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Private provider to run hospital; aspirin reduces breast cancer risk and why frying your meat over gas is bad for you

By Lilian Anekwe

Our roundup of news headlines on Thursday 18 February.

The Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Daily Mirror all have a story based on research from the European Heart Journal that says happy and positive people are 22% less likely to suffer from a heart attack or angina then the rest of us misery guts. Which reminds me of that song, Don't Worry Be Happy. I only mention that because that song is now stuck in my head, and if I have to bear that misery then so shall others. Bah humbug!

Taking aspirin twice a week can raise the survival rate of women from breast cancer by 71%, the Daily Mail says. Its splash reports on an analysis of 4,000 women in the Nurses Health Study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, that found aspirin ‘significantly reduced the risk of cancer spread and death for women who have been treated for early-stage breast cancer'.

The Daily Mail and The Independent say frying meat on a gas hob instead of an electric one could increase your risk of cancer. Researchers donned their chef's hats and fried 17 steaks in either margarine or soya bean oil for 15 minutes on either a gas or an electric hob. Then they chewed it over and having digested it realised that frying with a gas flame increased the meat's exposure to toxic carcinogens called mutagenic aldehydes and heterocyclic amines.

Moving on to meatier material – the gloomy state of the NHS' financial affairs – The Times reports that an NHS district general hospital in Cambridgeshire is to become the first to be run by a private provider.

The private provider will be announced in October, after the only remaining NHS bidder, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, pulled out due to the ‘considerable investment of both time and money' the bidding process would require.'

Several of the usual suspects from primary care are willing to pick up the slack, and The Times says the remaining bidders for the seven-ten year contract with an £92m annual budget are Circle Health, Care UK, Interhealth Canada, Ramsay Health Care and Serco.

The Daily Telegraph says part of the Conservative plans to drag the NHS into ruder financial health will mean that hospitals are fined if patients are readmitted to hospital with a related condition within a month of being discharged.

Andrew Lansley plans to make hospitals ‘integrate the two stages of patient care' and ‘make hospitals accountable for the initial care that a patient gets at home'. There's no mention in the article about where that money will go, or where it will come from, but I'm sure a politician would never make a promise he didn't intend to keep?

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

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