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Norman Lamb threatens to quit, RCN warns of 40k job losses and drink-free mums-to-be

By Ellie Broughton

Our round-up of the health headlines on Monday 11 April.

Norman Lamb has made several headlines this morning following his threat to quit over NHS reforms. During an appearance on the BBC's Politics show, he said there was ‘no evidence' the reforms would work. He added that if he was not satisfied that the bill had been changed significantly, he would stand down.

Lamb has written a comment piece for page two of the Independent setting out his criticisms and suggestions for the reforms. He is critical of the speed at which the reforms are happening but stays faithful to the idea of GP commissioning: ‘At the heart of the Government's reform package is a very important principle, which most health policy experts agree on.

‘We have to empower GPs to develop services to help keep patients out of hospital and we must make them responsible for the money they spend.'

The Daily Mail points out the fact that Mr Lamb had already cleared his comments by Nick Clegg – suggesting that the deputy prime minister is happy to back criticism of the reforms.

The paper also highlighted the RCN report, just published, which claims that half of the axed posts in the NHS will be doctors and nurses. The report estimates 40,000 posts at hospitals and health trusts will be lost over the next four years.

The Guardian has also reported that growing numbers of patients are being refused treatment in a number of areas. From mental health, dementia and addiction support to walk-in centres to maternity and fertility, frontline care is now facing a number of cuts claims the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph has staunchly ignored all this palaver, choosing instead to warn pregnant women off the chardonnay. Despite recent studies by University College London that gave mums-to-be the green light for reach for the corkscrew, a new Irish study says even a couple of glasses a week can bring on foetal alcohol syndrome. Pregnant NHS workers, order your stress balls now…

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