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OOH GPs responsible for 300,000 patients each, the four-year hospital stay and why two hands is not always better than one

By Steve Nowottny

Our roundup of the headlines on Monday 25 January 2010.

The quality of GP out-of-hours care continues to dominate health headlines, with the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph both following up a story from the weekend revealing that just two GPs are responsible for providing nighttime cover for one of England's largest counties. Out-of-hours cover for Suffolk's 600,000 residents is provided by Take Care Now, the same provider as that at the centre of the Ubani case, although Take Care Now's contract is to end in April.

The Telegraph reports that ‘personalised cancer treatment' could be a step closer, after researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, attached to Harvard Medical School, identified two genes that, when abnormally active, enable cancer cells to resist the effects of anthracycline drugs.

The Times reports new research suggesting that children who are ambidextrous are more likely to have learning and language difficulties than those who are either left or right-handed. According to a study of nearly 8,000 children by researchers at Imperial College London, an eight-year old child who is ambidextrous is twice as likely to have problems with language and to perform poorly at school.

A Sun investigation into ‘bed-blocking' finds that ten ‘bed-blocker' patients spent a combined total of 28 years in hospital. One patient reportedly spent more than four years in a hospital bed at Maidstone NHS Trust in Kent, at an estimated cost of £306,000.

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

Daily Digest - 25 January 2010