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Plans for longer GP consultations, anger over mental health provision, Hewitt stars in new MPs’ scandal

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of news headlines on Tuesday 23 March.

The RCGP features almost as prominently as Sam Cam's teeth in today's papers.

The Guardian carries a call from RCGP chair, Professor Steve Field, for GP consultation times to be extended from 10 to 15 minutes so doctors can spend more time with people with long-term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and obesity.

The RCGP wants patients with lesser ailments to see a nurse, ring a helpline or even go online for a video consultation, the story says.

The papers also carry the RCGP's warning that GPs are increasingly angry and frustrated at not being able to get the right therapy for people with mental illnesses – especially for children, who face unacceptable delays in receiving help or do not get it at all, according to its new survey.

The Independent runs an article asking what is says is the big question: does cognitive therapy actually work ? It concludes that it is good for patients, not necessarily curing them of depression but it may get rid of their bad back.

The Mail and the Telegraph carries news that 14 walnuts a day can keep prostate cancer at bay, although another family of mice have paid the price for the research with no guarantees, as yet, it will work on humans.

And finally there is shocking and unexpected news that our MPs have not exactly covered themselves in glory recently. Featuring prominently is none other than former health secretary Patricia Hewitt, who is among three former cabinet members to have the Labour whip withdrawn after being accused in an undercover TV programme of offering access to the Government in return for cash. Mind you anyone who thinks Hewitt can get access to the Government after recent events obviously has more money than sense.

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

Daily Digest - 23 March 2010