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Nicholson asks GPs to ‘step up’, cancer deaths in deprived areas and pensions due at 66


Our round-up of the health headlines on Friday 17 June.


The chief executive of the NHS's first public message to doctors: 'step up' to your new reponsibilities. The Times reports on page nine that he called commissioning ‘a huge opportunity' despite the fact that NHS staff are under serious pressure.


More than 2,600 cancer deaths could be avoided in England every year if people living in the most deprived parts of Britain had as good a chance of survival as those in the most affluent areas, the Guardian reports. A study by researchers at King's College London found that the gap between those living in rich and poor areas was most noticeable in the month after diagnosis, suggesting patients from deprived areas do not go to see their GP until the cancer is at a late stage or they are not getting a prompt diagnosis.

Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK's director of policy, said: ‘We know that we need to encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles and to diagnose all cancers as early as possible – by improving symptom awareness and encouraging prompt visits to the doctor, and by supporting GPs to appropriately refer patients.'


Lastly, grim pensions news for public sector workers from chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander on the BBC. The Government is to detail for the first time plans to link the public sector retirement age to the state pension age, which is rising to 66. It is also due to confirm plans to base public sector pensions on workers' average salaries, although any benefits already built up will be protected. Danny Alexander will say the move will ensure pensions are ‘fair and affordable'. The move comes a week after LMC leaders sounded a resounding defeat for a call to strike over GP pensions.


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