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PCTs’ awards blowout, attack of the killer barbeques and is Andrew Lansley shrinking?

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 10 August.

On a quiet day for national health news, top billing for a change goes to the Sheffield Star for its revelation that cash-strapped hospitals and primary care trusts have been finding rather questionable ways of spending NHS money in this, the era of austerity.

Figures obtained by The Star using the Freedom of Information Act show PCTs and hospital trusts across south Yorkshire have spent more than £155,000 on staff awards ceremonies over the past five years.

No awards for guessing how many lavish ceremonies will be held in the years to come, with low-key joint leaving dos surely the order of the day for most PCTs at least.

The Times has bad news for health secretary Andrew Lansley, with an opinion piece claiming he is shrinking. Not literally, that is, but the article claims that while some cabinet members, both Tories and Lib Dems, have blossomed since the election, Mr Lansley's plans for the NHS have ‘failed to resonate with the public.'

‘As health secretary he is also ultimately responsible for the suggestion to scrap free milk for the under-fives,' it adds.

On the subject of misguided child diets, The Telegraph reports on NICE's draft guidance to GPs on food allergies, claiming more than two million children are wrongly labeled as having a food allergy and unnecessarily placed on potentially harmful diets.

Speaking of which, the Daily Mirror covers a potential downside to the barbeque summer, reporting expert claims that many of us have been chomping through a massive 3,500 calories in one outdoor sitting.

Firing up the average barbie, it reports, doubles the daily calorie limit for women and puts men 1,000 calories over the top.

No wonder us Brits are surfing the obesity tsunami wave.

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

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