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PCTs failing on OOH, stress linked to cancer and the perils of everyday plastic objects

By Lilian Anekwe

Our roundup of news headlines on Thursday 14 January.

Let’s kick off with the Daily Mail‘s serious, investigative piece revealing from data carefully obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and painstakingly analysed that only 6% of PCT out-of-hours providers hit their target to triage patients within the 20-minute benchmark.

Ok, ok – it’s a fair cop. It’s not the Daily Mail‘s probing investigation at all, they nabbed it from BBC’s Newsnight, but the thrust is the same. There is also massive variation in how many calls are regarded as urgent – ranging from 1 to 61%.

All the stress brought out on by reading too many of the Daily Mail‘s not so carefully crafted stories could cause cancer, according to the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mirror.

Research in rats suggests that any sort of emotional or physical or mental trauma could trigger mutations in different cells and bringing them together to form ‘‘a potentially deadly mix’‘ that could lead to cancer, according to the research, published in Nature.

Interestingly, on the same day as a new independent advisory body on the science of drugs meets under ousted former Government policy spod Professor David Nutt’s auspices, The Times reports that cocaine is neither safe, nor big, cool or clever.

Far from being the harmless party drug I, I mean society, thought it was, there is no ‘safe’ amount of cocaine to use. Indeed a study in European Heart Journal found that up to 3% of all sudden deaths are linked to the drug, and taking even small amounts of cocaine at weekends can increase the risk of sudden cardiac death.

A common chemical found in plastic things – food containers, baby bottles, you know, every day things you and your little cherubs would found it nigh on impossible to avoid – could kill you.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the Daily Telegraph say plastic items often contain a chemical called Bisphenol A, and ‘those with high levels of the chemicals in their bodies were a third more likely to develop heart disease than those with low levels.’

Bisphenol A has also been identified as a possible obesity trigger you know, and I’ll be darned if that doesn’t brings us seamlessly to the last story in today’s round-up.

Overweight people miss out on promotions because people think they are lazy, according to a poll reported in the Daily Mirror.

Obese workers earn less than other staff and are more likely to be bullied, the survey of 2,000 people found. And shockingly, a quarter of the 200 bosses included in the poll said they’d turn down an overweight applicant, and one in ten had already done so.

Our roundup of news headlines