dying early because of a postcode lottery in the treatment of heart failure, according to the latest National Heart Failure Audit.

The Mail also brings us the shocking news that frequent sex can be a relationship saver for neurotic couples. The Digest can't believe they needed scientists to work this out, but boffins in the US followed 72 newlywed couples over the first four years of marriage, concluding that ‘frequent sexual intercourse boosted marital satisfaction'. Who would've thunk it.

And finally, a classic bungling administrative gaffe of a story. Now the Digest has heard of some strange things coming out of Norfolk before but this takes the biscuit. The Metro reports how a middle-aged man was sent a letter by hospital staff telling him he was pregnant and could be expecting twins.The note, from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, even came with stickers where staff specify Mr Plettall as ‘male'. Alan Partridge would have had a field day..

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

Daily digest