This site is intended for health professionals only

NHS waiting times up, home births encouraged and the humanity of NICE

Our round-up of the health headlines on Friday 15 July.

It's been solved, the age old argument, women can't read maps because of binge drinking, there you go men, finally the arguments can stop. According to the Independent, American scientists have found that heavy drinking while the brain is still growing impairs on the brains ability to help somebody orientate themselves.

The NHS is ‘creaking at the seams' under the pressures of cost saving and growing demand the president of the Royal College of Physicians said yesterday. Sir Richard Thompson was commenting on figures that showed NHS waiting times had increased by a third in the first year of the coalition government.

Don't feel bad about that kebab after a night of drinking yourself into the gutter because being overweight and drinking lots is programmed into our genes. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen say Europeans are more inclined to eat fatty foods and consume more alcohol than those in the east. A gene switch in our DNA regulates our appetites and thirsts.

Too many woman are giving birth in hospital and should be encouraged to stay at home for births the Mail reports today. Experts have called for a radical shake up of the NHS to see thousands more woman giving birth at home.  The report also calls for smaller maternity units to be closed and for others to form ‘super units' to care for those most in need.

The Telegraph reports NICE has admitted having regrets about refusing access to potentially life saving drugs. Its chief executive said, when turning down a drug, he thought what it would be like to be a person denied treatment.

Finally there may be soldiers fighting in Afghanistan but one little soldier has won his own battle hours after being born. Little baby Toby lost 85% of his blood and stopped breathing for 13 minutes after a horrific birth that left his parents praying for a miracle. Thanks to the amazing efforts by the crash team at the Princess Anne hospital in Southampton.